Taiwan News reported that the Republic of China Army (ROCA, Taiwan Army) will upgrade equipment and systems on some of its 460 M60A3 TTS main battle tanks beginning next year. Since the vehicles will be used for some considerable time, the military decided to schedule a partial upgrade from 2022 to strengthen their combat and defense capabilities. The Taiwan National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) will conduct the work as part of a contract worth NT$444.01 million (US$15.9 million) spread over three years. If the Army is satisfied with the quality of the work on the first batch of tanks, it will order a large-scale upgrade of the systems.
The Republic of China Army operates 450 M60A3 TTS and 400 CM-11 Brave Tiger main battle tanks in service. The CM-11 is a hybrid M60 chassis fitted with the turret from the older M48 Patton and the fire control system of the M1 Abrams. In 2017, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence started new tank upgrade program for which it allocated 6.5 million USD to state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology for research and development of upgrade package for 450 M60A3 TTS which begins in 2018, testing and evaluation is expected to be complete in 2019 with upgrade program being launched in 2020 from which after completion CM-11 tanks are set to be upgraded next.
The M60 is an American second generation main battle tank (MBT). It was officially standardized as the Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105-mm Gun, M60 in March 1959. Although developed from the M48 Patton, the M60 tank series was never officially christened as a Patton tank. The US Army considered it a “product-improved descendant” of the Patton tank’s design. The design similarities are evident comparing the original version of the M60 and the M48A2. It has been sometimes informally grouped as a member of the Patton tank family. The United States fully committed to the MBT doctrine in 1963 when the Marine Corps retired the last (M103) heavy tank battalion.
The M60A3 with Tank Thermal Sight (TTS), incorporates hybrid solid-state ballistic computer, laser rangefinder, and turret stabilization system. The tank combat full-tracked, 105mm gun (TTS), (M60A3), has the capability to engage the full spectrum of enemy ground targets with a variety of accurate, point and area fire weapons, incorporated with a shoot-on-the-move capability. The tank combat full-tracked, 105mm gun M60A3 (TTS) is an improved version of its predecessor, with the addition of an improved fire control system, thermal sight device, top loading air filters, and a laser range finder.