M60-2000 / 120S Main Battle Tank
The General Dynamics 120S is an upgrade of the M60 tank. The 120 in the designation represents the 120mm smoothbore gun and the S stands for speed and survivability. The M60 part of the earlier M60-2000 designation is no longer considered relevant as so much of the MBT is new.
The 120S is a unique product that integrates the M1A1 120-mm turret, equipped with a 240X4 Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), onto a fully modernized M60 chassis. The survivability of the 120S is unmatched. The turret is protected with the latest armor, which was successfully demonstrated to the Turkish Main Battle Tank Committee. Additionally, the 120-mm ammunition is fully compartmentalized, providing optimum system survivability as demonstrated in the 1991 Gulf War.
The 120S chassis includes an M1A1 suspension system, giving the tank greatly improved cross-country mobility and a stable base for fire-on-the-move accuracy similar to the Abrams tank. The new 120S is fully functional, ready to accept a powerpack of the customer's choice. To achieve mobility similar to an M1A2 Abrams tank, a 1200-horsepower AVDS-1790 engine is recommended. The upgraded AVDS-1790-9A 1200HP diesel is similar to that used on the M88A2 and Merkava vehicles. The engine is mated to M1 Allison X-1100-5 transmission and Abrams final drives. However, other propulsion options are also possible.
The 120S offers a proven and affordable M60 upgrade solution to potential customers. The 120S makes existing M60 fleets relevant by increasing their capability to close to that of the M1A1 Abrams tank's performance, at half the price. Also of significance is the fact that the 120S upgrade components are in production with logistical and operational support readily available through the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. The 120S offers a pragmatic approach to potential customers. It's commonality with the Abrams tank family of vehicles easily offers future growth opportunities to evolve into a new main battle tank program.
General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) developed the new version of the M60, the M60-2000, for export. The M60-2000 MBT has been marketed for several years and a number of countries in NATO and the Middle East were briefed on the vehicle. Following customer feedback, detailed engineering work was carried out and in December 2000 GDLS decided to build a functional prototype.
The first potential customer is Turkey. Gneral Dynamics Land Systems has offered to build a prototype of its proposed M60-2000 upgrade of the M60A3 main battle tank to be evaluated by Egypt. The Egyptian Army is considering this offer.
On 27 September 2001, General Dynamics introduced its 120S Main Battle Tank during the opening ceremonies at IDEF 2001 in Ankara, Turkey. General Dynamics Land Systems rolled out a fully functional prototype of its 120S main battle tank (MBT) at its Detroit facility in early August 2001.
General Dynamics engineering shop produced a first phase prototype vehicle. It had a M1A1 functional turret and suspension system with the M1 gear box, hydraulic pump and M1A1 slip ring. The hull has adapters fitted so the M1A1 rotary shock absorbers, torsions bars and T-158 track can be used. Hull sides had M1A1-like sponsons and ballistic side skirts.