The American designed M60 main battle tank has been around for decades and remains in service with numerous nations around the world. When it came out decades ago the fully cast armor was very good but with the spread of anti-tank weaponry such as rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles the armor is today outdated. Keeping a tank in service with upgrades has significant advantages for a nation, for example, it is cheaper than buying new and makes crew training easier as they are already familiar with many parts of the vehicle. To this end, many schemes and packages have been offered in recent years to modernize the M60 and ensure it is capable of performing its role as a main battle tank.
Leonardo is presenting its M60 tank overhaul and upgrade programme at the first edition of the Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BIDEC) in Manama, Bahrain. The proposed upgrade for the M60A3 will integrates a new 120/45 mm main gun with a state-of-the-art Fire Control System (FCS), modern protection systems and an enhanced power system. The Leonardo solution retains existing maintenance and logistics assets and requires minimal additional training for support. Leonardo fully owns and controls the core technologies involved, such as the FCS, the InfraRed cameras, the 120mm smooth-bore main gun and the technology which improves turret performance. The M60A3 upgrade and overhaul programme provides fleet operators with a cost-effective opportunity to enhance the capabilities of the platform in line with other 3rd Generation Main Battle Tanks.
The Leonardo M60A3 Tank Upgrade offers the same 120mm 45 calibers low recoil smoothbore gun as used on the Centauro II tank destroyer. This armament, combined with the LOTHAR gun sight and TURMS digital fire control system, give hunter/killer capability and increase the effective range. The gun, like on the Centauro II, is able to fire standard NATO 120mm smoothbore ammunition. Should it be required, all the fire control upgrade features are compatible with the 120mm L40 NATO standard gun too if the customer doesn’t want or can’t afford the newer L45 higher performance gun.
Leonardo is offering the M60A3 package with a whole new passive protection suite fitted around the M60’s existing cast armor turret and hull. Protection is claimed to meet STANAG Level 6. Protection for the turret is optimised for protection against kinetic energy (KE) weapons and artillery across the frontal arc. The hull to is upgraded to the same standard with the protection covering the hull sides extending to the third roadwheel. For the rear of the turret, slat armor is provided with an emphasis on protecting against the RPG-7 (a 60% probability of success against this threat is expected).