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Super M60

Prototype main battle tank

Super M60

The Super M60 upgrade offered dramatically increased combat power

 
 
Entered service -
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 56.3 t
Length (gun forward) 9.5 m
Hull length 7.09 m
Width 4.19 m
Height 2.92 m
Armament
Main gun 105-mm rifled
Machine guns 1 x 12.7, 1 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range - 10 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 63 rounds
Machine guns ~ 600 x 12.7, 6 000 x 7.62-mm
Mobility
Engine Teledyne Continental CR-1790-1B diesel
Engine power 1 180 hp
Maximum road speed 72 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.6 m
Fording 1.2 m

 

   The Super M60, also called "Super 60", was a comprehensive update package for the M60 Patton series tanks, offered in the early 1980s. Though this upgrade package offered M60 users an opportunity to dramatically increase the combat power of their tank fleets, no country ever bought the update, and the program effectively ceased by the end of the Cold War. Only one prototype was built.

   The failure of the Super M60 program was likely due to the lack of immediate necessity for such a vehicle. Wealthier M60 operators could afford newer MBTs like the M1 Abrams and Leopard 2, and had little interest in upgrading older tanks in their inventories. Conversely, M60 users among developing countries were generally at odds with only their economic peers, who could not afford to import and operate threat armor that prompted a significant upgrade.

   The Super M60 is 9.5 m long, 4.19 m wide, 2.92 m tall, weights 56.3 tonnes and has 1kg/cm² of ground pressure. Its other physical attributes are the same as virtually all other M60s. The Super M60 has 0.4 m of ground clearance, can ford 1.2 m of water, climb a 0.9 m vertical obstacle, and tackle a 60% gradient or a 30% slope.

   Propulsion is provided by a Teledyne Continental Motors CR-1790-1B, a 1 180 hp V12 diesel engine, mated to a Renk RK 304 automatic transmission with 4 forward and 4 reverse gears. The power-to-weight ration of the Super M60 is thus 21.53hp/tonne. The suspension of the Super M60 is enhanced over the plain torsion bars of the M60A3 Patton via hydropneumatic struts. The new struts not only smoothen the ride, but also allow the Super M60 to handle well in spite of its considerable weight increase over the original M60 Patton. The Super M60's running gear is the same as that of the M60A3.

   The weapons of the Super M60 are similar to those of the M60A3 Patton, but different models are used. The main gun is an rifled 105-mm/L52 M68A1, the same weapon used on the M1 and IPM1 Abrams, and a further development of the M68 used on previous M60 Pattons. The main gun fires APFSDS, HEAT, HE, HESH, APERS, and WP rounds, and a total of 63 rounds are carried. The 7.62-mm M73 machine gun used on the M60A3 is replaced with a 7.62-mm M240C, though the same number of rounds are loaded. The turreted 12.7-mm M85 appears to have been replaced with a manually-fired 12.7-mm M2HB; its unclear how many rounds of 12.7-mm ammunition are normally carried.

   The electronics package of the Super M60 is largely the same as that of the M60A3, with an AN/VVG-2 laser rangefinder, an AN/VVS-2 thermal imaging system, and an M21 digital ballistic computer.

   Arguably, the most visible enhancement of the Super M60 is its protection. A layer of spaced applique armor is built around the M60 turret, dramatically changing its appearance - M60s are known for rounded turrets, but the Super M60 has an angular one. A layer of laminated steel armor covers the frontal arc, and possibly the sides and/or rear as well. A pair of track skirts have been added (a feature rarely seen on M60 variants), and spall liners as standard. Fire suppression is provided by automatic Halon 1301 extinguishers. NBC protection is provided by the same M13A1 collective system as the M60A3.

   Unit cost of the Super M60 is unknown. Also there are no known variants of this main battle tank.

 

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Super M60

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