Country of origin
Dimensions and weight
Length (gun forward)
105 mm rifled
1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
- 10 to + 20 degrees
6 000 x 7.62 mm, 900 x 12.7 mm
Continental AVDS-1970-2 diesel
Maximum road speed
Fording (with preparation)
of the M60 Patton began in 1957. It was designed to counter the threat
posed by the Soviet T-54 and
medium tanks, that were superior in all aspects to the US M48 medium
tanks. First prototypes were built in
1958-1959. The M60
was the first Main Battle Tank (MBT), built in the United
States. It was designed around a new concept of general-purpose
medium tank, that had the firepower of a heavy tank and a weight and
mobility of a medium tank. At that time anti-tank weapons outpaced
armor development. By the 1960s anti-tank rounds could easily
penetrate up to a meter of steel, so importance of heavy tanks was
diminishing. The new US main battle tank was well armed and well
armored, highly mobile, yet it was cheap enough to be built in large
numbers. Production contract was awarded to Chrysler for a first batch of 180 MBTs.
Production of the M60 commenced in 1960 at the Detroit Tank Plant. However the
version was produced only for 2 years. In 1962 it was replaced in
improved M60A1 MBT. Introduction of the M60 Patton soon made the
heavy US tanks obsolete. The definitive version was the M60A3. It
was adopted by the US Army in 1978. Production of the M60 series ceased in 1987.
More than 15 000 of M60 series tanks and variants were produced for
the US Army and export
customers. A number of these tanks were exported to US allies and
remain operational to this day. Foreign operators include Israel (1
400 MBTs of various models), Egypt (700 M60A1 and 1 016 M60A3), Iran
(approximately 200 M60A1), Italy (300 M60A1), Saudi Arabia (450
M60A1 and M60A3), Australia (170 M60A3), Turkey, Taiwan, and a
number of other countries.
In terms of
design the M60 is a further development of the M48
medium tank. It has similar outlines as the M48. A number of components were carried over from the M48A2. However the M60 featured significantly improved armored
protection, more powerful armament and engine. Also this tank had
many advanced equipment.
tank has a cast homogenous steel armor hull and turret. The M60 was
better protected than the previous M48. New commander's cupola with
heavy machine gun was added.
model (sometimes referred as M60A0) had the M48 turret. However it
was fitted with a more powerful M68 105 mm rifled gun. It was a British L7
tank gun, license-produced in the the United States. At the time the L7 was a standard NATO tank gun.
It was used on contemporary tanks, such as
AMX-30 and German
of the M60 could be replaced in field conditions. The M60 could
penetrate 120 mm of rolled homogenous armor at a range of 2 000 meters. A total of 60
rounds of 5 types were carried for the main gun. These include APFSDS, APDS, HEAT, HESH and smoke
armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. There is also a 12.7 mm
heavy machine gun, mounted in the commanders cupola. It is fired
under full armor protection.
tanks were fitted with a searchlight over the main gun.
The M60 was
the first US tank, fitted
a with diesel engine. Previous US tanks were powered by petrol
engines. The M60 was fitted with a Continental AVDS-1790-2 diesel engine, developing
750 horsepower. This engine can be replaced in field conditions
hours. The M60 tank has a torsion bar-type suspension, which is
made up of six road wheels with the idler at the rear, with three
track return rollers.
Patton and its variants could accept a variety of combat engineer equipment, including mine rollers, mine plows, and dozer blades.
These allow the tank to proof, breach, or clear minefields
while in contact with the enemy. Dozer blades also allow for many
other capabilities, such as clearing debris, cutting roads in
contested terrain, digging entrenchments and other earthworks.
operators of the M60 Patton MBT locally applied a number of
improvements to their tanks in order to increase their
M60A0 is an
initial production version of the M60. It was produced only for 2
years between 1960 and 1962, when production switched to the improved
M60A1 is an
improved version, produced since 1962. It was
fitted with a new turret, which was better protected. Ammunition load
was increased by 3 rounds to 63 rounds. An explosive reactive armor
kit was developed for the US army tanks, however it was not fielded
by the US Army. Though this kit was used by the US Marines during
operations in the Middle East in 1991.
gun stabilization to the series (AOS stand for Add-On
Stabilization). It appeared in 1972.
is a further improved version, fitted with a Continental
AVDS-1790-2G RISE diesel engine. This was a more capable engine with
longer service life. This version appeared in 1975.
fitted with gun/missile armament. This tank was nicknamed Starship
due to its sophisticated technology. It was developed as a force
multiplier for units, operating the Patton MBTs. It had a new turret
an M162 152 mm gun/missile launcher. A similar gun was previously
used on an M551
tank. This gun could fire both ordinary munitions and MGM-51
Shillelagh anti-tank guided missiles.
The M60A2 entered service
with the US Army in 1972. A total of 526 (other sources mention 540)
of these tanks were built. However the M60A2 proved to be a failure
and was soon withdrawn from active service,
but were still operated by reserve units for some time. Later most
of M60A2 tanks were rebuilt to the M60A3. Some hulls were converted
bridgelayers and armored engineer vehicles.
a further improved version of the M60A1. It was adopted by the US
Army in 1978. Several improvements were incorporated into the M60A3
beginning in 1980, including the Tank Thermal Sight (TTS) and steel roadwheels, which were gradually back-fitted
into most of the preceding M60A3s, along with many M60A1s as well.
This tank featured new fire
control system and had significantly improved fire accuracy. Its hit probability
for a stationary tank-size target, located 2 000 m away was 70%,
while the M60A1 had hit probability for the same target of only 23%.
Unreliable coaxial M219 7.62 mm machine gun was replaced by a much
machine gun. Main gun was fitted a thermal sleeve. Protection of the M60A3
was slightly improved by adding Kevlar spall liner to the turret.
The tank was also fitted with
smoke grenade dischargers. The M60A3's appearance is almost
indistinguishable from the M60A1. Key indicators are a crosswind
sensor mounted atop the turret bustle, a cluster of
smoke grenade dischargers on either side of the glacis plate, and a thermal
sleeve wrapped around the gun tube in front
of the fume extractor. Some M60A1s were back-fitted these as well, but no
M60A3s are ever without them. A total of 7 948 M60A3 tanks were
newly-built and over 5 400 older M60A1 tanks were upgraded to the
M60A3 standard. Production of the M60A3 finally ended in 1987. The
US Marines never operated M60A3s, although some of its systems
(notably the RISE powerpack and TTS sights) were back-fitted into
the US Marine Corps M60A1s. By 2016, the largest users of the M60A3
were Egypt (1 016, plus 700 older M60A1 tanks), Turkey (658, plus
104 M60A1 RISE and 170 M60T), Taiwan (450), Saudi Arabia (450),
Morocco (427), Bahrain (180) and Thailand (125).
CEV armored engineer vehicle (312 built). It is based on a modified M60A1
chassis. The main gun was replaced with a 165 mm demolition gun.
AVLB armored bridgelayer (400 built). It is based on a modified M60A1 chassis.
mine clearing vehicle.