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18 Aug, 2019 14:52

Russian tank sets speed record at intl Army Games 2019 near Moscow (VIDEO)

Russian tank sets speed record at intl Army Games 2019 near Moscow (VIDEO)

A Russian T-72B3 main battle tank reached a speed of 84 kph (52.1 mph) during a tank biathlon event outside the capital. It’s an all-time record for the competition – and an impressive feat for a 64-ton armored behemoth.

The record speed was achieved in the mud of a rain-soaked tank range, rather than on an asphalt-coated race circuit. For comparison, the maximum speed of the US main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, stands at 72.4 kph (45 mph) on roads, though even faster machines exist – including Russia's next gen MBT Armata.

Team Russia's speed earned them the top trophy at the tank biathlon event at the Alabino range near Moscow, which concluded the two-week-long international Army Games 2019 on Saturday. Belarus came second, and Kazakh tankmen filled out the podium.

Tank biathlon is inspired by the winter sports of biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Just like Olympic athletes, the participating tank crews are also required to show both speed and dexterity at hitting targets.

The T-72 tank has been around since the Soviet era, with its T-72B3 modification introduced in 2011 as a cheaper alternative to the more modern T-90A tank. The vehicle the Russians used in the race is equipped with a 1,130-horsepower engine – comparable to a Formula 1 car – and has automatic transmission.

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