Tank biathlon is a mechanized kind of sport invented by the Russian Military. It is supposed to utilize the complex training of tank crews including their rough terrain passing skills combined with the ability to provide accurate and rapid fire whilst on-route.
Tanks go on a three-round route of 6-10 kilometers. During the first round crews fire at targets positioned at a distances of 1800, 1700, 1500 meters. The second round firing is at targets imitating an anti-tank mortar (RPG) squad and an infantry unit - these targets are at a distance of 600—700 meters, and must be engaged with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The third round targeting is at an anti-tank gun and ATGM unit by use of the NSV 12.7mm remotely controlled anti-aircraft Heavy machine gun at a distance of 1200 meters.
Like in usual biathlon firing misses lead to an extra round, 500 meters long. On the final round tanks have to go through various terrain obstacles, here an error (missed or crashed obstacle) lead to a 10-seconds increment to crew’s final timing.
The first such contests ran in several of Russia’s Military Districts with final part taking place at the Alabino proving ground on 2013 August 11—17, with crews from Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia invited for the contest.
On a meeting between heads of Russian Federation and USA defense ministries the American side confirmed its participation in a tank biathlon contest which will eventually take place in 2014. Crews from Armenia, Belarus, Germany, Italy and Kazakhstan have confirmed their participation as well.