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Arms Galore: Russia's Allies to Roll Out Best Weapons During Int'l Army Games

© Sputnik / Iliya PitalevFrom left: Soldiers from India, Russia and Angola take part in training sessions during the International Army Games-2015 at the Alabino training center in the Moscow Region
From left: Soldiers from India, Russia and Angola take part in training sessions during the International Army Games-2015 at the Alabino training center in the Moscow Region - Sputnik International
With the 3rd International Army Games now less than a month away, Sputnik takes a brief look at the impressive lineup of military hardware the 27 participating countries will be showcasing during the high-profile event.

Type-96A tank

Just like it did in the summer of 2015, China will bring along its Type-96A main battle tanks to compete with Russia’s T-72B3s in the Games’ traditional tank biathlon event.

Introduced in 1997, the Type-96A tank has been gradually replacing the veteran Type-80, Type-85 and Type-88 tanks and, together with the latest Type-99, will become the mainstay of China’s armored forces in the first half of the 21st century.

Chinese army soldiers during the rehearsal of the opening ceremony for the International Army Games 2015 at Alabino base outside Moscow - Sputnik International
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The main armament of the Type 96A consists of a smoothbore 125 mm gun with a Russian-designed 2A46M autoloader. The tank is powered by a liquid-cooled 1,000hp NORINCO diesel engine, which is an upgraded version of Russian tank engines. The Type-96A features arrow-shaped spaced armor modules, added to the front of the turret, and explosive reaction armor plates mounted on the front hull.

The tank also boasts modern fire control and communications systems.

Even though the Type-96As gun is somewhat more accurate than that of Russia’s T-72B3, the latter is faster and more maneuverable.

Indian tank crews will debut during this year’s Army Games riding a T-90S Bhishma, which is an export version of Russia’s T-90 tank.
SR-35 sniper rifle

In another first, four sniper teams from Thailand will take part in the sharpshooters’ contest in Kazakhstan. While most of the participants will be using Russian SVD sniper rifles, the Thais are expected to bring along the US-made SR-25s.

Just like the SVD, the SR-25 utilizes a gas chamber to ensure semiautomatic fire. Fully loaded with 10-cartride magazines, both weapons weigh just over 4.6 kilograms.

Hamzeh corvette

In yet another first, Iranian sailors will be taking part in the Games’ Sea Cup tournament on the Caspian Sea, along with their colleagues from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

The main rule of the game is that none of the participating ships displaces more than 1,000 tons of water or has a crew of more than 60 men.

The 580-ton Hamzeh, armed with a single 20 mm cannon, is the only warship Iran has in the Caspian that meets these requirements.

It was handed over to the navy back in 1965 after spending many years as a royal yacht, and will hardly be able to stand up to Russia’s more advanced missile corvettes.

A solemn opening ceremony of the International Army Games 2015 held at the Alabino training field in the Moscow Region - Sputnik International
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Therefore, Tehran could replace it with Bayandor and Naghdi frigates, which are armed with more powerful 76 mm guns.

The Russian “team” will consist of a pair of 949-ton Grad Sviyash and Uglich small missile corvettes.

Xian H-6K bomber

Military pilots from Russia and China will be the sole participants of this year’s Aviadarts competition, which will be held on Chinese territory.

While the Russian aircraft slated to take part in this year’s event is known to all, the Chinese lineup remains anyone’s guess with the sole exception of the country’s state-of-the-art Xian H-6K bombers; their participation was announced by Zvezda TV.

The Xian H-6K is the latest version of the classic H-6 bomber, based on the Soviet-era Tu-16. Powered by a pair of Russian-made D-30KP2 jet engines, the nuclear-capable H-6K has a range of more than 3,500 kilometers (over 2,170 miles), which makes it a strategic bomber.

According to Russia's Defense Ministry, the International Army Games 2017 will be held this summer on the territory of Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China.

The program of the Games consists of 28 contests, including 5 new ones.

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