|Manufacturer:||I.M.I. Israel Military Industries Ltd|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
Development of the HVMS 60 began as an in-house programme around 1977. Initially it started as a collaboration between the Israel Military Industries which undertook ammunition development and Otobreda (at that time Otomelara) of Italy which provided a test barrel and necked-down 76 mm cartridge case. A possible joint effort in gun development by Israel Military Industries and turret and automatic loader development by Otobreda was envisaged.
However, this joint effort did not materialise and both companies have now developed their own ammunitions, guns and applications.
As far as it is known this 60 mm weapon has not entered operational service with the Israeli Defence Force.
Details of the Italian Otobreda 60 mm High-velocity Gun System are given later in this section under Italy. As of mid-1999, the Italian version also remained at the prototype stage.
The HVMS weapon system is designed primarily for infantry support and can be mounted on relatively light vehicles such as the United Defense M113 APC type to increase the firepower available to infantry units.
In addition to being used against armoured vehicles, the HVMS 60 can also be used to engage helicopters and fortified field positions.
The HVMS has a 60 mm autofrettaged barrel with a fume extractor about halfway along the length of the barrel. The breech mechanism is of the vertical block type, and firing is electrical. A hydrospring recoil system is fitted around the barrel to allow easy barrel replacement in the field without special tools.
The gun is installed in a two-man welded steel turret designed by Israel Military Industries with an inner diameter of 1,500 mm and a total weight of about 2,200 kg.
Several other installations have been developed by replacing the original guns in light tanks, for example the M24, to increase and modernise their firepower. A prototype towed system has also been developed.
Two types of loading system are under development. One version is recoil powered and has two three-round magazines mounted on the gun. This loader allows firing of a three-round burst in 3 seconds or semiautomatic fire. The other system is hydraulicaliy power assisted.
Israel Military Industries has developed a two-man turret for this weapon, details are given in the AFV turrets and cupolas section later in this volume. As far as is known this turret remains at the prototype stage.
Early in 1987 production of this weapon had begun for export, installed in a Sherman tank. Chile has installed this weapon in a number of its M24 Chaffee light tanks. In the Sherman application a new mantlet and new ammunition racks are needed. It is not known which of the two loading systems was adopted for the Sherman application, although it could be a manual loading system. The two-man turret version has been installed and demonstrated on various existing APCs including the M113 and the Marder 1. As far as is known this weapon has not been adopted by the Israeli Defence Force.