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Main battle tank


The 120S has increased lethality and survivability, comparing with M60 Patton series tanks

Entered service -
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 56.2 t
Length (gun forward) 9.54 m
Hull length 6.95 m
Width 3.77 m
Height 3.25 m
Main gun 120-mm smoothbore
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm, 2 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range - 9 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 42 rounds
Machine guns 1 000 x 12.7, 11 400 x 7.62
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-9AR diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 52 km/h
Range 450 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.6 m
Fording 1.2 m


   The 120S main battle tank was developed by General Dynamics as a private venture. It is a follow-on to the M60-2000 MBT. This combat vehicle was aimed at the export customers, especially the Turkish M60 upgrade requirement. Development of the 120S commenced in 2000 and the first prototype was revealed in 2001. This MBT was proposed to possible customers, including Turkey and Egypt, however it received no production orders. The Turkish Army selected the Israeli Sabra upgrade.

   The 120S main battle tank is essentially an upgraded M60 Patton series hull, fitted with complete M1A1 Abrams turret. However the 120S lacks depleted uranium armor, as used on the US Army and Marine Corps M1A1 tanks. The 120S has increased lethality and survivability, comparing with M60 Patton series tanks.

   The M1A1 turret has higher level of protection and is armed with a fully-stabilized M256 120-mm smoothbore gun. This gun was originally developed in Germany by Rheinmetall and is produced in USA under license. It is compatible with a full range of standard NATO ammunition. A total of 42 rounds are carried for the main gun. Ammunition is stored in the turret bustle with blow-out panels for better survivability.

   Fire control system of the 120S enables to engage targets in day/night conditions with high hit probability. The tank can hit targets at a range of more than 4 km.

   Secondary armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, another is mounted over the gunner's hatch. There is also a roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun, mounted over commander's hatch.

   This combat vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   Prototype of the 120S main battle tank is powered by the Continental AVDS-1790 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 750 hp. It is the standard M60 Patton series engine. However production tanks were to be fitted with a more powerful Continental AVDS-1790-9AR turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 200 hp. The same engine is already used on the Israeli Merkava Mk.3 main battle tank. Other engine options, such as German MTU diesel engine, are also available. Engine would be coupled with automatic transmission. Vehicle uses some chassis components of the M1A1 Abrams to coupe with additional weight. Developers claim that a hydropneumatic suspension can be fitted if required.