The International Army Games 2017 kicked off at Alabino Ranges on July 29, with more than 4,000 military personnel from 28 different countries.
The countries are showing off their military hardware and prowess in a series of Olympic-style competitions and are set to continue until August 12 in the territory of 5 countries.
Dubbed by Russian media as ‘the contest for real men’, it features an event called the Tank Biathlon in which a crew does laps of a 5 km obstacle course while shooting at targets.
Russia is using a modified T-72B3M, while China has brought its Type 96 variant tank. This year, India has opted for Russian made T-90S tanks. “This year, for the first time, the team would be participating with own T-90 tanks which have been shipped to Russia,” the Army said.
The competition involves firing on tanks on the move by conventional machine guns and anti tank projectiles at a range of two kilometres, whilst negotiating rugged obstacles. The competition simulates actual battle field conditions involving driving at high speed and entails switching from one mode of operation to another at a fast pace which requires mental mobility and exceptional level of physical fitness and training.
The team has been selected through a rigorous selection process on the basis of technical expertise, physical fitness, mental endurance and consistency in accuracy of firing the tank weapons while driving the tanks through a replica of the original circuit in Russia, at Babina Field Firing Ranges in Central India.
The tanks were transported to Russia by Sea and the team moved to Russia on 20 July 2017 for participation in the competition from 29 July to 12 August 2017. The Indian Army team has been participating in the competition for the past three years since 2014. The team stood 6th in the previous year out of the 17 countries which participated in the event in July 2016.
Countries taking part in the games are Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, Zimbabwe, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Angola, Mangolia, Serbia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nircargua, Tajikistan, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Uganda, South Africa, Israel, Laos and Morocco.
So far, the Indian Army is ranking fourth in the individual race competition with cumulative time of 68:13 minutes. Russia is leading with timings at 58:21 followed by Belarus and China at 65:21 and 66:01 minutes respectively.
The Chinese team took home the best result in last year’s individual race by not missing any targets. While this year, Russia continues to be leading among the participants after the six days of the games.
The contests will be held in the territories of countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China.
China will host 6 contests: Suvorov Attack, Aviadarts, Safe Environment, Airborne platoon, Clear Sky, Gunsmith Master.
Master of Artillery Fire, Sniper Frontier and Competition among UAV crews will be held in Kazakhstan. Belarus and Azerbaijan will hold the Commonwealth Warrior and Sea Cup contests respectively.