FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Land Warfare |||| Index | Search | Join FAS

M60 Series Tank (Patton Series)

The M60 Patton main battle tank is now primarily found in US Reserve and National Guard units, but served as the primary US main battle tank for two decades prior to the introduction of the M1. Developed from the M48 Patton series, the M60 was fitted with a 105mm main gun and manned by a four-man crew. Criticized for its high profile and limited cross-country mobility, this durable tank proved reliable and underwent many updates over its service life. Initially produced in 1960, over 15,000 M60s were built by Chrysler and first saw service in 1961. Production ended in 1983, but 5,400 older models were converted to the M60A3 variant ending in 1990. This tank saw action with the Israeli forces during the Yom Kippur War in both the Sinai and the Golan Heights. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force fielded 210 M60A1s to support the Saudi-Marine effort into Kuwait City.

Besides its main gun, the M60 series tanks are equipped with a 7.62mm M240 coaxial machine gun and 12.7mm M85 antiaircraft gun. Power is provided by a Continental AVDS-1790-2C 750 hp V-12 engine and an Allison CD-850-6/6A powershift crossdrive transmission.


Weight 60 tons
Length 32'4"
Width 13'6"
Ground Clearance 18in
Track Width 28in
Forward speed 30 mph
Reverse speed 10 mph
Engine 750 hp Continental AVDS-1790 V-12 diesel
Vertical obstacle climb 49 in
Maximum width ditch 108 in
Fording Depth 48 in
Main Gun 105mm/51cal M68 rifiled gun with 63 rounds
Coaxial machinegun M240 - 7.62mm with 5,950 rounds
Commander's machinegun M85 - .50 cal antiaircraft gun with 900 rounds
Sensors and Fire Control M21 solid state along ballistic computer, AN/VVG-2 ruby laser rangefinder usable by both commander and gunner, AN/vsg-2 Tank thermal Sights (TTS) withlaser rangerfinder and Mercury-Cadmium-Telluride (HgCdTe) IR detector for passive night and dust vision


M60A1 (principal production model from 1963 to 1980) w/British-designed L7 105mm rifled gun w/thermal sleeve and fume extractor (63 rounds)

M60A2 (production began in 1974) w/152mm Shillelagh gun/missile system (13 missiles and 33 rounds). Sarcastically referred to as the "Starship" by its crews due to its complexity, the M60A2 was an overall disappointment. During testing, numerous problems with the new turret arose, and production did not commence until 1973, and actually ceased in 1975. Eventually the new turrets were scrapped. Phase-out of the SHILLELAGH/M60A2 system from active Army units was completed in 1981.

M60A3 w/Tank Thermal Sight (TTS), hybrid solid-state ballistic computer, laser rangefinder, and turret stabilization system

Sources and Resources

FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Land Warfare |||| Index | Search | Join FAS

Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Tuesday, February 22, 2000 12:56:00 PM