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M60
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105mm Gun Tank M601-7
M60: General
Date of first acceptance 1960 Total acceptances 2205
Manufacturers
  • Detroit Tank Arsenal
  • Chrysler Corp.
Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull center front
M60: Dimensions
Combat weight 102,000lbs
46,300kg
Height over cupola periscope 126.5"
321.3cm
Length without gun 273.5"
694.7cm
Gun overhang forward 93.0"
240cm
Width over tracks 143.0"
363.2cm
Tread 115.0"
292.1cm
Ground clearance 15.3"
38.9cm
Fire height ~83"
~210cm
Turret ring diameter 85.0"
216cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 10.9psi
.767kg/cm²
M60: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
105mm Gun M68 M116 in turret 57 rounds
(16 ready)
360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +19° to -9°
(manual and hydraulic)
4°/sec
.50cal M85 MG Cupola M19 on turret 900 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
-- Manual and hydraulic --
7.62mm M73 MG Coaxial to 105mm gun 5950 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +19° to -9°
(manual and hydraulic)
4°/sec
Rangefinder
Coincidence M17C
Night vision
Infrared periscope M24 for driver
M60: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 3.67"
9.32cm
65°
Lower front 5.63" to 3.35"
14.3cm to 8.51cm
55°
Sides 2.9" to 1.41"
7.4cm to 3.58cm
0° to 45°
Exhaust grille 1.0" equivalent
2.5cm equivalent
Lower rear 1.6" to 1.2"
4.1cm to 3.0cm
30° to 60°
Top 1.41"
3.58cm
90°
Front floor 0.75"
1.9cm
90°
Rear floor 0.5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 4.5"
11cm
30°
Front 7.0" equivalent
18cm equivalent
Sides 3.0" equivalent
7.6cm equivalent
Rear 2.0" equivalent
5.1cm equivalent
Top 0.93"
2.4cm
90°
M60: Automotive
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee, supercharged diesel
Horsepower Net: 643@2400rpm
Gross: 750@2400rpm
Torque Net: 1575 ft-lb@1750rpm
Gross: 1710 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 385gal
1460L
Transmission General Motors CD-850-6, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, steering wheel
Brakes Multiple disc
M60: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first and last road wheels/track
M60: Track
T97E2
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 81 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
M60: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 102"
259cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~300mi
~480km


The M60 was an evolution of the M48A2 Patton tank, and bears a strong family resemblance. The new tank was borne out of desire for greater range and increased firepower. Unlike the earlier tank, the M60 has a wedge-shaped front hull and forged aluminum wheels versus the M48A2's boat-shaped front hull and steel road wheels. The new aluminum road wheels on the M60 were interchangeable with the older steel wheels, but were 65lbs (29kg) lighter apiece than the steel wheels. The 105mm gun M68 was a license-produced version of Britain's L7 gun, but was fitted with an eccentric bore evacuator instead of a concentric model in order to provide more clearance over the rear deck. The exhaust for the personnel heater emerged from the front hull roof and ran to the vehicle's right. The first 300 M60s produced were armed with a .50cal M2HB machine gun in a pedestal mount welded to the left side of the commander's cupola due to production problems with the new M85 machine gun. Of these tanks, the first 45 manufactured were made without the cupola itself, also due to production problems. The M60 originally had no shock absorbers, however these were added beginning in 1962, and retrofitted to earlier tanks. Fifteen of the earliest M60s produced had insufficiently thick hull armor, and were therefore used by the Armor School as training tanks. M60 turrets had three lifting eyes. On early turrets these were arranged with one behind the 105mm gun and one on each rear corner. On later turrets this was reversed, with one on each front corner and a single eye on the rear of the turret.

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105mm Gun Tank M60A11-7
M60A1: General
Date of first acceptance October 1962 Total acceptances 7948
Manufacturer Detroit Tank Arsenal Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull center front
M60A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 105,000lbs
47,600kg
Height over cupola periscope 128.2"
325.6cm
Length without gun 273.5"
694.7cm
Gun overhang forward 98.0"
250cm
Width over tracks 143.0"
363.2cm
Tread 115.0"
292.1cm
Ground clearance 15.3"
38.9cm
Fire height 82.3"
209cm
Turret ring diameter 85.0"
216cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 11.2psi
.778kg/cm²
M60A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
105mm Gun M68 M140 in turret 63 rounds
(13 ready)
360°
(manual and hydraulic)
22.5°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual and hydraulic)
4°/sec
.50cal M85 MG Cupola M19 on turret 900 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
-- Manual and hydraulic --
7.62mm M73 or M219 MG Coaxial to 105mm gun 5950 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
22.5°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual and hydraulic)
4°/sec
Rangefinder
Coincidence M17A1
Night vision
Infrared periscope M24 for driver, infrared periscope M32 for gunner, infrared periscope M36 for commander
M60A1: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.29"
10.9cm
65°
Lower front 5.63" to 3.35"
14.3cm to 8.51cm
55°
Sides 2.9" to 1.41"
7.4cm to 3.58cm
0° to 45°
Exhaust grille 1.0" equivalent
2.5cm equivalent
Lower rear 1.6" to 1.2"
4.1cm to 3.0cm
30° to 60°
Top 1.41"
3.58cm
90°
Front floor 0.75"
1.9cm
90°
Rear floor 0.5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 5.0"
13cm
60°
Front 10.0" equivalent
25.4cm equivalent
Sides 5.5" equivalent
14cm equivalent
Rear 2.25" equivalent
5.72cm equivalent
Top 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M60A1: Automotive
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2A; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee, supercharged diesel
Horsepower Net: 643@2400rpm
Gross: 750@2400rpm
Torque Net: 1575 ft-lb@1750rpm
Gross: 1710 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 385gal
1460L
Transmission General Motors CD-850-6A, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, T-bar
Brakes Multiple disc
M60A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
M60A1: Track
T97E2
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 81 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
T142
Center guide, double pin, replaceable rubber pad
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 80 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
M60A1: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 102"
259cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~300mi
~480km


M60 was quickly followed by M60A1, and the major redesign was the turret. M60A1 featured a longer, "needle-nosed" turret, which placed the 105mm gun 5" (13cm) forward of where it would be in M60's turret. M60A1 also featured increased armor protection, improved location of the brake and accelerator pedals, hydraulic instead of mechanical linkages for those pedals, and improved seats. Friction snubbers were installed on the first two and last road wheels from the start of production.

There were many improvements to the M60A1 over its lifetime. Top-loading air cleaners, which were easier to maintain and provided better air filtration than earlier versions, were introduced in 1971. A stabilization system for the M68 was introduced in 1972; M60A1s fitted with stabilization were designated M60A1(AOS) for Add-On Stabilization. M60A1(RISE), or Reliability Improvements for Selected Equipment, was fielded in 1975. M60A1(RISE) had a more reliable engine with the top-loading air cleaners; stronger cylinders; improved starter, fuel injection lines, and nozzles; and better turbosuperchargers. The T142 track allowed for longer track life since the rubber pads were replaceable. The top loading air cleaners were armored starting in January 1977. Improvements were also made to the tank's electrical system. M60A1(RISE)(PASSIVE), first seen in 1977, was fitted with a smaller gun shield-mounted searchlight that produced white and infrared light, and the gunner and commander were given passive night vision sights. The M68 gun tube was also wrapped in a thermal shield to prevent barrel droop due to temperature imbalances.


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152mm Gun-launcher Tank M60A21-7
M60A2: General
Date of first acceptance 1973 Total acceptances 540
Manufacturer Chrysler Corp. Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in turret rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull center front
M60A2: Dimensions
Combat weight 114,400lbs
51,890kg
Height over cupola periscope 130.3"
331.0cm
Length without gun 275.3"
699.2cm
Gun overhang forward 13.4"
34.0cm
Width over tracks 143.0"
363.2cm
Tread 115.0"
292.1cm
Ground clearance 15.3"
38.9cm
Fire height 83.6"
212cm
Turret ring diameter 85.0"
216cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 12.3psi
.866kg/cm²
M60A2: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
152mm Gun-launcher M162 Turret 33 rounds;
13 MGM-51C Shillelagh missiles
360°
(manual and hydraulic)
40°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual and hydraulic)
10°/sec
.50cal M85 MG Cupola on turret 1080 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
-- Manual and hydraulic --
7.62mm M73, M73A1, or M219 MG Coaxial to 152mm gun-launcher 5500 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
40°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual and hydraulic)
10°/sec
Rangefinder
Laser AN/VVS-1
Stabilizer
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
Infrared periscope M24 for driver, infrared periscope M50 for gunner, infrared periscope M51 for commander
M60A2: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.29"
10.9cm
65°
Lower front 5.63" to 3.35"
14.3cm to 8.51cm
55°
Sides 2.9" to 1.41"
7.4cm to 3.58cm
0° to 45°
Exhaust grille 1.0" equivalent
2.5cm equivalent
Lower rear 1.6" to 1.2"
4.1cm to 3.0cm
30° to 60°
Top 1.41"
3.58cm
90°
Front floor 0.75"
1.9cm
90°
Rear floor 0.5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 11.5" equivalent
29.2cm equivalent
Front 11.5" equivalent
29.2cm equivalent
Sides 4.75"
12.1cm
Rear 2.5"
6.4cm
Top 1.25"
3.18cm
90°
M60A2: Automotive
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2A; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee, supercharged diesel
Horsepower Net: 643@2400rpm
Gross: 750@2400rpm
Torque Net: 1575 ft-lb@1750rpm
Gross: 1710 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 385gal
1460L
Transmission General Motors CD-850-6A, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, T-bar
Brakes Multiple disc
M60A2: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
M60A2: Track
T97E2
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 81 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
M60A2: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 102"
259cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~280mi
~450km


M60A2 was composed of a new, narrow-profile turret placed on M60A1 hulls. The vehicle used the 152mm gun-launcher originally intended for the next US main battle tank project. The M162 gun-launcher fired the MGM-51C Shillelagh missile, also used by the M551 Sheridan. The commander sat well to the rear of the turret, and the gunner and loader each had hatches in the turret sides. Late-production M60A2s were built without bore evacuators, since they used the closed-breech scavenging system (CBSS), which used compressed air to blow any remnants of the combustible ammunition case out of the gun-launcher before the breech was opened. In M60A2, the CBSS was located below the engine exhaust louvres in the hull rear, and this made a distinctive bulge below the exhaust louvres. Due to the complexity of the fire control system and missile guidance hardware, M60A2 was sometimes derisively known as "Starship."

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105mm Gun Tank M60A31-8
M60A3: General
Date of first acceptance 1978
Manufacturer Chrysler Corp. Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull center front
M60A3: Dimensions
Combat weight 114,600lbs
51,980kg
Height over cupola periscope 129.2"
328.2cm
Length without gun 273.5"
694.7cm
Gun overhang forward 98.0"
250cm
Width over tracks 143.0"
363.2cm
Tread 115.0"
292.1cm
Ground clearance 15.3"
38.9cm
Fire height 82.3"
209cm
Turret ring diameter 85.0"
216cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 12.3psi
.866kg/cm²
M60A3: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
105mm Gun M68 M140 in turret 63 rounds
(13 ready)
360°
(manual and hydraulic)
22.5°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual and hydraulic)
4°/sec
.50cal M85 MG Cupola M19 on turret 900 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
-- +60° to -15°
(manual and hydraulic
--
7.62mm M73, M219, or M240 MG Coaxial to 105mm gun 5950 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
22.5°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual and hydraulic)
4°/sec
Rangefinder
Laser AN/VVG-2
Stabilizer
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
AN/VVS-2 passive viewer for driver, image intensifier periscope M35E1 for gunner, image intensifier periscope M36E1 for commander
M60A3: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.29"
10.9cm
65°
Lower front 5.63" to 3.35"
14.3cm to 8.51cm
55°
Sides 2.9" to 1.41"
7.4cm to 3.58cm
0° to 45°
Exhaust grille 1.0" equivalent
2.5cm equivalent
Lower rear 1.6" to 1.2"
4.1cm to 3.0cm
30° to 60°
Top 1.41"
3.58cm
90°
Front floor 0.75"
1.9cm
90°
Rear floor 0.5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 5.0"
13cm
60°
Front 10.0" equivalent
25.4cm equivalent
Sides 5.5" equivalent
14cm equivalent
Rear 2.25" equivalent
5.72cm equivalent
Top 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M60A3: Automotive
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2C; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee, supercharged diesel
Horsepower Net: 643@2400rpm
Gross: 750@2400rpm
Torque Net: 1575 ft-lb@1750rpm
Gross: 1710 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 385gal
1460L
Transmission General Motors CD-850-6A, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, T-bar
Brakes Multiple disc
M60A3: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
M60A3: Track
T142
Center guide, double pin, replaceable rubber pad
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 80 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
M60A3: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 102"
259cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~280mi
~450km


M60A3 was an improved M60A1, featuring a laser rangefinder, solid state ballistic computer, and crosswind sensor. The laser rangefinder utilized the right-side rangefinder blister. In August 1979, the AN/VSG-2 tank thermal sight was added to M60A3s to allow better passive visibility in inclement weather conditions such as smoke or fog. M60A3s equipped with this device were designated M60A3(TTS). Steel road wheels were again used starting in May 1980, since they cost less than the lighter aluminum wheels. Drivers were provided with an improved floor escape hatch lock, and the power of the turret motor was doubled, from 5 to 10 horsepower. M60A3s also were later fitted with a muzzle reference system, a Halon fire extinguishing system, a vehicle engine exhaust smoke system, and hardware to allow the mounting of equipment such as chemical alarms.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984.

  2. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.

  3. Lewis, Jeff, and Joe D. M60 Spotters Guide, version 2. 5 Aug 2007. 5 Dec 2007 <http://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Downloads&get=306> Com-Central.net Downloads

  4. Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Co., 2000.

  5. Decker, Oscar C. "The Patton Tanks: The Cold War Learning Series." Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. Eds. George F. Hofmann, Donn A. Starry. USA: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.

  6. Foss, Chris. Modern Tanks. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.

  7. Federation of American Scientists. "M60 Series Tank (Patton Series)." DOD 101. 22 Feb 2000. 26 Apr 2001 <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m60.htm>. DOD 101

  8. TM 9-2350-253-20-2 Organizational Maintenance Manual--Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105-mm Gun, M60A3 (2350-00-148-6548) and (2350-01-061-2306) TTS Turret. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 15 April 1980.



Last updated 20 Mar 2014.

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© Copyright 2001-14 Chris Conners