Sabra Main Battle Tank
In the mid-80's, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) upgraded it's M60 tank force. The early model M60, with the rounded turret, received a series of much needed upgrades and was renamed the Magach-7 configuration. This upgrade included thick slabs of passive armour added to the turret and hull front, armoured side skirts, new fire control and a thermal sleeve for the 105mm.
A key IMI export is an upgrade program for the US-built M60A3 main battle tank (MBT). The Sabra (Hebrew: "prickly pear") is an extensively upgraded M60 Patton tank developed by Israel Military Industries. It features a 120mm gun, developed to fit the relatively small turret dimensions of older tanks. This upgrade is ideal: no machining or welding is necessary on the turret to match the 120mm with the M60. The characteristics, including dimensions, recoil force and range, are almost identical to those of the existing 105mm system. Within the turret, the only major changes are for ammunition racking and the fire control system. IMI prototype has been tested and fired.
The Sabra Main Battle Tank is a modernised upgraded M60A3, orignally developed for a proposal to Turkey by Israel Military Industries. The Sabra upgrade package is now being marketed elsewhere internationally. The original 60s and 70s technology is replaced by new systems which will extend the life of the M60 into the next century as an effective weapon system capable of defeating modern tanks. The Sabra's main armament is a new 120mm Gun system which is interoperable with NATO weapon systems and ammunition. Similar to the gun developed for the Merkava Mark 3 main battle tank, it is mated with thermal imaging sights and the "Knight" fire control system and which provides a fire on the move capability. The 120mm gun was developed to fit the relatively small turret dimensions of older tanks. No machining or welding is necessary on the turret to match the 120mm with the M60. The characteristics, including dimensions, recoil force and range, are almost identical to those of the existing 105mm system. Within the turret, the only major changes are for ammunition racking and the fire control system. The enhanced turret and add-on ballistic protection improve survivability against shaped charge and kinetic projectiles.
The M60 tank, created in 1959, was a development of the M48 tank and differed from it in weapons. We slightly changed the shape of the bow of the hull and the configuration of the turret and increased the thickness of the armor in the most vulnerable areas. The hull and turret of the tank are cast.
The 105-mm gun of British design is equipped with an ejector. It is much more powerful than the 90 mm gun of the M48 tank. Its ammunition load includes sub-caliber shells with a detachable pallet, with a plastic explosive, cumulative and high-explosive fragmentation. The mechanisms for aiming the gun and turning the turret are electro-hydraulic with manual override. The tank is equipped with a rangefinder sight and a ballistic computer.
The chassis and suspension remain the same as on the M48, but with some improvements - for example, the support and carrier rollers and drive wheels are made of aluminum alloy. The M60 is equipped with a diesel engine (for the first time on a post-war American tank), a hydromechanical power transmission, a system for starting the engine at low temperatures, as well as equipment for overcoming a ford up to 3.5 m deep. The tank uses an automatic fire-fighting equipment system. The tank is equipped with night vision devices and a night sight. The driver has an infrared periscope, which is illuminated by headlights mounted on the frontal sheet of the hull.
Since 1962, an improved modification of the M60A1 was produced (the armor of the turret was strengthened, an armament stabilizer and additional infrared night vision devices were installed). In 1968, on its basis, a modification of the M60A2 was created with a 152-mm gun - a launcher for the Shillela anti-tank guided missiles. The M60A2 had a laser rangefinder sight and an electronic ballistic computer. In 1975, a new modification of the M60A4 tank appeared. It was equipped with a laser rangefinder sight, a ballistic computer and non-illuminated sights and night vision devices.
More than 12,000 vehicles were manufactured in total. By the beginning of 1990, over 9,000 were in the American army. In addition, they are in the armed forces of Israel, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Austria, Turkey and South Korea. Production of the M60 in the United States was discontinued in 1980 with the beginning of the production of the Abrams tank.
The M60 was a well-armed and armored, reliable, easy-to-use second-generation tank. On its basis, a sapper tank M728, an M88A1 ??repair and recovery vehicle and a bridgelayer were created. ballistic computer and non-illuminated sights and night vision devices. More than 12 thousand cars were manufactured in total. By the beginning of 1990, over 9 thousand were in the American army. In addition, they are in the armed forces of Israel, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Austria, Turkey and South Korea.
|Weight, combat loaded||55 tons|
|Overall length gun forward||9.40 metres|
|Overall width without skirts||3. 63 metres|
|height||3. 05 metres|
|Main armament||120 mm smooth bore gun|
|Ammunition stowage||42 rounds|
|Coaxial machine gun||7.62 mm/5.56 mm|
|Externally mounted machine guns||2 x7.62 mm / 5.56 mm|
|Gunner's sight||periscopic day and night, stabilized in 2 axes|
|Commander's sight||day sight plus optical relay to gunner's sight|
|Laser rangefinder||ND:YAG eye-safe|
|Engine||Teledyne Continental AVDS 1790-5A four stroke diesel|
|Maximum road speed||48 km/hour|
|Range on hard level ground||450 kilometres|
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