MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Defense Ministry is going to continue holding international competitions in addition to Aviadarts for air force fliers and Tank Biathlon World Championship for tank crews, a similar naval contest will be held on the Caspian Flotilla next year.
Russian Armed forces have held a number of international military skills competitions in 2014, including Aviadarts and Tank Biathlon, which pitted contestants in aircraft and tank crews from around the world against each other.
Next year, Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to expand its global military competition credentials by holding an international Navy contest in the Caspian Sea.
The Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla is to hold an international naval competition in 2015, the Secretary of the CIS Council of Defense Ministers Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Sinaysky told the press. Sinaysky did not clarify what exactly the competition involves or which countries are to take part.
In July, Russia’s Defense Ministry held a “Baltic Naval Derby 2014”competition for coastal navy troops. Crews from all Russian fleets – the Northern, Baltic, Pacific, Black Sea and Caspian Flotilla took part in the event.
A month earlier, the “Sea Cup-2014” competition was held in St Petersburg to determine the best submarine and surface vessel commanders in the navy.
In late July, the Aviadarts-2014 international air force competition was held in Russia’s Voronezh and Lipetsk regions. The 39 best crews from Russia, Belarus and China showed off their piloting, navigation and ground target engagement skills.
The 2015 competition is also likely to include crews from Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Brazil also received an invitation to next year’s Avidarts contest and is currently considering the offer. The South American country’s defense attaché in Russia, Marco Antonio de Freitas Coutinho, told RIA Novosti that the Brazilian military is enthusiastic about the prospect, and that the crews will compete in Russian aircraft, if the country participates.
The 2014 Tank Biathlon world championship, held in Alabino, a town near Moscow, on August 4-16, proved to be of an even larger scale. Tank crews from Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Mongolia and Serbia were among the contestants.
Tank biathlon is a Russian invention similar to regular biathlon, with competing teams testing their driving skills and shooting at targets simulating tanks and low-flying helicopters.
“These contests are great experience for the competing teams. It’s a strong experience for me, personally. I hope we will learn a lot from this,” Egypt’s military attaché in Russia Brig. Gen. Khalid Sabri said.
A total of 70,000 people attended the Tank Biathlon competition. Spectators also had a chance to familiarize themselves with the latest military hardware prototypes.
HE WHO LEARNS WINS
The holding of large-scale military competitions is primarily aimed at boosting the armed forces’ prestige, Lt.Gen. Evgeny Buzhinsky, the former head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s international cooperation department, told RIA Novosti. Buzhinsky added that it is a good opportunity to demonstrate the army’s combat training skills to foreign militaries.
“It’s a good chance to show oneself, one’s hardware, to the countries that we develop strategic interaction with in the first place,” Buzhinsky stressed.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the creation of a group of experts to analyze the performance of military hardware at the Tank Biathlon and Aviadarts competitions. The minister said all the remarks made by the competitions’ participants will be grouped into a single list of proposals and passed on to military industry representatives.