China deploys military hardware across Russia ahead of Army Games 2015

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Chinese military personnel and hardware have been successfully deployed in military bases and maneuver areas across Russia preparing to take part in the International Army Games 2015 alongside 14 other nations, the Russian Defense Ministry reports.

The games, which could be described as the Olympics for military professionals, are to be held for the first time ever for two weeks from August 1 to August 15 in Russia. Participants are invited to demonstrate their skills in 13 different individual and team competitions, including the already-famous Tank Biathlon and Aviadarts.

The People’s Liberation Army of China has brought four Type-96 tanks to participate in the Tank Biathlon. Last year the Chinese took home a bronze medal in this event. The Chinese have also brought with them four infantry combat vehicles for the Suvorov Onslaught competition and 120mm self-propelled mortar-howitzer PLL-05 systems to take part in the Masters of Artillery fire contest and Russian-made Su-30MKK strike fighters for the Aviadarts.

Among other things taken along by the Chinese team are different all-terrain, engineering and reconnaissance vehicles, air-defense systems, tractor trucks, pontoon boats, a heavy mechanized bridge and a maintenance shop. Thirteen Chinese teams are to take part in all the events of the games.

The transportation of all of the Chinese teams to various contest locations across Russia took two weeks and 166 rail carriages, according to the ministry statement.

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Some new contests have been made part of the Army Games. In the Open Water contest the competing teams will have to make a pontoon bridge to cross a river. The Safe Route competition will reveal the best de-mining experts.

The Russian Defense Ministry has launched an English interactive website of the Games.

Chief of the Russian Engineering Corps Lieutenant-General Yury Stavitsky has also announced plans to hold a “Formula 1 – like” engineering race during the next International Army Games in 2016.

“Next year, we are planning to add one more contest called the Engineering Formula to the games program. It will resemble a traditional Formula-1 race, although it will have military specifics depending on the machine type. That means it will include completing combat missions: crossing of obstacles, debris clearance etc.,” Stavitsky told RIA Novosti.

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The other 13 countries taking part in the games include India, Egypt, Venezuela, Kuwait, Mongolia, Pakistan, Angola and Serbia.