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Tank Biathlon Championship Event for Russia to Show Weapons
   2014-08-17 16:31:22    CCTV.com      Web Editor: Fu Yu

A Kuwaiti crew on board of a T-72B tank competes in the pursuit stage of the 2014 Tank Biathlon World Championship in Alabino testing site, Russia on August 11, 2014. [Photo: Imagine China]

The 2014 World Tank Biathlon Championship, which concluded on Saturday, has actually become an event for Russia to show and advertise its weapons, said a Russian expert.

Viktor Ivanovich, an adviser with Russia's Military-Industrial Commission, made the remarks in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) on Saturday.

Some media criticized this year's competition as Russia used the improved T-72 tank while other countries still adopted the old T-72 tanks. Ivanovich said that in fact Russia may tend to show the ability of the improved T-72 tank rather than test the abilities of tank drivers during the test.

"Russia is showing some of its newest military devices to some countries planning on enhancing their own military strength. And one major event is the show of Russian-made modernized T-72B3 tanks, that is to say, many clients for Russian-made weapons had an opportunity to test such a tank through this competition," said Ivanovich.

It was learned that T-72 tank was designed in the 1970s with a production of more than 20,000. The T-72 tank did not perform well in some regional battles in recent years due to its old-fashioned systems. Russia actually tried to show the improved T-72 tank to clients at this year's competition.

"According to the current situation, only the tank competition can be held for seven, eight or even ten times. Only at that time can such competitions promote the export of Russia's munitions and weapons," said Ivanovich.

The 2014 World Tank Biathlon Championship ran from August 4-16, with 12 countries participating. China finished this year's competition in third place.

The Tank Biathlon, which is similar to the biathlon event in the Olympics, was invented by the Russian military. The first international competition was held in August 2013 in Alabino with participating teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

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