Turkish defence electronics specialist Aselsan has announced on 24 July that the company successfully accomplished with the project to upgrade the first batch of M60T main battle tanks under the FIRAT-M60T program in a record turnaround time.
Within a year, Aselsan has developed an improved version of M60T main battle tanks and hand over the first batch of upgraded tanks for the Turkish Army. The military was satisfied and a decision was made to upgrade all M60T main battle tanks in service of the Turkish army.
According to the statement made by ASELSAN, it was decided to modernize all M60T tanks in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) inventory under the leadership of the Turkey Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSB).
Contract amendment was signed for EUR 96.7 million and TL 25 million increase depending on the additions made within the scope of FIRAT-M60T Project signed between SSB and ASELSAN. As a result of the amendment, the contract amounted to EUR 206 million and TL 50 million.
The tanks that were upgraded under FIRAT-M60T program feature a number of differences to the base’s version of M60T Sabra tank. The improved version is equipped with a new remote weapon platform, modern laser warning system, and optics surveillance system.
The new Remote Weapon Station (RWS) replaces at the left-back of the turret the M85 HMG weapon station and some source reported that could be a SARP RWS from the Aselsan company. Depending on the operational requirements, SARP can be equipped with 12.7mm machine gun, 40mm automatic grenade launcher or 7.62mm machine gun.
The M60T FIRAT is equipped with advanced TLUS laser warning system to detect, classify, identify and give warning of hostile laser threats aiming on the platform, in a very short time with high sensitivity. TLUS can activate the countermeasure systems available on the platform either directly or via a host computer.
Also, on board of tanks installed a new DAS 360° Continuous Surveillance System with integrated uncooled thermal imagers and daylight TV cameras. The system is specifically designed for continuous stationary and mobile surveillance. According to the operation conditions, the user has the option to stick as many 3x sensor blocks as needed together to cover whole perimeter of the structure or vehicle for situational awareness.
In addition, Turkey Army’s tanks will be equipped with a high-tech active-protection system, called the Pulat, designed to sense and destroy incoming anti-tank warheads 8-10 meters away.
The Pulat active protection system work by detecting the anti-tank missiles or rockets approaching to the platform with its high technology radar, and then disables them at optimum range from the platform by using Hard-Kill method. The new active protection system jointly developed by Aselsan and the Ukrainian Base Center for Critical Technologies Microtech with the direct participation of the UkrOboronService.