March 24, 2002
Turkey announced on 15 March that Israeli Military Industries would be awarded a $668 million to modernize 170 U.S.-made M-60 A-1 battle tanks. Israel's IMI will install 120mm main guns, fire-control systems and advanced armor protection, as well as overhauling the engines.
The deal followed four years of talks, during which Israel originally offered to sell its Merkava tanks but Turkey decided to upgrade its existing tanks instead. The two-year project is the first leg of a $7 billion tank-modernization plan, during which about 900 M-60 tanks will be overhauled.
Turkey's choice of IMI for the initial project lowered the chances that General Dynamics, Giat and a Turkish firm could win the larger project. - Adam Geibel