I’ve argued that we should stop paying for tanks, basically because the only time we’d use them in a concerted land war against another super power would be during biblical Armageddon.
Well … I was wrong.
Russia held a tank biathlon — between them, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan — and they supposedly challenged the U.S. to one.
Check it out:
Now, here’s the explanation, from Russian news agency, ITAR-TASS:
On the first loop, the crew is to fire three shots from the tank turret to destroy the target from a distance of 1,800, 1,700 and 1,500 kilometers. On the second loop, the crew is to destroy targets imitating hand anti-tank grenade launchers and an infantry group from a coaxial machine-gun at a distance of 600 and 700 meters. On the third loop, the fire is delivered from an anti-aircraft machine-gun at anti-tank guns and anti-tank ground missile launchers at a range of 1,200 meters. Crews that hit all the targets make it to the finish. Crews go on a penalty loop if it fails to destroy the target.
At the final stage, tank drivers will have to ride through impassible areas and overcome various obstacles. The total time increases by 10 seconds if the driver knocks down or touches a post or runs into a hurdle. The total result consists of the general time it takes to cover the distance and extra time imposed as a penalty for failure to fulfil estimated figures when surmounting the obstacles.
NPR reports they were unable to confirm the invitation, which supposedly occurred during two-on-two talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel and their Russian counterparts.
Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported, on the other hand, that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday, “We’ve invited our American colleagues to participate … and our invitation was accepted by US Secretary of Defence [Chuck] Hagel.”
If there’s even an epic challenge that should be accepted, it’s a tank biathlon against Russia.
Now that’s a reason to blow the dust of America’s tanks.
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