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Michael Ramsey

M60A3 TTS UPGRADE

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I think that was the General Dynamics demonstrator from a few years back.

 

Personally I dig the 120S upgrade although I'm curious about the ammunition storage arrangements on this one.  If you went purely with the safe storage we know it has in the turret you're looking at 36 rounds of 120mm in a new turret with a modern armor package.  There might be plenty more room for ammo in the hull, probably more than the 6 rounds the Abrams fits, but I almost wonder if it's better just to leave the extra space in the hull empty and roll with the 36 in the turret...From a survivability standpoint anyway.cPM3qCxvNTDsm_IPqGk2OA4fx8bVN6eoBQJ_hPF7gDY.thumb.jpg.c89c623e5158e8cf7a361d7041a51458.jpg

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Agreed on the non use of hull ammo storage.  My A3 ready rack in the turret might only be capable of perhaps holding 20 120mm rounds.  Located on the turret floor was ammo storage primary used for for WP/HEP/APERS.  You could probably store an additional 7 rounds there. Here is a problem I see with your picture.  The Abrams gets its hydraulic pressure from the engine (AGB) The M60 series relied on a 10hp hydraulic pump mounted in the gunners position that would scream bloody murder during a stab run.  The Abrams turret is a lot heavier so I don,t think you would have the full monty with the rapid turret traverse and gun elevation and depression.   I would love to know how they worked around that.

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During multiple deployments to South West Asia I got the opportunity to check out the  CM11.  What a nightmare! 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

CM11.jpg

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7 hours ago, Michael Ramsey said:

During multiple deployments to South West Asia I got the opportunity to check out the  CM11.  What a nightmare! 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

CM11.jpg

Did you get to fire the main gun.

With a M1 fire control system fitted the 105 gun must be very accurate.

I believe there still in service.

 

 

 

 

 

The ultimate upgrade for the M-60

Replaces the 105 to a 120mm.Adds reactive armour, engine improvements

For a cash starved nation trying to modernise its armour its a cheaper alternative then buying newer designs.

 

 

Edited by Marko

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I could not fit in the gunners compartment comfortably.  Extremely cramped. The CM11 was in my opinion a failure.  By the time I got there in Houkou they had already resorted back to purchasing refurbished M60A3's.  I ran an M60A3 NETT while there.  New Equipment Training Team.  Also did the same thing for the Royal Thai Cavalry in Thailand.   

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On 1/30/2020 at 9:23 AM, Michael Ramsey said:

My A3 ready rack in the turret might only be capable of perhaps holding 20 120mm rounds.  Located on the turret floor was ammo storage primary used for for WP/HEP/APERS.  You could probably store an additional 7 rounds there.

I imagine that the General Dynamics upgrade, the Turkish Sabra, and the Israeli Magach upgrades with 120mm main guns probably have ammo stored in the turret and in the hull.  If you're going to pack the tank with explosives just ready to light off, may as well squeeze more ammo in.

 

In the case of the 120S upgrade, you can get either 34 or 36 rounds of 120mm in the blow out compartments on the turret alone.  In which case I think you might very well NOT put more ammo on the turret floor or in the hull, since you've got plenty in the turret and even a single round laying around can compromise the turret blow off panels.

 

On 1/30/2020 at 9:23 AM, Michael Ramsey said:

The Abrams turret is a lot heavier so I don,t think you would have the full monty with the rapid turret traverse and gun elevation and depression.   I would love to know how they worked around that.

Well...I know they retained the original M60 power pack so honestly, I'm not sure.  I would put my money on them having come up with some kind of solution.  I see that they added more armor to the hull.  Honestly, given how poor the hull armor is by modern standards, I would almost rather just leave that off and save weight...Not sure how effective it would be anyway.

 

On 1/30/2020 at 9:33 AM, Michael Ramsey said:

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

Any idea WHY they did such a thing?  If they had slapped M60 turrets onto older hulls I think I could understand but how did the opposite happen?

 

On 1/30/2020 at 4:31 PM, Marko said:

The ultimate upgrade for the M-60

Replaces the 105 to a 120mm

Gotta say I remember when that first came out and I think I'd feel really nervous about being in one of those in combat.  There were some videos of Turkish M-60 Sabra tanks getting beat up on by Kurds/YPG/PKK/PFJ/JPF/Whoever and ISIS.  From what I recall the Sabras tended to light up quite vigorously, or burn with lots of ugly yellow smoke.  Having a bunch of unprotected combustible case ammo laying around inside just doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

 

The Leopard 2A4's the Turks had also showed some signs of getting a little explodey when hit in the correct spots, and I wish they would address that with a redesign.

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I don't think that you can redesign around the problem that the latest generation of ATGMs perform as designed to defeat current generation MBT hulls. The fundamental problem of tank performance in the Middle East - no matter if you look at M1s, Leclercs, Leopards, or M60s - is shitty tactics that push tanks into the role of semi-mobile observation posts. This gives attackers the opportunity to bring their missile launchers into carefully selected concealed positions. With missile ranges of 5km you have to cover 78km² of terrain to prevent the setup of launchers - an impossible task. This is the consequence of the strategic disposition of an occupying force facing insurgents with access to high-tech anti-tank weapons.

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10 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I don't think that you can redesign around the problem that the latest generation of ATGMs perform as designed to defeat current generation MBT hulls.

Allow me to expound a little more on what I'm suggesting.  I think I agree with you that the current generation MBT hull is simply not going to be easily up armored to stop ATGMs from poking holes in it.

 

In the case of the Leopard 2, my main thing that I would like to see would be to have the hull ammo compartment redesigned, even if it comes at the cost of capacity, to provide more resistance to torching the crew.  The Leopard 2 has already done a great job with protecting the turret.  Going back to the point about using them as semi-mobile observation posts, something that I seem to recall is that the Turks were making little to no effort to at least dig their tanks in.

 

Steel Beasts leads me to believe that a Leopard 2 in a battle position or on a reverse slope showing only the turret is much more survivable in the event of a penetration than one showing the hull.  Even if the tank is "destroyed" I frequently don't see it burn or toss the turret, making me think that if it were a real tank, it might be done fighting forever but at least some of the crew might live.


In the case of the M60 upgrades I question the value and wisdom of adding armor to the hull at all.  The existing armor isn't that great, and you've got an awful lot of hull to up-armor.  The vehicle's mobility isn't terrible but it already isn't that great.  IF you're going to add armor to the hull, then IMHO it should focus on getting the most bang for your buck...Or rather, pound/kilogram.  Slap some ERA on it or something that will stop simple HEAT warheads like the common older generation RPGs that are LITERALLY EVERYWHERE, and then call it a day.  You'll never stop a Kornet-EM unless you armor it up into a semi-mobile tracked bunker so don't bother.

 

In the case of the M60-120S upgrade with the Abrams turret, I figure that having 34 or 36 rounds ready to go in the turret basket is good enough.  Remove ammo from the hull and do whatever can be done to provide more crew survivability for when, not if, the hull is penetrated because it's going to happen.  But at least you now have a modern current generation turret with a modern armor package, and if you can stay hull down, you're much more survivable.

 

In the case of the Magach/Sabra tanks that keep the old turret but cram in a 120mm main gun.......Well do whatever you want with it, because if it gets a hole poked in it, and there's a pretty good chance it will happen eventually, it's gonna blow sky high and toss the turret and the crew all over the place...   I really would almost rather keep the old 105 and at least have SOME protection from non direct hits through the ammo racks.

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Not much extra armor for the turret? Turret armor can be useful sometimes

 

 

ebskyko.jpg

 

1 hour ago, Maj.Hans said:

In the case of the Magach/Sabra tanks that keep the old turret but cram in a 120mm main gun

Magach was the Hebrew name for the M48 and M60 series in Israeli service, since the first Israeli acquisition of M48 tanks in 1964-5, regardless of any upgrades or modifications. The Israeli army has never fielded a Magach with 120 mm gun, although it did demand that the 120 mm gun developed by IMI would fit onto the M60. This demand delayed the 120 mm gun fielding, with the Merkava Mk. 3, to 1990, while the Syrian and Iraqi armies combined already had over 2,000 T-72s.

Sabra was IMI's name for the Turkish army M60A3 TTS upgrade project.

 

BTW, the Sabra prototype was an old M60A1 that IMI have received from IDF storage. When inspecting the tank they got, one of the IMI project officials found some familiar damage-repair weldings. A quick glance at the tank's ID number, 817701, confirmed that it was his own tank during the 1973 war, when he served in Sinai as a young reserve platoon leader with the 410th armored battalion, 600th armored brigade.

After the upgrade work on the prototype was finished, the '3' tactical marking was applied to the tank as it was during the war:

 

%D7%A2%D7%9C%D7%99%20%D7%91%D7%9F%20%D7%

 

%D7%A2%D7%9C%D7%99%20%D7%91%D7%9F%20%D7%

Edited by Iarmor

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3 hours ago, Iarmor said:

Not much extra armor for the turret? Turret armor can be useful sometimes

No, I meant not much extra armor for the hull.  I would skimp on hull armor to keep weight down I think.  I agree on the turret armor though.  If i were going to be upgrading the stock turret I would try to pile as much armor on the turret as I possibly could to try to make it effective, and hope the tank could fight hull down.  Better still, IMHO, would be to replace it entirely with an M1A1/A2 turret with modern armor, thus getting you protected storage.

 

I remember seeing the video of that one you posted.  If I recall correctly the up-armored turrets and the Leopard 2A4 that took turret hits did quite well.  The ones that took hull hits, not so good.

 

3 hours ago, Iarmor said:

The Israeli army has never fielded a Magach with 120 mm gun

Ahh yes you're right.  My mistake!  For some reason I thought some of the Magach 7 series had them.

In hindsight I'm betting they passed on the 120mm due to the flammability concerns of the ammunition.  The Merkavas were able to be built with armored storage but I bet retrofitting that into the M60s was difficult or impossible with the existing turret.

Edited by Maj.Hans

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5 hours ago, Maj.Hans said:

In the case of the Leopard 2, my main thing that I would like to see would be to have the hull ammo compartment redesigned, even if it comes at the cost of capacity, to provide more resistance to torching the crew.

The question is, how much more effort do you want to pour into a concept that was deemed as a compromise even in 1973/74 when they nailed down the final component layout of the Leo 2. You can "not" put 27 rounds into the hull storage. That alone would do a lot to survivability without changing anything as far as the tank's layout is concerned. Leaves you with just 15 rounds in the turret, but if you're assigned to an exposed location in a low intensity combat zone with overwatch duties - at least that's what the Turks thought it would be in Northern Syria - then maybe you just don't need that much extra ammo.

As a compromise, make molds of a regular cartridge and then create inert copies that you put into the rack around the central parts. You forfeit 14 rounds of the 27, but not all of them.

 

Digging your tanks in on a hilltop is another super-cheap method to reduce your exposure, no extensive redesign needed.

Changing your tactics by not staying exposed all the time is even cheaper. Have just one tank up, in turret-down, using just the commander's peri to scan, and have the second one pull up when needed, into one of several alternate prepared firing positions.

 

If you think of adding a second ammo compartment to the turret bustle like how it's done with the M1, well, you then need to have a plan to shift what's in that location elsewhere - the radios, ballistic computer, turret drive. I'd call that "not impossible" but it probably involves so much work that you might just as well consider designing a new tank. FEX, I'd consider a band loader for the full width of the turret bustle; it's been suggested before but was rejected for cost reasons (should tell you something already). If you want to keep the human loader, make it an assisted load that is simpler in design but which could help to reduce the physical strain. Shave off some 500kg copper wire by putting in a CAN bus for component communication. Save a cubic meter of internal volume by putting in a new powerpack, etc. But you have to draw the line somewhere. The fact that Turkey sent in Leopard 2A4s which still have hydraulic turret drives and none of the add-on armor is telling; Turkey simply can't afford extensive remodelling while developing the Altay. The 2A4 was chosen because it has good firepower and excellent mobility while still being super cheap, due to the massive tank surplus in Europe after the end of the Cold War.

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4 hours ago, Ssnake said:

You can "not" put 27 rounds into the hull storage. That alone would do a lot to survivability without changing anything as far as the tank's layout is concerned. Leaves you with just 15 rounds in the turret, but if you're assigned to an exposed location in a low intensity combat zone with overwatch duties - at least that's what the Turks thought it would be in Northern Syria - then maybe you just don't need that much extra ammo.

That's an assessment I would agree with.  I have not yet got around to making any "low intensity conflict" scenarios in ProPE with the Leopard 2 involved but I imagine if I ever did, they would probably be downloaded to only the 15 rounds in the turret if the need simply wasn't there.  Similar to loading the T-72s only with the rounds in the auto-loader I guess.

 

4 hours ago, Ssnake said:

As a compromise, make molds of a regular cartridge and then create inert copies that you put into the rack around the central parts. You forfeit 14 rounds of the 27, but not all of them.

That's honestly probably not a bad idea...

But building on that, what about borrowing some ideas from the Merkava and the Chieftain/Challenger series?

 

Take armored tubes like the Merkava, and build them into a pressurized tank of water/fire retardant.  You'll lose out on some capacity, but what you have left will hopefully be much safer unless you hit it directly, and MAYBE if it does get penetrated you'll get lucky and it won't catastrophically explode?  I'm honestly not sure exactly how effective the whole pressurized water tank thing is but I know the British have been using it for some time.  I'd feel a lot better about armored storage tubes than what's currently in place.

 

If you REALLY want to stick to the 42 round capacity, then simply move the lost rounds into external storage outside the turret, in the bustle rack.  They can be put in storage tubes there and accessed only when required.

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I turned my A3 in for an M1IP in the mid eighties. Around 2001 I had to dispatch my 2 M88's for range detail pulling 60's out storage down range 85 at Ft Dix.  My Recovery teamed called me about an A3 with my name on the TC hatch.  I drove out to Range 85 and met up with the 88's.  After cutting the locks on the loaders handle I looked inside. Her LRF and M21 and TTS were gone but everything else was there,  We hooked a slave cable, drained the water separators.  Primed the fuel lines and after only fifteen minutes we attempted a hot start.  Pure thick grey smoke poured out of the grilles, good sign she was getting fuel as the exhaust covers rattled she started getting compression and then it happened,  she rattled to life!  All those years sitting down range.  She now sits in front of my American Legion Post.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.7642116,-74.2171646,3a,25.3y,285.7h,82.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYeK9sTD9hVD6NZp45NmylQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656d

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On 2/2/2020 at 10:41 AM, Michael Ramsey said:

I turned my A3 in for an M1IP in the mid eighties. Around 2001 I had to dispatch my 2 M88's for range detail pulling 60's out storage down range 85 at Ft Dix.  My Recovery teamed called me about an A3 with my name on the TC hatch.  I drove out to Range 85 and met up with the 88's.  After cutting the locks on the loaders handle I looked inside. Her LRF and M21 and TTS were gone but everything else was there,  We hooked a slave cable, drained the water separators.  Primed the fuel lines and after only fifteen minutes we attempted a hot start.  Pure thick grey smoke poured out of the grilles, good sign she was getting fuel as the exhaust covers rattled she started getting compression and then it happened,  she rattled to life!  All those years sitting down range.  She now sits in front of my American Legion Post.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.7642116,-74.2171646,3a,25.3y,285.7h,82.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYeK9sTD9hVD6NZp45NmylQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656d

Preserving our history is important to  tankers.

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1 hour ago, Michael Ramsey said:

 

Interesting..............

Well, with the other addons in terms of the periscope and stuff I guess theyre further enhancing them to work as semi-mobile observation posts?

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Another reunion:

Yair Littwitz wrote a book about his 1973 war experience as a reserve M60A1 platoon leader in the 87th armored reconnaissance battalion (and as a company CO in the 79th armored battalion, to which he joined after the 87th was written off in the Chinese Farm). He named the book after his tank's registration number, 817831.

The M60A1-equipped formations, the reserve 600th armored brigade and 87th armored reconnaissance battalion, suffered heavy losses during the war. There were also many cases of officers having to swap their lightly-damaged or broken-down tank with a subordinate's tank, in order to keep leading their formation. 817831 was one of the few M60A1s (alongwith 817701, which later became the Sabra prototype) that kept running along the whole war without replacing any crewmember and without suffering disabling damage. It was the only tank to do so in the 87th battalion.

 

1973-10-16.JPG

 

343480.jpg

 

After the book came out, Littwitz joined a group of veterans in a quest for their old wartime tanks. A visit to a huge IDF tank scrapyard had brought up some emotional findings for others, but 817831 was not there. However, a while later, 817831 was found at a remote IDF base in southern Israel, stored in a pretty good shape (as opposed to the ones at the scrapyard).

 

121006_original.jpg

 

For some reason, the tank was then selected to be exhibited in the Latrun Armor Museum, in its 1973 configuration. Works took place to remove the upgrades which were added along the years and even a M19 cupola was obtained in order to get the original looks back (by 1973 most M48s were already fitted with the Israeli cupola, but all M60s still had the original one).

 

121353_original.jpg

 

Notable imperfections remain, though: T142 tracks instead of T97, larger turret basket, mixture of M60 aluminum (with ribs) and M48 steel (without ribs) road wheels. 

 

191fc6b908419fed8373502dc7ec7910.jpg

 

 

BTW 1: Littwitz also served as a platoon leader during the 1967 war, in the only M48A3 company in the IDF at that time. Combining AVDS-1790 engines and M68 main guns, these were the most advanced tanks in the fleet and were responsible (alongside a M48A2C company) for the annihilation of an Egyptian IS-3 heavy tank battalion at the Rafah Gap (which the main passage between Israel and the Sinai Peninsula). 

 

BTW 2: Latrun has several more exhibits with unique individual history: the first tank that crossed the Suez Canal (M48A3 no. 818577), Avigdor Kahalani's Centurion (no. 815152) from the Valley of Tears and the latest addition, the first tank (Sherman) that reached the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1967 war. The Sherman arrived about a month ago from a UK private collector, after it was sold to Uganda during the 1970s. In a shocking coincidence, the TC passed away at the same day his old tank came back to Israel.

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