11 October 2021

Whether The M60

Digging around for information on the LAV-75, I gots to wondering what programs for modernizing the M60 MBT were slain in their cribs when the Berlin Wall came down.

There were two of note that might have come to fruition had the money taps of defense spending kept flowing with The Soviet Union still a going concern.  Both were a bit more ambitious than adding skirts and reactive armor as shown with the M60A4 in the US Army Vehicle Guide.

The Super M60 gets those skirts, of course, and the M68A1 gun from the M1, allowing the hotter M900 ammo to be used.  The troublesome M73 coaxial MG is replaced by the M240.  Fire control and night vision are upgraded to M1 standards (but using different equipment).  The big changes are a bigger engine and hydropneumatic suspension, because it's getting heavier.  At this point it could be called an M60A5... but the changes to the in-game M60 hardly qualify as a new A number, particularly since the USMC went to Desert Storm with M60A3's and reactive armor without changing the designations.

So the M60A4 from the US Vehicle Guide will become M60A3(TTS+)

The Super M60 will become the M60A4.

The next stage of the Super M60 program is an add-on armor package of Chobham welded to the turret.  Tanks with the armor upgrade become M60A5.

A stranger and simpler plan, which at first blush doesn't seem to be ready by the time nukes start flying, is the M60-2000.  This is the turret of an M1A1 dropped onto a modified M60A1 RISE hull, including that sexy 120mm M256 cannon!

In the real world this didn't get going until 1999, but in T2K there's a strong demand to keep the numbers up and this program could have started earlier than it did had the funding been available.

Considering that the newest M60A3 was younger than the oldest M1... it makes sense to upgrade with the newer turret and better gun because they're still in production and offer many improvements.

So, in my T2K, the chobham add-on Super M60 doesn't happen as General Dynamics Land Systems offers their turret conversion.  M60-2000 becomes M60A5.

To recap:

Skirts and ERA added to an M60A1 RISE (USMC) or M60A3 (TTS) (Army) becomes an M60A1 RISE+ and M60A3 (TTS+).

Super M60 without the added armor is M60A4, but few are made because the engine and suspension upgrades are expensive compared to the GLDS M60-2000.

M60-2000 is the M60A5.  I might even go to the effort of figuring out the old M1 turret armor because the M1(IP) and early M1A1 have more protection and some of those old turrets would be available.


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