Magach 7 is the most comprehensive upgrade package for the M60 tank family. It entered service with the Israeli Defense Forces in the 1980s.
Since its founding in 1947, Israel has been constantly in a state of war, and they have truly optimized all of its assets. Every weapon that fell into Israel’s hands was converted into valuable assets, from World War II M4 Sherman tanks to T-54/55s captured from the 1967 and 1973 wars. More modern tanks such as the M48 and M60 Patton have also been significantly modified in a family of vehicles known as the “Magach”, culminating in the Magach-7 and the Sabra.
The M60 tank was a successful second-generation main battle tank of the United States, but compared to the Soviet tank of the same time it was considered weaker in protection and firepower. To solve this problem, Israel decided to upgrade these tanks, and Magach 7 is the most comprehensive upgrade package for this tank family. It entered service with the Israeli Defense Forces in the 1980s.
Compared to the original M60, Magach 7 has significantly improved mobility, firepower, especially its armor protection has been greatly improved. Magach 7 was supplemented with thick passive armor plates, providing better protection. The Magach 7 which features side-skirts. The first two sections of the skirts feature ballistic material and are hinged for easy access to the running gear. The rear skirts are made of steel. All the skirts are fitted to heavy-duty springs to prevent them being ripped-off while maneuvering.
Magach 7 is equipped with an improved engine of the previous Continental AVDS-1790-2C with a capacity of 908 horsepower. The transmission is automatic and sourced from the Merkava Mk.1. Suspension and hydraulics have also been improved, giving the Magach 7 a much improved cross-country performance over the M60 Patton. As a result weapon stability was enhanced.
In terms of armament, the Magach 7 retains the 105 mm L7/M68 rifle as fitted to the previous M60s but now has an additional bolt-on thermal sleeve for improved accuracy. It is fully compatible with 105 mm NATO ammunition. The M73 machine gun has been replaced by an FN machine gun. A 12.7 mm M2HB can be fitted to the roof. This MBT is fitted with new fire control system with a laser rangefinder.
Magach 7 has a weight of about 55 tons, a length of 9.43 m, a width of 3.63 m, and a height of 3.25 m. Its 4-man crew includes: Driver, gunner, Commander, and loader. Today’s Magach series have been gradually replaced by Merkava tanks, however these MBTs are still in service in reserve units.