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AFV Club 1/35 M60A1 Patton Main Battle Tank Kit

AFV Club 1/35 M60A1 Patton Main Battle Tank Kit

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$67.99 $84.99
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In the late 1950s the US Army was searching for a more modern tank to form its battle fleet and to replace the M48 series. They tried a new line of tanks with the T95 but this tank never seemed to provide a satisfactory alternative, so an updated version of the M48 tank was then considered.

There were three primary things the Army sought for this tank: the AVDS-1790 diesel engine to reduce fire risks and increase range; the new British 105mm L7A1 main gun to replace the 90mm series weapons; and the use of siliceous core armor plate on the glacis and parts of the turret. While the first two items were relatively easy to achieve, the latter one ran into cost and production issues and was dropped. While a new “long nose” turret from the T95 program was preferred, the original turret adopted to field the new tank, now dubbed M60, was a modified version of the M48 series turret with a bubble in the back to permit use of the new gun and larger ammunition.

The first M60 series tanks were delivered in 1960 but had problems. The new M85 machine gun did not work properly so the first 300 tanks were fitted with an external mount on the cupola and an M2HB machine gun on a flexible mount. All had the lightweight aluminum wheels which the Army had wanted to reduce unsprung weight. After 2,205 M60 tanks were delivered, the first M60A1 tanks with the “long nose” turrets began coming off the production line in 1962.

Also fitted to the M60A1 were six shock absorbers - the M60 had not used them and tended to pitch badly (these were apparently retrofitted). The M60A1 had thicker armor protection than the M60 (which is why they were soon reclassified as Standard B and given to the reserves) but the first production lots were noted as having two shot traps under the front edges of the turret. This was corrected by thickening up the lower “cheeks” of the turret and the support for the upper turret race.

The M60A1 and its later version, the M60A3, remained in production for over 20 years and were constantly upgraded with new sights, electronics, air cleaners, and finally a switch back to M48 style steel road wheels. Note that basically all US Army tanks from the M26 to the M1 can use the same road wheels - as a point of fact, the ex-ranges M26A1 tank on display in front of the 3AD Headquarters in Frankfurt in 1988 had been restored with aluminum M60 road wheels.

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