M60T Tank Modernisation Project’s Last Tank Delivery Ceremony

In terms of increasing

Issue 21

In the delivery ceremony at the Second Main Maintenance Centre Command, aside from the Minister of National Defence Vecdi Gönül, the Undersecretary for Defence Industry Murad Bayar, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defence Ehud Shani and Israel’s Ambassador to Ankara Gabi Levy as well as representatives from the Chief of Staff, the Land Forces Command, the Israeli Defence Ministry, IMI, MKE and ASELSAN representatives participated.

Minister of National Defence Vecdi Gönül, in his remarks at the ceremony, stated that in the projects developed with the purpose of meeting the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces, the objective is for the domestic industry to provide the maximum contribution.

Indicating that under IMI as the main contractor in the Project, the Second Main Maintenance Centre Command contributed to the integration of the tank’s main body and turret modifications, ASELSAN with the fire control system and electronics and the First Main Maintenance Centre Command with the pallet control. Gönül continued by saying that, “In order to continue with the positive contribution to peace and stability in the region that Turkey is located, it makes it compulsory for our armed forces to possess strong as well as deterrent capabilities. With the national projects started one after another in our country, important steps have been taken in the development of the defence industry. The Turkish defence industry is able to meet the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces with national design projects that cover a wide spectrum from land vehicles to all types of surface combat vessels, from guided weapon systems to advanced electronic systems, from aircraft modernisations to UAVs. With this project the opportunities and capabilities gained by our defence industry is aimed for use in our national tank project, the Altay Project.”

Vecdi Gönül also added that that the reverse gear problem of the M60 tanks had been resolved with regulatory procedures before delivery and that the calibration of the armour systems were now problem-free. Within the coverage of the protocol signed between ASELSAN and IMI, joint work was underway on third country markets and the ASELSAN would introduce the M60 tanks to the world.

The Israeli Defence Ministry General Director General (Rt.) Ehud Shani in his remarks stated that this modernisation project through the joint co-operation undertaken by Turkey and Israel was important for both countries and emphasised that this tank was the best of its kind.

After the conclusion of the presentations by IMI and SSM officials related to the project, a plaque was presented to those who participated in the project. After the ceremony a demonstration took place that exhibited the tanks reverse manoeuvre capability, brakes test, climbing, obstacle and water crossings and mobility. With the Project, the M60 tanks were fitted with a 1000 HP power group and an enhanced suspension system that increases the tank’s mobility capabilities. With the 120 mm new guns, the maximum range and destruction capability was expanded, while the impact capacity at first round as a result of the new firing control system that was fitted has made the M60 one of the most modern tanks in the world. The thermal vision systems have provided combat opportunities under night conditions. The armours strengthened with hybrid have made the M60 stronger against weapons fired against it. The MKE took part in the modernization of the weapons while ASELSAN in the development of the electronic systems in the Project. In terms of increasing the fire power and survivability, the integration of the latest technology sub-systems in armour, main gun, electronic systems and power group were realized by the Second Main Maintenance Centre Command