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First two improved Turkish M60T tanks handed over

16th February 2024 - 15:58 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The latest M60T upgrade includes the Volkan-M fire control system. (Photo: Aselsan)

The M60Ts, upgraded versions of the M60A3s, were delivered between 2007 and 2010. The latest upgrade followed a rolling programme of upgrades which have included Aselsan SARP RWS, Yamgoz situational awareness cameras, a TLUS laser warning receiver and a Pulat APS completed in 2020.

The Turkish Army has received its first two M60T MBTs upgraded under the Providing Additional Capabilities to Tanks (FIRAT) – M60T Project which has included a new fire control system (FCS), tank C4I system, additional armour and improved crew seats.

The Volkan-M FCS wasa key part of the upgrade and was developed within the scope of the FIRAT M60T Project under an agreement signed between Defence Industry Agency of Turkey and Aselsan in July 2022.

The upgrade has proved to be important to Turkish capability as the replacement Altay MBT has been rolling along for more than 15 years. A new version was unveiled in March 2023, however, with prime contractor BMC confident the vehicle would be ready for mass production by 2025.

The upgrade has been informed by the Turkish Army’s experiences of the past decade, most notably in Syria. In December 2016 the army faced heavy fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants defending the city of Al-Bab in northern Syria.

One of the conclusions drawn from the fighting was the issue of the MBT vulnerability when facing anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), especially in the case of side-on hits and the MBT tactics used on the battlefield.

In late-December 2016, IS released a series of propaganda video footage on the internet showing ATGMs fired at Turkish Leopard 2A4 and M60T Sabra MBTs in addition to captured MBTs abandoned by their crews after heavy fighting around the Al-Bab city hospital.

In late-January 2017, IS released another longer video which showed the real scale of the Al-Bab battles. It was possible to identify no fewer than seven destroyed or abandoned Leopard 2A4 and one M60T Sabra MBTs, plus ACV-15 APCs and Cobra IMVs.

The Shephard News Team


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