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M60A3 Patton Tank Thermal Sight (TTS)

The M60A3 with Tank Thermal Sight (TTS), incorporates hybrid solid-state ballistic computer, laser rangefinder, and turret stabilization system. The tank combat full-tracked, 105mm gun M60A3 (TTS) is an improved version of its predecessor, with the addition of an improved fire control system, thermal sight device, top loading air filters, and a laser range finder. The tank combat full-tracked, 105mm gun (TTS), (M60A3), has the capability to engage the full spectrum of enemy ground targets with a variety of accurate, point and area fire weapons, incorporated with a shoot-on-the-move capability.

The M60A3 main battle tank is used as the principal assault weapon of tank battalions during all types of combat operations, conducted under any conditions, from low-intensity conflict to general nuclear and nonnuclear situations, as part of an offensive combined arms team. The M60A3 ise employed as the decisive element of army forces to defeat an enemy force using fire and maneuver. In the role of defense, it ise used as a part of a combined arms team to prevent, resist, repulse, or destroy an enemy attack. The M60A3 (TTS) replaced the m48 series of tanks, and the M60A1 tank.

This vehicle took the interim developments in the Rise Passive version, and added a laser rangefinder, new ballistic computer, a tank thermal sight (TTS), and a thermal sleeve to the main gun (to help prevent "gun droop"). The first A3s began to deploy in Germany in mid-1979. The laser rangefinder added significant capability to the M-60, and many of these are still in service, with many in foreign service. The Tank Thermal Sight was a significant advance, and tankers who have operated a3s and M1a1s almost universally state that the TTS on the M-60a3 was the best thermal imager ever fielded. It was not used on the M1 series due to cost and its large size.

Work continued in FY 83 on M60 series tank product improvements, which the Army was developing on the basis of two objectives. The primary objective was to advance tank performance in the areas of firepower, mobility, reliability, availability, maintainability, and deployment. The secondary objective was to ensure commonality or interoperability with the M1 Abrams tank in order to standardize logistics support and increase training efficiency. Hence, the Army took a number of initiatives. It began applying accuracy improvements to the Main Gun; completed testing of hardware developed in the Clean Air program; initiated a hybrid Automatic Fire Suppression System (AFSS) concept; revised the purchase description (PD) of the AFSSs major components and capabilities; initiated an improved 105mm. gun program; completed research and development of the optical improvement to the TTS and programmed funds to procure it in FY 84.

The production of the M60A3 Tank Thermal Sight (TTS) tank for the Army concluded in FY 84 with a total of 1,052 M60A3 (TTS) tanks built since production started in FY 80. Production of M60A3 tanks continued for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) with the last tank scheduled for May 1986 delivery. The Army also increased its M60A3 (TTS) fleet through the M60AI tank conversion program and the M60A3 tank field retrofit program conducted by the Anniston Army Depot and the Mainz Army Depot. Depot field teams retrofitted all of the Army's 748 M60A3 tanks to the TTS configuration by the end of FY 84. In addition, the two depots converted a total of 1,391 M60AI tanks to the M60A3 (TTS).

The Army had 5,400 M60A3 TTS tanks, 1,686 of which are new production. The currently funded program calls for the conversion of an additional 2,209 M60A1 vehicles by FY 89. The Army did not plan on converting its remaining 1,952 M60Als to the M60A3 (TTS) configuration. Work on the M60 series tank product improvement program also continued during FY 84 to enhance tank performance in firepower, mobility, survivability, and RAM-D as well as to provide greater commonality and interoperability with the Ml tank.

The Army continued the 105-mm. Tank Gun Enhancement Program to extend the useful life of the fielded M60 and Ml tank fleets at a minimal cost. The program's goals were the development of an improved kinetic energy round, the XM900, and an extended (approximately 1.6 meters) 105-mm. gun tube, the XM24, to retrofit onto the M60A3 and Abrams tanks. During FY 84, the Watervliet Arsenal manufactured and delivered 14 XM24 tubes and 17 breeches for cannon, vehicle, and ammunition evaluations. The XM900 projectile received design evaluation testing during the fiscal year. The Army completed the advanced development phase in February 1984 and initiated it for the Ml in March. Full-scale development will begin in November 1984 for the M60A3 and January 1985 for the Abrams.

The Integrated Fire Control System (IFCS), a full director fire control and stabilized synchronized cannon sighting system, features an advanced forward-looking infrared thermal sight, an eye-safe laser rangefinder, a digital ballistic computer and an improved turret stabilization system. Operational performance enhancements provided include improved surveillance and target acquisition during moving engagements; faster and more precise multiple target engagement capability; long-range precision shooting; reduced ammunition consumption with more kills per combat load; and improved system performance.

On 15 April 2004 Raytheon Company was awarded a $64.8 million contract by the Jordan armed forces to upgrade their M60A3 main battle tanks with Raytheon's Integrated Fire Control System (IFCS). Raytheon would manufacture and test 82 IFCS upgrade kits in Indianapolis and provide technical assistance to Jordan armed forces personnel during the installation in Jordan. Spares and depot-maintenance equipment to establish a limited depot-support capability in Jordan will also be provided under this contract.

Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC (RTSC) has been working with Jordan's King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) for the past three years on its Phoenix Level 1 IFCS upgrade and Level 2 lethality upgrade efforts for the M60 main battle tank, a program designed to incrementally increase the M60's operational capability. Through that effort, one battalion has been fitted with this upgrade capability and deployed and is in-service with the Jordan armed forces; a second battalion is currently being outfitted with the upgrade. More than 2,000 rounds have already been successfully fired using the Phoenix Level 1 upgraded tanks.

The IFCS modernization resolves the logistics problems and increased obsolescence issues the M60 main battle tank's existing fire-control system experiences. The pre-upgrade sight system technology also limits the accuracy and the mobility of the tank. The IFCS upgrade provides the M60 with a true shoot-on-the-move capability, a significant improvement in performance.

The Raytheon M60A3 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) is offered for export to countries that need the performance to take on threats like a Russian-built T-90S, but cant afford a top-of-the-line machine like the M1A2 SEP(v)3 Abrams or Leopard 2A7. The core of the upgrade is a new 950-horsepower diesel engine which replaces the original 750-horsepower unit. Firepower is improved by swapping out the old 105mm M68 rifled gun in favor of the Abrams German-made L44 120mm smoothbore cannon.



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