M60 Patton Main Battle Tank

Last updated on February 19th, 2019 at 09:17 pm

The M60 Patton main battle tank is an upgraded version of the M48 Patton medium tank, with a better engine and better armament.

In the late 1950s, the United States decided to improve the engine and the weaponry on the M48.

The engine on the M48 was replaced with a new AVDS-1790 12-cylinder Continental engine in 1957. The 3.5inch (90mm) main gun on the M48 was replaced with a 4.13 inch (105mm) gun the following year.

The new tank was designated the M60 main battle tank.
Spanish M60A3 TTS Patton Main Battle Tank in Egypt
A production order was placed with Chrysler, which was later taken over by General Dynamics, in 1959, and the M60 entered production at the Detroit Tank Arsenal that year.

The first M60 Patton MBTs were completed in 1960.

The M60 has torsion bar suspension.

There are six road wheels and three track return rollers. The idler is at the front and the drive sprocket is in the back.

The engine and transmission are at the rear of the tank.

A four man crew, consisting of a driver, commander, gunner and loader, operates the M60 main battle tank.

The driver sits in the front of the hull. The commander and the gunner sit in the turret on the right, and the loader sits in the turret on the left.

Secondary armament on the M60 consists of a 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun and a 0.5 inch (12.7mm) anti-aircraft gun.

The M60 has NBC protection.

In 1962, the M60 was replaced with a newer variant, the M60A1, which had a new turret, better armor, better suspension and an engine smoke generator.

The M60A1 AVLB is a variant of the M60A1 main battle tank that is used as a bridgelayer.

A combat engineering vehicle, the M728 CEV, was another variant of the M60A1.

The M60A2 MBT, a later variant, had a 5.98 inch (152mm) Shillelagh gun/missile launcher in place of the 4.13 inch (105mm) main gun on the M60 and M60A1.   Four pairs of smoke grenade discharges were also included in the M60A2’s weaponry. The M60A2 entered production in 1966.  Because of problems that developed during production, the first M60A2s were not completed until 1974.

The M60A2 was not a very successful tank design. Many M60A2 MBTs were converted to engineering vehicles and bridgelayers.

The M60A3 main battle tank was introduced in 1979. In this variant, the Shillelagh gun/missile launcher was removed.   The M60A3 had a 4.13 inch (105mm) main gun, like the original M60. The M60A3 also has a turret stabilization system, a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer. The number of pairs of smoke grenade dischargers was increased from four to six.

Version M60A3 TTS is an M60A3 with tank thermal sight.

Many M60A3s were exported other countries around the world.

Israel designed two variants of the M60A3, which they named the Sabra and the Magach.

Israel used the Magach in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The M60A1 and the M60A3 were used during the 1990/1991 Gulf War. Some M60A1 main battle tanks that were used by US Marines in the Persian Gulf in 1991 were fitted with explosive reactive armor.

More than 15,000 tanks in the M60 series were built before production ended in 1987.

The M60 was the US Army’s main battle tank until it was replaced by the M1 Abrams.

Although the M60 Patton main battle tank is no longer in service in the United States, it is still in service in many countries around the world, including, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia,  Yemen, Turkey, Israel,  Spain and Brazil.

General Dynamics offers a conversion kit to operators of old M60 Patton main battle tanks that  allows the turret of an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank,  along with the M1A1’s 4.72 inch (120mm) M256 smoothbore gun, to be fitted onto an existing M60 hull.

An upgraded powerplant and many of the capabilities of the Abrams, including a computerized fire control system are also included in the upgrade kit. The hybrid tank, which is known as the M60-2000 or the 120S main battle tank, can be fitted with either the advanced torsion bar suspension of the M1 Abrams or with a new hydropneumatic suspension.


M60A3 Patton Main Battle Tank

Active: M60:1960; M60A3: 1979
Crew: 4
Weight: 52 tons (52,671kg)
Length: 22ft 9in (6.9m), 30ft 11in (9.4m) with gun forwards
Height: 10ft 8in (3.3m)
Width: 11ft 10in (3.6m)
Weapons: Main – 4.13in (105mm) gun, Secondary – 1 x 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun, 1 x 0.5 inch (12.7mm) anti-aircraft gun, 6 pairs smoke grenade dischargers
Armor Maximum – estimated 4.72 in (120mm)
Engine: General Dynamics Land Systems AVDS-1790-2C 12-cylinder air-cooledd diesel, 750hp
Speed: 30 mph (48kph)
Range: 298 miles (480 km)