Aselsan Delivers Modernized M60T Tanks to Turkey's SSB

The tank was fitted with a locally-made Fire Control System
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  • 05:38 AM, February 15, 2024
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Aselsan Delivers Modernized M60T Tanks to Turkey's SSB
M-60T main battle tank delivery ceremony @Aselsan

Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) took delivery of the first batch of modernized M60T tanks as part of the Tanks Additional Capabilities (TİYK) - M60T Project in a ceremony on February 12.

The event was attended by high-ranking officials, including SSB President Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgün, Deputy Minister of National Defense Dr. Celal Sami Tüfekçi, and Land Forces Commander General Selçuk Bayraktaroğlu.

The ceremony showcased the localization of the Fire Control System, considered the "brain" of Main Battle Tanks. The TİYK-M60T Project aims to enhance the capabilities of M60T tanks and reduce external dependency by utilizing national resources in the production of electronic systems. However, critics argue that such initiatives may pose geopolitical risks and complicate international collaboration and interoperability.

Aselsan Delivers Modernized M60T Tanks to Turkey's SSB
M-60T main battle tank @Aselsan

SSB President Görgün acknowledged challenges in maintaining foreign-upgraded M60 tanks, leading Turkey to seek self-sufficiency. He emphasized that the modernized M60T tanks position Turkey as a global exporter of fire control systems, known for their thrust systems and durability.

The M60T tanks, branded as M60T1 under the project, aim to improve early detection, precision, and longer-range destruction of enemies. The delivery marked the first phase of the modernization initiative, with plans to extend the upgrade to other M60T tanks in the Land Forces Command's inventory.

During the ceremony, Büşra Doğru became the first female tank personnel, serving as the gunner on the modernized M60T tank.

The TİYK-M60T Project, a continuation of the FIRAT-M60T Project, localizes the Fire Control System and modernizes electronic systems on M60T tanks.

The modernization initiative stems from challenges related to the maintenance of foreign-upgraded M60 tanks and issues with international suppliers. Görgün emphasized the national effort towards self-sufficiency in defense, thanking Aselsan and all subcontractors involved.

The M60 Patton tanks, designed in the early 1960s, have been a mainstay in the armed forces of the United States and its allies. The transition to the M-60T model occurred after Greece acquired Leopard 2 tanks, prompting Turkey to launch a modernization program with the Israeli company IMI Systems between 2005 and 2010.

Aselsan Delivers Modernized M60T Tanks to Turkey's SSB
M-60T specifications @Aselsan

The M60T tank, also known as Sabra in Turkish service, represents a modernization of the Patton M60 tank. Equipped with a turbocharged Continental AVDS-1790-5A diesel engine, producing 900 horsepower (or up to 1000 horsepower in some variants), and a smoothbore 120 mm MG253 main gun, the M60T boasts improved combat capability and survivability.

The modernized M60T incorporates defensive updates, including active protection systems and armor enhancements, making it a contemporary main combat platform capable of meeting the challenges of modern military operations. The ongoing efforts in modernizing the tank fleet, including M60A3 and Leopard 2A4 models, align with Turkey's broader goal of advancing towards the indigenous Altay tank project, scheduled for production in 2025, subject to possible adjustments in schedules.

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