Russians became winners of the final tank biathlon relay at the VI International Army Games. The decisive race is over 5 September at the Alabino training ground near Moscow. The course of this race was extremely dramatic and unpredictable..
About, how the Russian team still managed to snatch victory in a tough fight with rivals, says a correspondent who has visited Alabino Federal News Agency.
T-72B3 versus Type 96B
tank biathlon, which became the basis for the creation of the International Army Games, at the suggestion of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu He appeared in 2013 year as the championship of Russia, but very quickly turned into a large-scale world championship. AT 2019 year, these tank biathlon competitions gathered teams 23 states.
This year, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of teams participating in the competition was reduced to 16, but this did not affect the entertainment of the competition. Abkhazia sent its best tankers to the Moscow Region training ground this year, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Myanmar, Republic of the Congo, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia.
By tradition, most teams chose to compete in the Russian T-72B3 main battle tanks.. In this way, besides Russians, speakers, of course, on native "seventy-two", with their own tanks, only two teams arrived in Alabino. The Chinese brought their Type 96B main battle tanks, and the Belarusians decided to compete in the main battle tanks T-72B, upgraded in their homeland to the T-72B3 standard.
The Russian team was considered the undisputed favorite of tank races. Despite, that she was the only one of all the tank biathlon teams, by tradition, each season completely renewing its composition, it is the Russians with 2013 years have invariably become winners of the competition. There was no such certainty with the second and third places.. But who made her debut in 2014 year at the tank biathlon, the Chinese team almost always ended up among the top three finalists, due to which the duel of the Russian "seventy-second" and the Chinese "ninety-sixth" became the central event of the competition.
Distribution of the first, second and third places among the best teams, who participated in tank biathlon in previous years, looked like this.
2014 year - Russia, Armenia, China.
2015 year - Russia, China, Serbia.
2016 year - Russia, China, Kazakhstan.
2017 year - Russia, Kazakhstan, China.
2018 year - Russia, China, Byelorussia.
2019 year - Russia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan.
As it is easy to see, the Chinese had a fiasco last year. Either the shortcomings in terms of coaching affected, whether the tankers from the Celestial Empire were brought down by their extremely lightweight and equipped with the most forced engines tanks, but in 2019 the Chinese team for the first time in the history of its participation in the tank biathlon was unable to reach the final.
The Chinese drew the proper conclusions from this failure.. They changed the coaching staff in their team, significantly tightened crew training and improved their Type 96B in terms of reliability.
Revenge of Chinese tankers
2020-th was the year of revenge of Chinese tankers. At the stage of individual races, they confidently took third place, losing to Russian crews. The Chinese skated the semifinal marathon with the third result in their division - 1 time 47 minutes 7 seconds, which ensured them access to the final.
The best performance in the semifinals was for the Russians - 1 time 39 minutes 17 seconds. Belarusians were the second - 1 time 41 minute 21 second. Azerbaijan team completes the four finalists, only 5 seconds during the semifinals, ahead of the Kazakhs and coming to the finish line with the result 1 time 51 minute 3 seconds.
According to the draw, in the final race, the first track went to the green Chinese tank, the second - to the red tank of the Russians, the third - to the yellow tank of Azerbaijanis and the fourth - to the blue tank of the Belarusians.
The essence of the final marathon, at first sight, was simple enough. In fact, teams have to put in extraordinary efforts to win..
Opponent cars start simultaneously. The team ends the race, when three crews pass the marathon distance, after which their time is added up. At the same time, each crew makes a range 4 circle (the length of each - 4100 m), not only overcoming the track bridge, comb, passage through the minefield, kosogor, ford, scarp and other obstacles, but also firing from a 125-mm cannon, as well as coaxial and anti-aircraft machine guns.
Note, that from a cannon tanks perform flank firing at three targets at once - this is considered the most difficult part of passing the tank biathlon distance. At the same time, shooting accuracy during the competition plays a more important role., than the speed limit. Every miss is punished with a penalty loop, so drive headlong, but smearing on the firing line is a sure way to defeat. Obstacles to avoid pit stops should also be passed as carefully as possible..
However, back to Saturday Alabino.
Gong - the race has begun!
Il-76 traditionally passed over the range in the afternoon, nailed dust with tens of tons of discarded water. AT 15:00 the gong sounded - the race has begun!
The first from the start did not even move, a Russian tank jumped. Our tactics were clear. Become a leader, besides the obvious gain in time, gets another bonus during the first circle - the opponents are forced to move in the mud trail created by the first tank, dust and diesel exhaust. This seriously complicates the work of driver mechanics and commanders of catching vehicles..
by the way, about exhaust. Throughout almost the entire race, the Russian car could be confidently identified from afar not only by the color of the tank., but also on the jet black color, indicating the extreme operating mode of the overrated engine, plentifully "spitting out" not completely burnt diesel fuel. It looked from the outside, of course, not very aesthetically pleasing. However, the furiously bubbling red "seventy-two" under the control of the driver-mechanic junior sergeant Baina Bodeeva hurricane rushed along the highway, what, from the point of view of tankers, clearly paid for all the disadvantages of such a diesel engine.
Meanwhile, caught in a smoke screen arranged by a Russian car, temporarily blind and making a mistake while overcoming the obstacle Azerbaijanis earned their pit stop. First, but far from the last. Then the yellow tank could not hit one target from the anti-aircraft machine gun, but the Chinese hit everything.
Gunner-operator of the red car sergeant Pavel Zolotko just as filigree at a distance of 1600-1800 km drove three shells from a 125-mm cannon in the target number 12 "Tank".
The Belarusians had a high-speed first lap - without completing fire missions. Yellow tank on the slope pass caught the second pit stop, what cost Azerbaijanis a loss of a minute.
And the Chinese ... The Chinese literally breathed in the back of the head of the Russians.
Like hammering nails ...
To transfer the baton to the second crews through 27 minutes after the start of the race red and green tanks, left behind the Belarusian and Azerbaijani cars, braked almost simultaneously. At the same time, the Chinese tank managed to rush forward after changing crews to 10 seconds before Russian!
But the mechvod senior sergeant Sandan Sanjiev turned out to be a real ace: on the section 29 minutes 30 seconds red tank effortlessly bypassed green. The stands roared with delight. But then ours had to slow down before flanking., so the Chinese took the lead again.
Belarusians have a senior sergeant instead of a crew Vladislava Gaponik the crew of the senior lieutenant took their places in the tank Ivana Guza. Forward! - blue "seventy-two" rushed to the track bridge.
Azerbaijanis are stuck at the shooting range. The yellow car started to crawl, then suddenly slowed down. The barrel of the gun twitched, like sniffing at the target field. Shot. The projectile barely touched the right edge of the target - but touched. Hit scored, however ... the finally "exhausted" yellow tank stopped. unknown, what the Azerbaijanis have "sour", but they decided to replace the car, and this entails a penalty loop.
The second Russian crew successfully fired from a cannon. true, one of the shells repeated the Azerbaijani "feat", that is, barely touched the target. But since it still touched - the hit was counted!.. But our machine guns fired flawlessly.
The Chinese made a mistake while overcoming the passage in the "mine and explosive obstacle" - pit stop. Belarusian gunner-operator Andrey Pakulis just a handsome man - the tracers of the Belarusians regularly flashed the targets! Pakulis had no one else for the spotter at that moment, and the head of the main combat training directorate of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, Major General Andrey Nekrashevich. Who corrected the shooting of the corporal's gunner Zhu Kunhao, unknown, however, the Chinese drove his shells into the target, too, clearly - as if he had hammered in nails.
Azerbaijanis stubbornly repeated their mistake when passing a slope - again a pit stop. The yellow tank only reached the change of the first crew by the second. 44 minutes from the start of the race. Then the Azerbaijanis missed from a machine gun at target number 11 "Anti-tank recoilless gun / ground mount ATGM".
In the meantime, the Chinese ran into the "mine", and then they got out of luck one more time. Second Crew Commander Senior Sergeant Shi Xiankuan for a long time could not eliminate the delay when firing from an anti-aircraft machine gun. And when he finally eliminated, then released the remaining cartridges into the "milk", without hitting target number 25 "Helicopter".
The Chinese did not want to rush further along the highway with the machine gun "beaten off" and decided to change the tank. As a result, the Russians were the first to arrive for the last crew change in the marathon.
The scoreboard showed, what has passed since the start of the race 56 minutes. Ours won the final marathon last year, having covered the entire distance in 1 time 33 minutes 20 seconds. Now everyone was interested, will the Russian team manage to surpass this result in 2020.
No room for error
It seemed to many, that the most difficult thing for the red tank is over. the, it is not so, it became clear literally after a few minutes, when the third Russian crew could not hit any of the targets from the cannon.
Of course, and earlier, during the final relay, ours missed. But so that from a cannon and three times in a row - this has never happened before. Suddenly, the fate of an almost won marathon hung in the balance. Why? Because the Chinese who went second did not smear!
But there was no time to understand the reasons for the mistakes. To hedge against the failure of the tank's fire control system, Russians changed the car. The senior lieutenant's crew has a margin of error Marcel Khafizova was no more. Even the smallest of them almost inevitably led to the victory of the Chinese team..
Deathly silence reigned in the stands. Nobody expected what happened.
An hour and four minutes from the start of the race. While the second crew of the Azerbaijani team was still bloody somewhere on the track, the third crew took their places in the tank of the RB team. Perhaps, it turned out to be the most unusual among Belarusians. Tank commander - recently graduated from the academy lieutenant Pavel Dudyk. Gunner-operator - a repeated participant in the tank biathlon, senior warrant officer Denis Moiseenko. Well, the mechanic, senior ensign Vitaly Bogrudenko, at all, it seems, did not miss any of the World Tank Biathlon Championships with 2014 of the year.
Frankly, repeat your success 2019 years and the Belarusians hardly expected to come to the finish line of the final marathon - the gap between the Russians and the Chinese from the blue tank was already too great. But why not try to improve your last year's race time - 1 time 41 minute 19 seconds? And the Belarusians tried.
The marathon continued. Roar of engines, diesel exhaust, fountains of sand and water from under the caterpillars, clicking tracks, roar of shots, hit, misses and drive. Unprecedented drive!
On a wild adrenaline rush
unknown, what did the crew of the red tank feel at that moment?, but he was doing well. Marsel Khafizov pierced all the targets with an anti-aircraft machine gun. Three more targets were hit from a coaxial machine gun by the gunner-operator sergeant Gennady Shaldaev. And then the driver-mechanic junior sergeant Khalel Muldagaliev neatly brought everyone to the finish line.
The red tank finished the marathon first! The result of the Russian team - 1 time 28 minutes 50 seconds.
Lagging behind the red tank by only 39 (!) seconds for an hour and a half marathon, Chinese finished second. "Ninety-sixth" almost defeated "seventy-two", but "almost" does not count in tank biathlon. The intensity of passions was such, that the audience had a feeling - a little more, and the air starts to spark.
Belarusians finished third - 1 time 37 minutes 48 seconds. The fourth - exclusively on moral and strong-willed - the Azerbaijanis finished the race: 1 time 54 minutes 22 seconds.
Without exception, all participants in the final marathon of tank biathlon 2020 increased their last year's performance. The best snipers of the race were the Chinese and Belarusians - 23 hit targets from 24. Red tank hit the targets 21 time, yellow - 17.
But most importantly, that according to the time of passing the distance of the final marathon, the victory in the tank biathlon remained with the Russian team. victory, obtained in a competition with the strongest rivals at the limit of possibilities, on wild adrenaline.
The editors of the Federal News Agency congratulate the winners of the final race of the World Championship in Tank Biathlon 2020 years and wishes you further success.
In conclusion, we note, what, perhaps, 5 September we last saw his "aksakals" on the tank biathlon track - T-72B3 tanks. Last Saturday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, that the Russian military department plans to modernize all the T-72 tanks in service to the level of the latest version of the "seventy-two" - T-72B3M. Given this circumstance, continue to use during the tank biathlon T-72B3, seriously inferior in tactical and technical characteristics of the T-72B3M, it will be rather strange.
If the replacement of "workhorses" of tank biathlon really takes place, it is possible, as the Chinese team in 2021 year will want to try to change from Type 96B to T-72B3M.
Author: Andrey Soyustov