Production of the US M60A1 Main Battle Tank started in 1962 with production of the M60A3 starting in 1978 and both models being heavily exported in later years.
In 1973 Egypt and its Allies launched a war on all the fronts of Israel, using Russian military equipment such as tanks, Anti-Tank Missiles and SAM systems, which became known as the Yom Kipper War (Yom Kipper is a national Israeli public religious/holiday).
The US sent to Israel a steady stream of Patton series tanks such as the M48 and M60A1’s. After the War was won by Israel (you could also call the war a proxy war between the former USSR and USA) Israel set about like it had done with the Centurion and Sherman’s, upgrading these Patton Tanks to their own spec’s and were designated the Magach series, which served for many years and battles with the IDF.
From these upgrades, Israel Military Industries has been able to offer an upgrade package for other nations operating the Patton M60A1/A3. The upgrade package is designated the Sabra and has been further upgraded in to 3 Marks aka Mk.
The Israeli Sabra M60A1/A3 Tank upgrade package – Sabra Mk1
The vehicle incorporates a number of the systems used in 1990’s version of the indigenousness Merkava, the Mk3.
This includes the hydraulic turret & gun stabilization drive on the M60A1/A3 replaced with an all electrical drive (reducing the number of parts that could explode if struck), the Knight Fire control System, a new 120mm calibre Length 44 smoothbore main gun and modular armour around the turret containing an unknown ceramic (or possible passive) in the modules.
The Israeli Sabra M60A1/A3 Tank upgrade package – Sabra Mk2 aka M60T
This version was more customised for the Turkish Army to upgrade their M60A3’s. Retaining the Mk1 upgrades, the Mk2 included the MTU Friedrichshafen engine, which is built under license in Turkey (MTU Turk A.S.), and a Renk transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. The armour modules on the turret have had customised ERA fitted on top. They have also retained the larger M60 Patton style M19 cupola with the M85 12.7 mm machine gun found on the M60s in Turkish service.
The Israeli Sabra M60A1/A3 Tank upgrade package – Sabra Mk3
The version incorporates new armour technology in the modules, RWR/IR warning system, and tracks from the Merkava Mk4.
The Israeli Sabra M60A1/A3 Tank upgrade package Operators:
Turkey operates 170 Mk2’s that were upgraded in Turkey since 2007 and locally designated the M60T.