The Turkish M60 has undergone many major upgrades, and most recently the M60 will receive the domestic Volkan-M fire control system
When the world was familiar with the M1 Abrams tank; but it was the M60 Pattons that symbolized the strength of the US army during the Cold War, before it was completely replaced by the M1 Abrams. Turkey is a major operator of the M60, and to this day it remains the core of the country’s armored forces. The Turkish M60 has undergone many major upgrades, and most recently the M60 will receive the domestic Volkan-M fire control system. Accordingly, the Turkish company Aselsan has introduced a new modernized version of the M60 Main Battle Tank, M60TM, which is part of the FIRAT-M60T Project.
The M60TM integrates several new subsystems including a laser warning system, remote command weapon system, telescopic periscope system, position and orientation detection system, close distance surveillance system, tank driver vision system, protection primer, air conditioning system, and the auxiliary current system. At IDEF 2021, International Defense Exhibition in Turkey, the M-60TM was also fitted with the Active Protection System PULAT also developed by Aselsan.
The Volkan-M fire control system is one of the most important upgrades on the M60TM. The system was developed domestically in Turkey and is part of the Fırat M60T project, because of US economic sanctions after Ankara acquired the Russian S-400 air defense system.
The Volkan-M system provides a simplified system architecture, effective day and night visibility, high first-shot hit probability, and fire control functions in stationary or mobile difficult combat, terrain and weather conditions to provide tanks with the highest level of ability to fire in combat conditions.
The M60TM, which is modernized by Ankara itself, still uses a 120 mm main gun. When upgraded to the new fire control system, the firepower of this MBT will not be inferior to any opponent on the battlefield. The biggest difference between the M60TM and the standard M60 is in its new defense systems, including state-of-the-art explosive reactive armor built on ERA Nozh technology, accompanied by the Zaslon active defense system.
The Zaslon protection system provides the tank with a reliable level of protection against anti-tank weapons thanks to the independent operation of the modules. However, Zaslon has the disadvantage of operating according to the old principle, easily causing serious casualties to the accompanying infantrymen because the shrapnel spreads over a very large area and is difficult to control. Even so, thanks to the combination of the 120mm main gun, the new fire control system, and the defense system both active and passive, the Turkish M60TM tank can be considered as the an extremely scary monster on the battlefield. It is surprising that an old machine like the M60 after being upgraded by Turkey has such remarkable power.