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M60/M1 hybrid tank to make debut in Turkey


General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) rolled out a fully  functional prototype of its 120S main battle tank (MBT) at its Detroit facility in early August. This is now en route to Turkey and will make its first public  appearance at the IDEF Exhibition in September.

The M60-2000 MBT has been  marketed for several years and a number of countries in NATO and the Middle East  were briefed on the vehicle (Jane's Defence Weekly 29 July 1998). Following  customer feedback, detailed engineering work was carried out and last December  GDLS decided to build a functional prototype. The first potential customer is  Turkey.

The 120 in the designation represents the 120mm smoothbore gun and the S stands for speed and survivability. The M60 part of the earlier  designation is no longer considered relevant as so much of the MBT is new. The tank looks similar to the M1A1 Abrams.

GDLS, the design authority for the M60 series, has considerable experience in upgrading this and other MBTs for export as well as the transferring tank technology abroad. The M60 chassis and  the M1A1 turret have been leased from the US Army for the 120S programme.

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