Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, made an on-site examination of the new technologies and capabilities of the M60T tanks that have been modernised within the scope of the Fırat Project. According to a press release on 12 July, during his visit to ASELSAN, Prof. Dr. Demir received detailed information about the project from Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgün, Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and CEO of ASELSAN, and other officials.
In a statement during the visit, Prof. Dr. Demir said: “This tank is equipped with active protection systems, the like of which are possessed by only three countries in the world. This is a clear indicator of the level to which our defence sector has reached. In this project, we have applied a series of systems that we are using and will use for the ALTAY tank. As a continuation of the M60 modernisation project, we will modernise our Leopard tanks in a parallel way. Accordingly, as our efforts in the serial production of our ALTAY tank continue, these tanks will also be modernised and will be listed among the most capable tanks in the world.”
The Fırat Project was initiated by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) in May 2017, aimed at providing more protection to the M60T main battle tanks in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) against anti-tank threats and terrorism elements, as well as the creation of additional capabilities aside from those currently available systems. Within the project, ASELSAN has modernised 169 M60T tanks, thus upgrading all of the M60T tanks in the inventory to the M60TM configuration. The project was implemented rapidly while the Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield Operations were continuing, and the modernised tanks made available to TAF. Within the scope of the modernisation of the M60Ts, the short- and medium-range firing capability and the short- and long-range survivability and defence capabilities of the tanks were upgraded, and the capabilities related to the protection of the tank and personnel were improved.
For the modernisation of the M60T tank into the M60TM configuration, the following systems have been integrated:
- Laser Warning System
- Remote Control Weapon Station
- Telescopic Periscope System
- Location and Orientation Detection System
- Close-Range Surveillance System
- Tank Driver Sight System
- Protection Lining
- Air Conditioning System
- Auxiliary Current System
- PULAT Active Protection System