M60 Patton Tank
Variants: M60; M60E1; M60E2; M60A1; M60A1E1; M60A1E2; M60A1E3; M60A1E4; M60A2; M60A2; M60A3; M728;

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M60 Patton tank
Specifications
  M48 M60
Length: 21 ft (6.4 m) 22 ft 9 in (6.9 m)
Width: 11 ft 11 in (3.6 m) 11 ft 11 in (3.6 m)
Height: 10 ft 1 in (3.1 m) 10 ft 8 in (3.3 m)
Weight: 52 t 57.3 t
Speed: 40 mph (64 km/h) 30 mph (48 km/h)
Range: 258 mi (415 km) 280 mi (450 km)
Primary
armament:
90 mm rifled tank gun, or 105 mm M68 rifled gun (M48A5) 105 mm gun
Secondary
armament:
0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine gun, 7.62 mm machine gun 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine gun, 7.62 mm machine gun
Power plant: 690 hp (510 kW) gasoline (later diesel) 750 hp (560 kW) diesel
Crew: 4 4

Content:
1 The M47/M48
1.1 M48 combat service
2 The M60
2.1 M60 combat service
3 Variants
3.1 Israeli variants

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The M47/M48
In October 1950, Detroit Arsenal began work on a new medium tank that featured a 90 mm gun and would replace the M26 Pershing tanks of the late- and post-WW2 period. The first tank developed was named the M47 and production began in 1952. The Army took delivery of the first vehicles in 1953 and the tank was dubbed the M48 Patton.

The tank was a new design compared to the tanks of World War II, with greater protection from anti-tank weapons and much larger than any previous U.S. medium tank.

Nearly 12,000 M48s were built from 1952 to 1959. The early designs were powered by gasoline engines which gave the tank a short operating range and were prone to catching fire when hit. This version was considered unreliable and unfit for service. In 1959, the M48s were upgraded to the M48A3 model which featured a diesel power plant.

In the mid-1970s, the M48A5 upgrade was developed to allow the vehicle to carry the heavier 105 mm gun. This was designed to bring the M48s up to speed with the M60 tanks then in regular use. Most of the M48s were put into reserve service by this time.

By the mid-1990s, the M48s were phased out of U.S. service. However, many foreign countries continue to use the M-48 models.

M48 combat service
The M48s saw action during the Vietnam War, as did another variant, the M67A2 flamethrower tank. The M48s performed admirably in Vietnam in the infantry-support role. As there were few actual tank vs. tank battles, the M48s provided adequate shelter for its crew from small arms, mines and RPGs.

M47s and M48s were first used in tank warfare by Pakistan against Indian Centurion and M4 Sherman tanks in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War with poor results, although this was largely due to superior Indian tactics and crew ability. It was later used in limited numbers in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 with similar results. Infact there was a place in Khem Karan in India called Patton Nagar that held the 60 odd tanks that were destroyed or captured before the war trophies were relocated.

M48s were also used with mixed results during the 1967 Six-Day War. On the Sinai front, Israeli M48s were used with stunning success against Egyptian T-54s and T-34s supplied by the Soviet Union. However, on the West Bank front, Jordanian M48s were regularly outclassed by Israeli WWII-era M4 Shermans, the result of superior Israeli tactics and crews. The Israeli Army captured about 100 of these Jordanian M48 and M48A1 tanks and pressed them into their own service after the war.

M60
In 1957, it was determined that the Soviets were in the process of developing a new medium tank, the T-54, with a 100 mm gun, superior to that of the American M48 tank. In response, an M48 tank was fitted with a new engine and later with a British 105 mm L7 series gun. This new vehicle (originally designated M68) was put into production in 1959, reclassified as the M60 and entered service in 1960. Over 15,000 M60s (all variants) were constructed.

In 1963, the M60 was upgraded to the M60A1. This new variant, which stayed in production until 1980, featured a larger, better-shaped turret and improvements to the armor protection and shock absorbers.

The M60A2 featured an entirely new low-profile turret with a commander's machine-gun cupola on top, giving the commander a good view and field of fire while under armour but spoiling the low profile. It also featured a 152 mm calibre main gun similar to that of the M551 Sheridan light tank, which fired regular rounds as well as the Shillelagh anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). There were a number of problems with the new gun (such as unburnt propellent from the missile fouling the tube and pre-detonating subsequent rounds), most of which were solved to some extent, but after all the problems the A2 model was abandoned and the turret for the A3 would be based on that of the A1. Most of the M60A2 tanks were rebuilt to M60A3 standard.

In 1978, work began on the M60A3 variant. It featured a number of technological enhancements, including smoke dischargers, a new rangefinder and ballistic computer and a turret stabilization system. All American M60s eventually underwent the conversion to the A3 model.

M60 combat service
The M60 first saw some action in the Vietnam War with the Marine Corps. Later the Marine Corps also used the M60A1 variant in Operation Desert Storm in opposition to the Soviet-supplied Iraqi T-72 tanks which were comparable, if slightly better-gunned than the M60s. The M60A1s supported the effort into Kuwait City.

A few M60s and M60A1s also saw action with Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War in both the Sinai and the Golan Heights. The United States sent additional M60s to Israel just before and during hostilities. Following the war, the IDF received many more M48s, M60s and M60A1s from the U.S..

Israel further upgraded their stock of M60s prior to their use in the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 as part of Operation Peace for Galilee. The Israeli modifications included new tracks and explosive reactive armor (ERA). This variant was known as the Magach 6B. Further work in Israel has been done on the upgraded Magach 6 models, adding new armor, new fire controls, a thermal sleeve and smoke dischargers. This model, the Magach 7 (with variants A through C) is still in use with the IDF.

M60 versions are in service as of 2005 with Argentina, Austria, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and some others to varying degrees. Also, US continues to have significant stockpiles of them waiting to be scrapped, sold-off, or converted, though some versions that use the chassis see some use still.

Variants

AB1 - Jordanian armoured recovery vehicle.
AB9B1 - Jordanian upgrade with 120mm smoothbore gun.
Alacran CZ-10/25E - Spanish army combat engineer variant.
Alacran CZ-10/30E
AVLB - 60 foot scissors bridge on M60A1 chassis.
CM-11 - Taiwanese version consisting of M48H turret and M60 hull and fitted with ERA.
E-60 - mostly unmodified M60 variant(s) in Israeli service.
M9 - Bulldozer and earthmoving equipment added to M60.
M60 (early) - supplied initially with no commanders sub-turret weapon.
M60 (main production)- fully equipped version.
M60/T-84 Hybrid - M60 using T-84 components.
M60 Interim - some changes over main production version
M60 Super (early) - Uparmoured version with a number of small improvements.
M60 Super (main) - modified early with no optical rangefinder ports.
M60E1 - Long nose turret prototype.
M60E2 - Experimental version with driver in turret and armed with Shillelagh and 20 mm cannon.
M60A1 - Long nose turret.
M60A1E1 (aka M66) - experimental Shillelagh armed version with three cupolas.
M60A1E2 - experimental Shillelagh armed version with high commanders cupola.
M60A1E3 - prototype, M60A1E2 fitted with 105 mm gun.
M60A1E4 - Experimental type with remote control weapons.
M60A2 - Production version with Shillelagh.
M60A2 (Experimental) - Remote-control 20 mm cannon added/tested.
M60A3 - upgraded version of the M60A1.
Also one version upgraded with KADDB armor.
USMC version, with reactive armor. USed in ODS
M728 - Combat engineer version.
M728A1 - Upgraded version
Magach - a whole series of improved Israeli versions.
Mazin - Jordanian modified M60A3.
Panther I - M60 modified into a remotely controlled mine clearing tank.
Sabra - another Israeli version, uparmoured.
VLPD 26/70E - Spanish Army bridgelayer based on the M60 with Leguan bridge system.
XM60 - M48 with hemispherical turret.

Israeli variants

Israel created an extensive number of variants of the series from tanks acquired initially from a number of sources, including capturing them in battle, or from other countries such as Germany and the United States.

E-48
E-48 AVLB - a M48 AVLB but with a Israeli bridge.
E-48 (M48A2) - basically unmodifed M48A2 from Germany
E-48 (M48A2C)- basically unmodifed M48A2C from Germany
E-48 (M48A3) - basically unmodifed M48A3 from USA
M-60
E-60 - basically unmodifed main production M60
E-60A - basically ummodified M60A1
E-60A Dozer - version with M9 bulldozer kit installed
E-60B - basically unmodified M60A3
Magach 1 - improved M48, upgraded with Urdan cupola and 105 mm gun
Magach 2 - M60 with Urdan cupola
Magach 3 - M60A1/3 with urdan cupola
Magach 4 - version with Blazer ERA
Magach 5 - Magach 1 with Blazer ERA
also version of 5 with Blazer ERA and SGD
Magach 6 - Magach-2 with Blazer ERA
Magach 6 Batash - prototype vehicle for the Magach-7D armour
Magach 6A - Magach 3 with thermal sleeve and M60A1 rubber track
also version of this with both Blazer ERA and SGD
Magach 6B - Magach 6A with Merkava track, improved sight, Blazer and SGD (smoke grenade discharger)
Magach 6B Gal - prototype vehicle for the Magach-7D FCE system
Magach 6C / Magach 9 / Sabra - upgraded M60A3
Magach 6D / Sabra II - upgraded Sabra I with SGD
Magach 6M - Magach-6R with FCS, crosswind sensor, thermal sleeve, and merkava tracks
Magach 6R - Magach-6 with new gun stabiliser system
Magach 7
Magach 7A - Fixed flat mantlet cover with gun 'slots', flat sides to turret
Magach 7B - Fixed angled mantlet cover with gun 'slots', angled sides to turret
Magach 7C - Fixed angled mantlet cover with gun 'slots', flat sides to turret
Magach 7D (renamed Magach 8) - Movable angled mantlet, angled sides to turret

Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 

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