Chinese team took the lead with obvious advantage in Monday's infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) competition item, "Suvorov Attack" Individual Race, of the International Army Games 2017 (IAG), which is hosted by the Chinese PLA Army in Kolar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
The IAG, commonly known as "Military Olympics," was initiated by Russia in 2015, and is held annually. This year, apart from the founder Russia, the IAG will be hosted by China, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and this is the first time that IAG is taking place outside of Russia.
The opening ceremony of the IAG in China was on Sunday in Kolar and Monday was the first day of competition. The "Suvorov Attack" individual race is a contest among three IFVs from each team at a time. Each country sends three crews (and one in reserve) to attend the competition, and each crew uses one IFV. There are three members in each IFV crew, including a commander, a gunner and a driver. The Russian team is using Russia-made BMP-2 IFV, and other teams are using China-made 86A IFV.
According to the draw, China, Russia and Angola have participated in the individual race of infantry fighting vehicle competition on the first day and Iran, Venezuela and Zimbabwe will attend the second half of the individual race on Friday.
On Monday's race, the Chinese team has achieved excellent results. Three Chinese crews all finished their races in the top three spots. The Russian team ranks just below China, and Angola is in third place.
In the IFV competition, Chinese crews have successfully destroyed all targets in the gun firing competition and passed all obstacles and anti-tank barriers within 17-18 minutes, and the best score was 17:23 minutes. Russian crews finished their rounds in more than 20 minutes and Angola's crews spent more than one hour 40 minutes on average.
However, the final result of the Monday's race has not been officially announced by the press time.
Colonel Xiang Yuanhui of the PLA Army, who is also the commentator of Monday's race, said that Russian team's BMP-2 is very powerful. "For instance, it can run faster than 86A and its target control system is more accurate."
"The Russian team is a very strong opponent and it put heavy pressure on us. The Russian crews are well-trained and their vehicles are also very advanced, so we took the lead today because of our skill and hard training," Wang Kunlong from the 79th Army Group, the commander of the Chinese IFV crew with best performance on Monday, told the Global Times on Monday. He also attended previous IAGs in Russia.
"Compared to the previous game, barriers and obstacles in Kolar are much more difficult than we have experienced in Russia (and on August 12), we will attend the IFV relay race, and this competition is much more intense than the individual race today, and it requires more teamwork. My crew members have confidence to achieve good result on that day," said Wang.
"The Russian crew members are the best competitors that we selected from the Russian tank force through racing, but we didn't bring our champion crews who won the gold medal in previous IAGs. This is their first time to attend IAG," said Lieutenant General Leonov Aleksandar Petrovic, the head of Russian delegation.
"Every team wants to win, but winning is not everything we want from IAG. We want to find our weakness and shortage through the competition, only then can we improve our combat capability," Zhou Songhe, the Deputy Commander of the PLA Army said.