IDEF 2021: Aselsan has developed M60TM modernized version of M60 tank with PULAT APS

The Turkish Company Aselsan presents a new modernized version of the M60 Main Battle Tank, the M60TM, which is part of the FIRAT-M60T Project. At IDEF 2021, International Defense Exhibition in Turkey, the M-60TM was also fitted with the Active Protection System (APS) PULAT also developed by Aselsan.

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Aselsan Firat M60TM modernized version of M60 main battle tanj fitted with PULAT APS Active Protection System. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The FIRAT Project was launched by the Turkish Defense Association to modernize the fleet of M60A3 in service with the Turkish army with the goal to increase protection of the tank against current anti-tank threats, as well as to provide new outstanding capabilities.

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, the auxiliary current system. The modernized tank is also fitted with the Active Protection System (APS) Pulat.

The main armament of the M60TM consists of the MG253 120 mm gun developed by IMI (Israel Military Industries), now named IMI Systems. IMI has developed three versions of its MG251 120mm gun, including improved version MG251-LR and the MG253 which can fire all NATO 120mm ammunition as well as the LAHAT anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).

The roof of the M60TM is fitted with a remotely operated weapon station that can be armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun or 40mm Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGL). The rear part of the turret is also equipped with a Telescopic Periscope System (TEPES) mounted on a hydraulic mast offering secure surveillance and target acquisition capabilities while in the defilade position are gained.

The PULAT is an active protection system able to scan up to 180 degrees in azimuth and 35 degrees in elevation and capable to detect incoming threats up to 50 m and calculates its angle of approach. The PULAT consists of a control panel, a power distribution unit, and countermeasure modules. Six cylindrical countermeasure modules are mounted around the hull, with two on each of the sides, one at the front and one at the rear.

Citing Global Security website, when the cylindrical Counter Measure Munition is activated it neutralizes the threat using a dense cloud of fast-moving splinters (small fragments scatter around in the shape of a ring due to the cylindrical form of the munition). The fast-moving splinters directly shoot the warhead of the ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) constitute a threat. After a physical impact either the warhead on the threat is disabled or the formation of the gel effect (in the HEAT type warhead) is prevented.