Turkey received the first M60T tank modernized with local components

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The first delivery of the newly modernized M60T tank, an indigenous production, has been received by the Turkish army. This marks one of the initial successful stages of the project that aims to enhance the capabilities of the M60T tanks by the Defense Industry Presidency. This noteworthy moment culminated in a delivery ceremony. 

Photo credit: Aselsan

Among those present at the ceremony held in Ankara’s Şereflikoçhisar district were esteemed individuals such as the President of SSB, Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgun. The event also had in attendance the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Dr. Celal Sami Tufekci, and the Commander of the Ground Forces, General Selcuk Bayraktaroglu, along with other industry representatives. 

During the event, Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgun conveyed his feelings about the significance of the M60T tank in the progress toward complete sovereignty in the Turkish defense industry. He praised the role of Turkish engineers in reaching this achievement, asserting that the modernization project was a product of local and national engineering prowess. Görgun also highlighted Turkey’s unique aptitude for modernizing an array of tank models – a skill possessed by a select few nations globally. 

In his acknowledgment speech, he enthused, “Our latest M60T tanks, fortified and equipped with local and national technologies, serve as a substantial arsenal for our ground forces. Becoming a part of the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory, this new addition evidences the determination of our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to increase the localization ratio in our defense industry without any compromises. The platforms we have upgraded and modernized today forge new pathways for our defense industry. I would like to express my appreciation to the devoted personnel of our Ground Forces Command, my industrious colleagues at our Presidential office, all contributing contractor companies, and engineers – with a special mention of Aselsan.”

The modernization

In mid-2022, Aselsan and SSB signed a contract to replace foreign technologies in M60T tanks with domestically produced alternatives, meeting the demands of the Turkish Armed Forces. 

Photo credit: Aselsan

As a result, the mass production of the VOLKAN-M fire control system commenced, which included the creation of a combat information system for tank control. Moreover, the required additional armor protections and crew seating were also manufactured within the country. 

The TİYK-M60T project framework supervises the integration of these systems into the M60T tanks. These activities, along with FASBAT tasks regarding the tanks, are managed under the vigilant eyes of the 2nd Directorate at the Main Maintenance Plant in Kayseri. 

Under the comprehensive project’s umbrella, not only Aselsan but also Roketsan, with the assistance of T-Kalıp company, are involved in the production and development of additional armor protection and crew seating arrangements. To date, the Ground Forces Command has proudly integrated two upgraded M60T tanks into their armament expansion project. The project, in its later stages, aims to facilitate the incorporation of domestic systems into additional M60T tanks housed in the inventory of the Ground Forces Command.

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