Tank Biathlon 2017

1174066This past weekend saw the start of the 2017 iteration of the Tank Biathlon competition in Russia which runs from July 29 to August 12.  To the surprise of no one, the Russian team is so far in first place, having beaten the Chinese team.  Later this week the Russian and Chinese teams will face off against the Indian team.  The Russian team operates T-72BM3 tanks, the Chinese bring their own Type 96 and the Indians will be using The T-90S.  Other competitors who do not bring their own tank are supplied with a T-72B3 by their Russian host.  The English language version of the official site for the competition can be seen here.

Articles and video for Tank Biathlong 2017

Newsweek – Russian Forces Beating China in Tank Olympics, Hailing its Kit as “Best in the World”

TASS – Russia leads in tank biathlon at 2017 International Army Games after half of races

Business Standard – Indian Army Team with T90 Tanks Participates in Tank Biathlon 2017 in Russia




Chinese tank loses roadwheel at Tank Biathlon

At the recent Tank Biathlon competition at Alabino training grounds in Russia, the Chinese team suffered a rather embarrassing equipment failure when one of their Type-96B  (ZTZ-96B) tanks lost a road wheel.  The failure forced the Chinese team to withdraw this particular tank and replace it with another, incurring a penalty in the competition.  This was the first year that the Chinese team had brought the Type-96B to the Tank Biathlon event.  In preview years they had brought the similar, but less advanced Type-96A.  The older version of the tank was hampered at previous competitions by it’s 780 hp engine, the newer Type-96B has a more powerful 1200 hp engine.  The Wikipedia entry for the Type-96B notes that it features “lighter, more reliable running wheels.”  It’s probably fair to say that perhaps these new roadwheels are not quite as reliable as advertised?

Photos from Defense Blog:


Tank Biathlon 2016

Starting today, The World Championship Tank Biathlon 2016 takes place in Alabino, Russia  running from July 30 until August 15.  The Tank Biathlon World Championship consists of tests of driving, racing and shooting with various vehicles. It features 39 crews from 13 countries, including Russia, Serbia, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Kuwait, Armenia, Belarus and China.  All teams will be using Russian made T-72B3 tank with the exception of China, who bring a tank of their own design (last competition it was a ZTZ-96A), and Belarus, who will be using their own modernized T-72. The individual winners are set to be named on August 6, including three best tank crews. The eight teams will participate in the semi-final relay race on August 13.

For more details, check out articles from Sputniknews.com and Southfront.org.  Southfront.org also has a video version of their article posted below:


ABCNews has a photo gallery from the March regional stage of the Tank Biathlon.

Here is a short videos showing footage from some of the other regional qualifying competitions:

North Korea holds tank biathlon style competition

NKnews.org is reporting that North Korea recently held a tank competition event similar to the Russian Tank Biathlon.  The event was attended by dictator Kim Jong Un and featured a variety of different tank types.  According to Kim Min-seok, senior researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, the majority of the North Korean tanks observed at the event our outdated types no match for modern South Korean armor.

“Most of the tanks seen in the pictures are outdated models,” said Kim. “The tanks in pictures are Chonma-ho Ga(Na) type, PT-72 the amphibious tank and Chonma-ho Ma type. Except for the Chonma-ho Ma type, all the rest are outdated by today’s standards.”

Nonetheless, Kim believes that the Pokpung-ho, the tank shown in the red circle of the photo is formidable adversary.

“This Pokpung-ho Tanks have gone through many phase of modifications to upgrade its defense. Such a model will be able to fight evenly against South Korea’s old tanks such as M4845, however its firepower will still not match that of South Korea’s main tanks such as the K-1 or K1a1.”

Despite the outdated tanks, the rules introduced in this first North Korean tank competition look very similar to the the Tank Biathlon, the Russian tanks competition, Kim said.


Full article here.

T-72 cracked up after hitting brick wall

At some point during the recent Tank Biathlon event in Russia a T-72B3 tank hit a concrete wall while travelling at high speed. The tank suffered serious damage, including cracks to the front hull armor plates.

Russia wins Tank Biathlon

The Russian hosted “Tank Biathlon” concluded this past week and perhaps not unsurprisingly, the Russian team took first place.  NBC News is reporting that Russia won in all 13 categories to remain undisputed champions in the two-week competition.. The host has also won every single challenge since the event’s inception in 2013. Seventeen countries participated this year, including China, India, Venezuela, Angola and Nicaragua.  No Western nation participated and the tanks used in the competition were exclusively T-72B3 tanks with the single exception of China who brought their own Type 96A tank.

Below is a video from RT showing the final relay race event at the Alabino military training grounds.

Nicaragua to buy T-72?

4060858ICR News is reporting that Nicaragua is seriously considering the purchase of T-72B3 tanks following its participation in the Russian hosted “World Tank Biathlon.”  According to the article, Nicaraguan ambassador to Russia said that “We hope that soon our army will receive the T-72. I think we can discuss a purchase.”  Ties between Russia and Nicaragua have been growing, including a visit to Nicaraqua by Russian President Putin last year.  Currently, the heaviest AFV used by the Nicaraguan armed forces is the T-54/55, originally acquired via Bulgaria & Libya.

Full article here.

Tank Biathlon drift flip video

A video shot with a phone has been making the rounds recently showing a T-72 flipping over during the 2015 Tank Biathlon in Russia.  The accident involved a Kuwaiti crew who roll their T-72 over while practicing taking a corner in the style of a drift racer.  The flip occurs at 1:55 into the clip.  Earlier in the clip can be seen an Armenian crewed T-72 stalling out after passing through a water obstacle.

Russia to host “World Championship Tank Biathlon 2015”

The Diplomat is reporting that Russia will host the World Tank Biathlon Championship starting on August 1.  This competition, including tank crews from 17 countries, will take place a the Alabino firing range in the suburbs of Moscow.  Participating countries include Belarus, China, Egypt, India, Nicaragua and Tajikistan as well as others.  All participants save for China will be using T-72B3 tanks.  The Chinese crews will be using their own ZTZ-96A MBT.  Last year, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, and Venezuela participated in the various competitions with Russia coming in first, Armenia second, and China third.  Next to the tank biathlon, there will be a total of 12 other challenges including the “Masters of Air Defense,” “Masters of Artillery Fire,” as well as “Airborne Platoon” competitions. Russia is the only country to participate in all 13 events, according to the event’s website.

Full article here.

Video from Tank Biathlon 2014.