|Manufacturer:||General Dynamics Land Systems - GDLS|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Modernization of the vehicle|
General Dynamics Land Systems, prime contractor for the M1/M1A1/M1A2 Abrams series Main Battle Tank (MBT), covered in detail in a separate entry, is marketing a new export version of the M60 series MBT called the M60-2000.
As a result of the end of the Cold War and the downsizing of the US Army, large numbers of M60A3/M60A3 TTS (Tank Thermal Sight) MBTs have been passed onto other countries including Egypt, Greece, Portugal and Turkey.
Over 25 countries still deploy the M60 series MBT and most will continue to operate these well into the 21st century. Full details of the M60 MBT are given in the entry for General Dynamics Land Systems M60 series of MBT.
General Dynamics Land Systems envisages that for the M60-2000 MBT it would supply or co-produce the key subsystems which would then be assembled and integrated into the user's own facilities.
The M60-2000 is aimed at those countries which have an existing fleet of M60 MBTs and have the industrial capability to undertake an upgrade of this type.
General Dynamics Land Systems has already briefed Greece, Egypt and Turkey on the M60-2000 with the first prototype expected to be completed in mid-2001.
The M60-2000 MBT consists of an upgraded M60 MBT chassis fitted with the combat proven turret of the M1A1 MBT armed with a 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun. Full details of these two elements are given under separate entries elsewhere in this section.
Compared with the M60 MBT on which it is based, the M60-2000 MBT has major improvements in the key areas of survivability, lethality and mobility.
According to the company, the M1A1 turret equipped with the latest non-DU armour and full ammunition compartmentalisation makes the M60-2000 configuration the only truly survivable M60 MBT upgrade available.
The M1A1 turret has a stabilised 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and 7.62 and 12.7 mm roof mounted machine guns. Mounted either side of the turret is a M250 electrically operated smoke grenade launcher system.
A computerised fire-control system is fitted with the gunner having a day/thermal (first or second generation) sighting system. This enables stationary and moving targets to be engaged under day and night conditions while the M60-2000 MBT is stationary or moving with a high first round hit probability.
A total of 36 rounds of 120 mm ammunition are carried of which all are compartmentalised in the turret bustle.
The 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun is the German Rheinmetall gun manufactured under licence in the US at Watervliet Arsenal with a number of improvements including a new US designed breech mechanism.
Ammunition for this 120 mm weapon is available from many countries including France, Germany, Israel and the US which is already investing considerable amounts in the ammunition natures for the 21st century.
For the actual upgrade the complete 105 mm turret of the M60 MBT is removed and discarded. The chassis is then stripped down and a new power pack and suspension installed.
The powerpack consists of the General Dynamics Land Systems AVDS-1790-9A diesel engine developing 1,200 hp coupled to the Allison X1105-5 automatic transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. The X1105-5 is a further development of the X1100-3B installed in the M1 series MBT. This power pack has already undergone extensive trials in a high-performance M60 armoured bridgelayer which was also fitted with a new General Dynamics Land Systems hydropneumatic suspension system.
The M60-2000 MBT has a combat weight of 56.25 tonnes and a power-to-weight ratio of 21.3 hp/tonne with an acceleration of from 0 to 32 km/h in 9.2 seconds.
The suspension is from the M1A1 or a General Dynamics Land Systems hydropneumatic (External Suspension System) can be fitted which gives an improved ride across rough terrain. The existing road wheels and drive sprocket are replaced by M1A1 components and new armoured side skirts are fitted.
Although the M60-2000 MBT has an M1A1 turret, in the future this turret could be upgraded with Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV) to allow hunter/killer target engagements to take place.