Formally known as the 105mm Gun Full Tracked Combat Tank, the M60 Patton is a first generation main battle tank. It was introduced in December 1960 and was widely used by the United States and its Cold War allies. It remains in service throughout the world today with several thousand units still being utilized.
The M60 greatly resembles its precedent, the M48, but has significant differences. The M60 has a mounted bore evacuated 105 mm main gun. It also has a hull with a straight front, has three support rollers per side, and has road wheels constructed from aluminum. When first introduced, it utilized a Continental V-12 750 hp air-cooled, twin-turbocharged diesel engine. This allowed it to extend its operational range to over 300 miles and reduced the need to refuel and service the vehicle.
Several variations of the M60 Patton tank have been produced, each offering different improvements to the original model. The M60A1 featured a longer, better shaped turret and improvements to the armor protection and shock absorbers. The M60A2 “Starship” had a new low-profile turret and featured a 152 mm main gun. The M60A3 included smoke discharges, a ballistic computer, and a turret stabilization system.
The United States has a significant inventory of M60 Patton tanks remaining. They will be scrapped, sold off, converted, or used as targets in weapons testing.
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