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5 Feb, 2016 03:11

Russian tank biathlon crews hone skills in extreme Arctic conditions (VIDEO)

Tank crews of the Russian Northern Fleet’s coastal regiment have conducted training in extreme Arctic weather conditions to practice their skills ahead of the International Tank Biathlon Championship later in the year.

Twelve T-72B312 tank crews participated in the drills at a military range in the Murmansk region focused on perfecting maneuvering skills in the tough weather terrain of the Russian North.

At this stage of their training the crews effectively polished their skills by overcoming the special obstacles that will be included in the Tank Biathlon. Namely the elements of “track bridge”, “slope", “anti-tank ditch” and “snake” were practiced by the Russian steel giants as part of the elements approved within the course of the International Army Games 2016.

One of the hardest training stages was to complete the “flanking fire” exercise, in which the T-72B had to hit different targets while moving at high speed across the range, with its turret facing the target direction. It is extremely hard to accomplish considering that the targets are placed at a distance of up to 2,200 meters.

The crews performed these complicated maneuvers in extreme subzero Arctic winter cold, on frozen terrain of ice and snow that gets up to a meter thick. At the end of the training round only six crews will be selected to proceed to the next stage of training, to compete with other tank crews from across the country.

The final competition will take place as part of the International Army Games 2016 which are scheduled to take place in the first two weeks of August across more than a dozen of ranges across Russia. During the Army Games 2015, some 2000 servicemen from 17 countries, including Russia, China, India, Venezuela, Kuwait, Pakistan, Mongolia, among others participated in the Tank biathlon, attended by over 250,000 spectators.