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In a press release of armored vehicle manufacturer Uralvagonzavod on June 28, the company has just handed over a batch of T-72B3 tanks (mod 2016) to the Russian Ministry of Defense. These tanks will be used in the Tank Biathlon portion of the International Army Games held in mid-August, reported VTC News.
It is not clear how many new T-72B3 tanks Uralvagonzavod will deliver to the the defense ministry, but to ensure fairness for the teams, it is highly likely that all countries will use the same model.
From the above information, it can be determined that the T-72B3 (mod 2011) used in previous Tank Biathlon tournaments will be replaced by the T-72B3 (mod 2016).
According to Zvezda, the T-72B3 (2016 mod) or T-72B3M is an upgraded and expanded variant of the T-72B3, it is equipped with a V-92S2F diesel engine with a capacity of up to 1,130 horsepower, compared to the V-84-1 engine, which was only 840 horsepower in the previous variant. Weapon configuration on T-72B3M basically has not changed much.
|T-72B3 tank. Credit: Valery Matytsin/TASS|
It is likely that the T-72B3M vehicles produced by Uralvagonzavod under the order of the Russian Defense Ministry will also be slightly modified to be more suitable for the harsh race at the Alabino training grounds outside Moscow. With the T-72B3M, this year's Tank Biathlon category promises to bring explosive performances.
It is known that in the Tank Biathlon international tank competition, T-72B3 is the basic tank of the host country Russia equipped for participating teams. Howevern each teams can also bring their own tanks. Typically, the Chinese team will use the Type-96B tank.
|A member of Vietnamese tank crew raises the cup as the team is crowned champion of Group 2 of the Tank Biathlon competition at the 2020 International Army Games on September 4, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.|
The International Army Games 2021 is scheduled for August 22 - September 4, with 13 host nations, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Qatar, China, Mongolia, Serbia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Of the 34 competitions, Vietnam will host the rescue and sniper events.
This year's Army Games also feature a number of new competitions. Meridian will test skills of army topographers. Tactical Shooter is meant to test firearm skills. Army of Culture will focus on creative teams.
In the “Tank Biathlon” event, participating teams are required to cross 11 obstacles and destroy three targets No.12 with the main gun from a distance of 1600-1800m, one target No.25 (helicopter) with a 12.7 mm machine gun from a distance of 800-1000m, and one target No.9 (anti-tank grenade launcher) with a PKT machine gun from a distance of 600-800m. If a target is missed, they will have to complete a penalty round.The Vietnamese tank crew clinched the gold medal in Group 2 of the Tank Biathlon Competition in the 2020 Army Games.
|All crewmembers are practicing hard to achieve high results at the 2021 Army Games. Source: PANO|
With this great achievement, Vietnam has ascended into the first competition group. This means that they will be competing directly against strong competitors such as Russia, Belarus and China in Group 1 of the Tank Biathlon Competition in the 2021 Army Games.
Driving the old T-54 and PT-76 tanks over the obstacles designed specifically for the new T-72B3 tank is a big challenge for all crewmembers, reported PANO.
The Vietnamese Tank-Armored Corps has not been equipped with this type of tank yet, so the tank teams still have to practice on the old tank models with steering systems and shooting control systems that are completely different from the T-72B3 series.
With high determination and effort, the Vietnamese tank teams try to overcome the vehicle’s weaknesses and maximize the effectiveness of its weapons and equipment. Thanks to regular practice, the crewmembers’ coordination capability has been continuously improved.
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