Russia Wins World's First Tank Biathlon (Video)
A stylized video of the competition, courtesy of Zvezda military television channel
A tank crew from the Russia's Western Military District beat out teams from Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia to win the world's first tank biathlon tournament.
Competing in the town of Alabino outside Moscow on Saturday, the four teams used the same tanks, T-72B's that were painted bright red, green, blue and yellow for distinction. Each tank had to cover about 20 kilometers of rough terrain at high speed, ford a river, avoid roadblocks and use various types of weapons to hit several targets appearing at different distances, News.ru reported.
As in traditional ski biathlon, a winning crew in tank biathlon should cover the distance with the minimal time and hit all its targets to avoid a 500-meter penalty loop for missing.
The crews had to hit targets shaped as tanks, low-flying helicopters, houses or groups of infantry that appeared at distances of 900 to 2,200 meters.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is credited with inventing tank biathlon, expects the event to grow. He said that next year the tournament will see crews from the U.S., Italy and Germany using with their own tanks, turning the contest into a competition of technology as well as skill.
Kazakhstan's blue tank finished in second to Russia's red, followed by Belarus in yellow and Armenia in green.