American M60A3 tank in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Magach 7C in Yad la-Shiryon museum, Israel.
The M60-2000, or 120S, is modernized M60 Patton main battle tank marketed for export by General Dynamics Land Systems.
The M60 was essentially a refinement of the M48 begun in the late 1950s; later a number of M48s were rebuilt as M48A5s, essentially M60s, making the two tanks virtually indistinguishable. The first M60 prototypes appeared in 1958. The M60 entered production in 1959 and service in 1960.
A competition for the main gun of the M60 that included several weapons resulted in the selection of the new British L7A1 105mm (4.1-inch) gun (known in U.S. service as the M68). The M60 also had a new fire-control system. The new tank weighed nearly 116,000 pounds and had a four-man crew. Its 750-hp engine produced a maximum speed of 30 mph. Armament consisted of the 105mm gun and two machine guns. Variants included the M60A1, which had a new turret; the M60A2, which had a new turret with the 152mm gun/launcher developed for the M551 Sheridan; and the M60A3, which returned to the 105mm gun but with a thermal barrel jacket, a new fire-control computer with laser rangefinder, an infrared searchlight, and night-vision equipment. Most M60A1s were later modified to M60A3s. Other design improvements have been added, but with no change in model number.
The M60 was first supplied to U.S. Army units in Germany. As this theater was a priority and because there were no real armor-to-armor contests in Vietnam, the M60 did not serve in Indochina. Although no longer in U.S. active military service, a number of M60s remain in reserve and in the armed forces of other nations, including Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen. Israel alone received some 1,350 M60s.
The M60 was the principal U.S. main battle tank for 20 years until the introduction of the M1 Abrams. The M60 saw combat in the Arab-Israeli Wars and in the Gulf War of 1991, when it served with the U.S. Marine Corps and the army of Saudi Arabia. It will undoubtedly continue in service for the indefinite future, in part because of an upgrade offered by the General Dynamics Land Systems Division that will convert the M60s of such nations as Egypt, Greece, and Turkey to the M60-2000. This upgrade incorporates many of the advantages of the M1 Abrams but at far less cost. Conversion kits include the M1 turret and 120mm (4.72-inch) smoothbore gun, a new diesel power plant, and the M1 transmission system.