Armor: September 16, 2001

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General Dynamics Land Systems has completed a fully functional prototype of its M-120S tank and has shipped it to Turkey for demonstration trials. The M-120S was previously marketed as the M-60-2000 and consists of an M60 chassis and an M1A1 turret. The chassis is fitted with the M1's torsion-bar suspension to deal with the heavier turret. The chassis also has ballistic skirts and storage boxes that make it look more like an M1 chassis than an M60 chassis. The prototype has no extra armor and the original 750 horsepower engine, but GDLS says it can provide extra armor and several engine choices (up to 1200 horsepower) if a customer wants them. The turret has the same M256 smoothbore 120mm cannon as the M1A1, as well as the same machineguns (7.62mm coaxial M240, 7.62mm pintel-mounted M240 for the loader, and 12.7mm M2 for the commander). Turkey has said, however, that if it upgrades its M60s instead of buying new M1s it would use Israeli-built 120mm cannon. Turkey expects to spend $450 million upgrading 170 of its M60s. Eventually, Turkey wants to upgrade all 960 of its M60s using Israeli 120mm cannons and German 1,000hp MTU engines.--Stephen V Cole

 


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