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India's T-90 tanks to take part in 'Tank Biathlon' in Russia


The T-90 'Bhishma' main battle tank of India.

MOSCOW (BNS): The T-90 'Bhishma' main battle tanks of Indian Army are likely to take part for the first time in the "Tank Biathlon" competition set to be held in Russia from July 29 to August 12.

"India will participate in the Tank Biathlon for the first time on its T-90 tanks," Major General Dmitry Gorbatenko, Deputy Chief of the Main Combat Training Directorate of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass new agency last week during a meeting with foreign military attaches from 32 countries.

India may also consider sending its indigenously-built Arjun main battle tanks to the competition, another news report said.

The sporting event will be held within the framework of the third "Army International Games" at the Alabino training ground, near Moscow. Seven new countries – Syria, Israel, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Fiji, Uganda, and Laos – are taking part in this year's games.

The Tank Biathlon is a mechanized military sport developed by the Russian Military with some similarities to the winter sport of biathlon. It involves competitions between tank crews. 

The first international Tank Biathlon was held at Alabino, Moscow in 2013 and saw the participation of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Armenia.

The competition has grown over the years to involve more participants including India, China, Zimbabwe, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Mongolia, and Angola.

The 2017 edition will see many new competitions. Military off-road vehicles and drones will feature in the games, which will also involve the participation of the military police and traffic police, the news report said.

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