U.S. Marines M60A1 Patton
The object of war is not to die
for your country
but to make the other damn bastard
die for his country.
--General George S.Patton--
The M60A1 was the principal production model from 1963 to 1980) with the British-designed L7 105mm rifled gun with thermal sleeve and fume extractor (63 rounds). Other than the new turret design, little was done to the basic M60 chassis excepting minor changes in hull fittings. The new variant, under the designation M60A1, was able to be placed in production relatively quickly, and without serious problems. The first M60A1s were issued to regular army units during the spring of 1962, less than 2 years after the first M60s. Following introduction of the M60A1 into American service, it was supplied to U.S. allies, including Austria, Iran, Israel, Jordan and Italy.
The M-60A1 had a redesigned wedge-shaped turret with better ballistic protection, and a new mount for the M68 105mm main gun. Early vehicles had no gun stabilization system, but later this was retrofitted, and by the mid-70s most were so equipped. This vehicle became the mainstay of the US Army's tank force through the 1960s and into the early 70s. The M68 105mm gun in the M60 tank is a modified British L7 weapon, utilizing an American vertical sliding breech block. This same weapon was also used in the M1 Abrams tank, before it was swapped for a new 120mm gun in the M1A1/A2. Weighing 58 tons (52,617 kg) and with a crew of four -- commander, gunner, loader, and driver -- the M60A1 has as its main armament a 105mm gun. The M60 turret is organized in typical American fashion, with the gunner on the right, the commander directly behind him, and the loader on the left and rear of the 105mm gun. The turret interior is roomy in comparison to most other main battle tanks of the 1960s era.
The ultimate development of the M-60A1 was the M-60A1 RISE Passive (RISE= Reliability Improved Selected Equipment). These were rebuilt M-60a1s, with added passive "starlight" imagers for the driver, gunner and commander. Other improvements included the AVDS-1790-2C RISE engine which helped to boost engine power. Also added were a battery of smoke dischargers on either side of the turret, much in the fashion of the Chieftain tank. Some models were retrofitted locally, and the control cable ran up the side of the turret, protected by small strips of thin armor plate, and then entered the turret near the searchlight mount. Those rebuilt at higher echelon depots had holes for the cables bored directly through the armor on the side. These vehicles were quickly supplied to frontline units overseas, such as in Germany, being deployed by early 1979. One batch of vehicles were shipped with a significant flaw in the bolts holding the torsion bar housing to the hull. These vehicles went to 3rd AD and needed additional work afterwards to repair.
Going into Desert Shield, the Marines' main battle tank was the M6OA1, an improvement, several generations removed, of the M48 tank of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Retrofitted with applique armor, it is considered roughly equal to, if lesser-gunned than the best tank in the Iraqi inventory, the much-vaunted Soviet T-72. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force fielded 210 M60A1s to support the Saudi-Marine effort into Kuwait City.
The Marine Corps fielded the M1A1 Common Tank to replace the aging M60A1 Rise/Passive tank. The M60 has reached the end of its service life and lacks the capability to survive and to defeat the threats expected to be encountered on the modern battlefield.
105-mm Tank Ammunition
The Army uses alloyed depleted Uranium [DU] in the 105 millimeter (mm) kinetic energy cartridges. The M1 and M60 series tanks use the 105 mm cartridge; the Army also planned to use the 105 mm in the main gun of the XM8 Armored Gun System. Currently, there is no 105mm tank ammunition production.
The Stryker Mobile Gun System [MGS] will employ four types of 105mm tactical ammunition. High explosive/high explosive plastic (HE/HEP) ammunition will destroy hardened enemy bunkers, machinegun and sniper positions, and create openings in walls through which infantry can pass. Kinetic energy (KE) ammunition will be employed to destroy a variety of Level II armored vehicles. High explosive, anti-tank (HEAT) ammunition is well suited to defeat a variety ofthin-skinned vehicles and provide fragmentation effects. Finally, anti-personnel (canister) ammunition will defeat attacking dismounted infantry in the open. HE/HEP, KE and HEAT each have or will have complementary training ammunition.
M60 Series Tank (Patton Series)
The M60 series tank succeeded the M47 and M48 Series. The improved design provided an increased operational range and mobility, requiried a minimum of refueling and servicing, and incorporated an improved main armament. A Continental V-12 750 hp. air cooled diesel engine powers the vehicle. Power is transmitted to a final drive through a cross drive transmission, which is a combined transmission, differential, steering, and braking unit. The hull of this vehicle is a one piece steel casting and is divided into two compartments, the crew in the front, and the engine at the rear.
Production on the M60 Patton began in 1960, but only after a decade of effort to tweak and contort World War II-vintage Pershings into something more than they were designed for. The Pershing got a new power train and was dubbed the Patton in 1950, an obvious naming choice with GEN George S. Patton Jr., a Blackjack Pershing protégé, transformed by death into an icon. The M46 then got a new turret, 90mm gun, and fire control system to become the second Patton tank, the M47.
A whole new tank was contracted to Chrysler. The crew was reduced to four; enhancements were made to the fire control system; the hull was recast, but the same M47 powerpack was used, resulting in the M48. It wasn’t until 1959 that a variant of the M48 — with a diesel engine, new front hull, higher profile, and a 105mm cannon — proved to be different enough to warrant a new number; and the M60 was born.
By the 1990s the M60 Patton main battle tank was primarily found in US Reserve and National Guard units, but it served as the primary US main battle tank for two decades prior to the introduction of the M1. Developed from the M48 Patton series, the M60 was fitted with a 105mm main gun and manned by a four-man crew. Criticized for its high profile and limited cross-country mobility, this durable tank proved reliable and underwent many updates over its service life. Rarely has one vehicle type labored as the principle main battle tank for as long as the stalwart M60. The interior layout, based on the excellent design of the M26/46/47/M48, provided ample room for updates and improvements, extending the vehicle's service life for over four decades.
In the early 1950s, reports from British intelligence indicated the Soviets had developed a new heavily armored medium tank, the T-54. This new tank was armed with a 100mm gun, superior to the American M48 medium tank, which used an old 90mm main weapon developed in WWII. In response, the US developed a strategy to bring the M48 up a level to compete with the new Soviet tank -- the M60. Initially produced in 1960, over 15,000 M60s were built by Chrysler and first saw service in 1961. Production ended in 1983, but 5,400 older models were converted to the M60A3 variant ending in 1990. This tank saw action with the Israeli forces during the Yom Kippur War in both the Sinai and the Golan Heights.
Besides its main gun, the M60 series tanks are equipped with a 7.62mm M240 coaxial machine gun and 12.7mm M85 antiaircraft gun. Power is provided by a Continental AVDS-1790-2C 750 hp V-12 engine and an Allison CD-850-6/6A powershift crossdrive transmission. The first M-60s retained a turret similar to the M-48, but had a revised hull with better ballistic protection. The M60 tank hull was designed with a unique rounded boat shape, made from five cast pieces that combine to provide excellent ballistic protection for the four crew and equipment packed inside.
The army ordered the M60 into production in 1959 and the first M60s entered service with U.S. Army units during the fall of 1960. Most of the initial production vehicles were sent to Europe to offset the Russian T-54, then coming into widespread service with Warsaw pact armies. While it was an improvement over the M48, especially in armament (having a 105 mm gun, a much roomier M19 Commander Cupola and new road wheels), the M60 was regarded as somewhat of a stop gap measure. It has 750 hp. with a maximum speed of 30 mph and maximum range of 350 miles.
Used in Vietnam and Desert Storm, it proved itself to be a dependable vehicle in all areas of operation. In May 1997, at Fort Riley, 1st Battalion, 635th Armor, Kansas Army National Guard, retired the last M60-series tanks in the United States’ military force structure. The 58 M60A3 main battle tanks of the Kansas Guard’s only armor battalion were unceremoniously parked in a holding pen at the Camp Funston Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (MATES), in the Kansas River Valley, down the hill from Fort Riley’s main post.
|Forward speed||30 mph|
|Reverse speed||10 mph|
|Engine||750 hp Continental AVDS-1790 V-12 diesel|
|Vertical obstacle climb||49 in|
|Maximum width ditch||108 in|
|Fording Depth||48 in|
|Main Gun||105mm/51cal M68 rifiled gun with 63 rounds|
|Coaxial machinegun||M240 - 7.62mm with 5,950 rounds|
|Commander's machinegun||M85 - .50 cal antiaircraft gun with 900 rounds|
|Sensors and Fire Control||M21 solid state along ballistic computer, AN/VVG-2 ruby laser rangefinder usable by both commander and gunner, AN/vsg-2 Tank thermal Sights (TTS) withlaser rangerfinder and Mercury-Cadmium-Telluride (HgCdTe) IR detector for passive night and dust vision|