Taiwan to start upgrade of its fleet of M60A3 main battle tanks in 2022


According to information published by the Liberty Times on November 5, 2021, Taiwan will start next year a program to upgrade its fleet of M60A3 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). The M60 is an American-made MBT that was manufactured by the company General Dynamics. The M60 entered service with the US Army in 1960 and from October 1962 the tank was succeeded in production under the name of M60A1. The M60A3 is an improved version of the M60A1. The first M60A3 MBTs were delivered to the Taiwanese army between 1995 and 2000.
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M60A3 Main Battle Tank from the Taiwanese Army (Picture source Wikimedia)


Taiwan plans to start a partial upgrade of M60A3 tanks in 2022. The Taiwanese National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) will conduct the work as part of a contract worth US$15.9 million spread over three years. According to the Military Balance 2020, the Taiwanese army has a total of 565 MBTs including 200 M60A3, 100 M48A5, and 265 M48H Brave Tiger. 

According to information reported by the Liberty Times website, the Taiwanese army M60A3 will be upgraded tank gun control, firing control, and sighting system. Other equipment and systems could be updated to strengthen the combat capabilities and protection of the M60A3 MBT.

The M60A3 is an improved version of the M60A1 and some of the improvements include the add-on of a stabilization system, the RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable) engine, and the smoke grenade launchers that were first fitted to the M60A1 some years ago. The main improvements are in the fire-control system. A Raytheon Systems Company laser range-finder with a maximum range of 5,000 m replaces the optical range-finder and a solid-state computer replaces the mechanical computer.

The hull of the M60A3 is made of cast-steel sections and forged floor plates welded together. It is divided into three compartments including the driver's at the front, the turret in the center, and the engine and transmission at the rear. The tank has a crew of four. A total of 63 rounds of ammunition can be carried, 26 are carried in the forward part of the hull, to the left and right of the driver's position, 13 in the turret for ready use, 21 in the turret bustle, and the remaining three under the gun. One 12.7mm machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola, another 7.62mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the left of the main gun.

The M60A3 is powered by a Continental AVDS-1790-2C 12-cylinder air-cooled diesel developing 750 hp at 2,400 rpm coupled to a General Motors Corporation, cross-drive, single-stage transmission with 2 forward and 1 reverse gears. the M60A3 can run at a maximum road speed of 48 km/ with a maximum cruising range of 480 km.


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