M60 Patton Tank - US:

The M60 Patton is a main battle tank (MBT) introduced in December 1960. With the United States Army's deactivation of their last (M103) heavy tank battalion in 1963, the M60 became the Army's primary tank during the Cold War. Although developed from the M48 Patton, the M60 series was never officially classified as a Patton tank, but as a "product-improved descendant" of the Patton series. In March 1959, the tank was officially standardized as the 105 mm Gun Full Tracked Combat Tank M60.

M60 Patton Tank

The M60 underwent many updates over its service life. The interior layout, based on the design of the M48, provided ample room for updates and improvements, extending the vehicle's service life for over four decades. It was widely used by the U.S. and its Cold War allies, especially those in NATO, and remains in service throughout the world today, despite having been superseded by the M1 Abrams in the U.S. military. Egypt is currently the largest operator with 1,716 upgraded M60A3s, Turkey is second with 866 upgraded units in service, and Israel is third with over 700 units of Israeli variants.

The M60-based M60 AVLB (Armored Vehicle Launch Bridge) and the M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle were the only variants of the M60 deployed to South Vietnam. The AVLB, commonly referred to as the "bridge tank", was mounted on an M60 tank hull, and the M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle was an M60 tank mounting a short-tubed 165 mm (6.5 in) main gun that fired a HEP round.

M60 Patton Tank

Late in the M60's U.S. Army service a number of prototype upgrades were evaluated. These were passed over in favor of simply producing more M1 Abrams. Due to the end of the Cold War, surplus US Army M1s were absorbed into the remaining USMC units, allowing the Marine Corps to become an all-M1 tank force at reduced cost. Except for a small number in active service, most M60s were placed in reserve, with a few being sold to US allies.

The M60A3 participated in close air support trials with the F-16 in the 1980s. M60A1s are still used by the USAF for testing of ground radar equipment on new aircraft and for ground force adversarial work at Red Flag at Nellis AFB Nevada. USMC M60A1 tanks were used in Grenada and Beirut in 1983.

During Operation Desert Storm in 1991 at least one US Air Force unit was equipped with M60s. The 401st TFW (P), deployed to Doha, Qatar had two M60s for use by explosives ordnance disposal personnel. It was planned that using the MBTs would allow the EOD crews to remove unexploded ordnance from tarmac runway and taxiway surfaces with increased safety.

M60 Patton Tank

In early February 1991, US Marines used 200 M60A1s of the 1st Tank Batallion drove north from Khafji, Saudi Arabia into Kuwait. In Kuwait, they encountered an Iraqi force of T-54/55, Type 69, and T-72 tanks at Kuwait City International Airport. The Marines won this battle, destroying some 100 Iraqi tanks with only one M60A1 lost.

The last 18 M60A3s were maintained at the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) near Hohenfels, Germany. They were used in the OPFOR Surrogate role by Delta company 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment until 2005. More details