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Indian Army team bows out of int’l tank biathlon

| | New Delhi | in Sunday Pioneer

Tipped to be the top contender in the annual high-profile international tank biathlon in Russia, the Indian Army team has bowed out after both its T-90 main battle tanks developed mechanical problems. The exercise is taking place at the Alabino ranges in Moscow. Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China have now reached the final round of the prestigious event.

As per rules if the tanks malfunction or breakdown, the participating team is disqualified and the Indian team will now return home, sources said here on Saturday.  Incidentally, the Indian tank team had emerged first in their group in the earlier rounds earlier this week and tipped to be a strong contender to win the biathlon.

The event saw 19 teams with the top four entering the final. The Indian team had participated last year too and used Russian made T-72 tanks provided by the host country.  However, this time round, it was decided to ship the Russian made T-90 tanks used by the Indian Army for the exercise as the crew is well versed with the machine, they said.

Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China are now in the final round with Russia and Kazakhstan deploying T-72B3 tanks, Belarus with a modernised T-72 and China using its indigenous Type 96B.

Each participating country has a 21- member crew including tank crew, coaches and a maintenance unit.

The exercise comprises three stages involving individual and relay races. 

All the teams participated in the individual race and 12 of them including India qualified for semi-finals which involved a relay race. The top four teams will also participate in a relay race in the finals.     




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