M-60 Main Battle Tank equipment made it competitive with the contemporary Soviet tanks. The L7A1 105mm M68 main gun, of British design but built in the United States, was rifled and could fire between six and eight rounds per minute.
The tank carried 63 rounds of main gun ammunition, which could be a mix of any of the following: M728 armor-piercing, discarding sabot-tracer; M735 and M735A1 armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot-tracer; M731, with a tungsten penetrator, and M731A, with the stabaloy penetrator; M774 and M833, both using monobloc stabaloy penetrators; M392A2 armor-piercing, discarding sabot-tracer; M494 antipersonnel-tracer; M456 high-explosive, antitank-tracer; and various
The M-60 Main Battle Tank also carried two machine guns. The commander's cupola was equipped with a .50 caliber M85 antiaircraft machine gun. Mounted coaxially in the hull was the 7.62mm NATO M85, which was replaced with the M240 machine gun.
The M-60 was up-rated to the A3 configuration beginning in 1977, and the first M-60A3s were sent to Europe and issued to the United States 1st Battalion of the 32nd Armor Division in 1979.
Specific improvements included a new AN/WG-2 laser range finder connected to an improved fire control system that used an M21 solid state computer rather than a mechanical one.
The new system allowed either the gunner or the tank commander to fire the main gun. Bore sighting was made incomparably easier with the laser system.
A new track system with replaceable pads was also installed in the M-60A3, as well as a newer, more reliable diesel engine.
An automatic Halon fire extinguisher system, a smoke-screen system using diesel fuel sprayed into the engine manifold, and the M219 smoke grenade launcher were included.
A deep-water fording kit allowed an M-60A3 fitted with a snorkel to traverse water up to 13 feet deep.
The last M-60A3 tank was built for the U.S. Army in 1983. The last of the older M-60A1s was completed for the Marine Corps in 1980. Conversion of all M-60A1s to the M-60A3TTS (tank, thermal sight) model was completed in the early 1990s.
The final version of the M-60, the M-60A3TTS, weighed close to 57 tons, seven tons more than the M-48, which in 1956 was considered too heavy.
Continue to the next page to find specifications for the M-60 Main Battle Tank.
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