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External differences between M60A1 and M60A3?
dexter059
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Region de Valparaiso, Chile
Joined: July 28, 2005
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 04:36 AM UTC
Hi folks, Ive been working on the M60A1 from Italeri No 6397. What I want its to convert it into the Austrian Army version of the A3.

Ive been gathering some info around the web and I think Im aware of the most notorious differences (AEG searchlight, smoke launchers) but Im not sure if Im missing something else that I have to do.

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Cheers
mikeo
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 04:52 AM UTC
The first difference that I notice is that the M60A3 has a thermal shroud on the main gun barrel. The pros here can probably give you more than that though.
LeoCmdr
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 05:42 AM UTC
One of the biggest modifications to the Austrian M60A3s was replacing the US octagon shaped track pads with Diehl double padded track.

There were also track grousers mounted on the glacis plate.

In case you don't know the Austrian M60A3s were painted in the three colour NATO cam.
m4sherman
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 05:48 AM UTC
Claus,
There were a good number of improvements and changes between the A1 and A3 series. New air filter boxes, lazer range finder, wind sensor, thermal shoud on the gun tube, new optics, smoke launchers, boxes for the smoke laucher refill and the new track. Some, many, had the road wheels from the M48 series. I have not built the Italeri model so I have no idea if it was a base M60A1 or not. Improved M60A1 varients did have some of these upgrades.

Do you have pictures of your Austrian tank? It should make an interesting model.
Randy
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 06:27 AM UTC
There were quite a few changes, most are listed above. It would be much easier to take the Revell (old Esci kit, just as the Italeri M60A1 is) M60A3 and use it.
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 06:31 AM UTC
You can see in the photos in the link I have posted the modifications to the Austrian M60A3s.

Austrian Modifications
-AEG searchlight
-smoke grenade dischargers
-grouser racks
-Diehl tracks

Standard M60A3 modifications
-barrel jacket
-wind sensor
-late style air filter boxes
-M48 style road wheels

http://www.bmlv.gv.at/download_archiv/photos/panzer/galerie.php?id=137&currRubrik=50
m4sherman
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 07:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

There were quite a few changes, most are listed above. It would be much easier to take the Revell (old Esci kit, just as the Italeri M60A1 is) M60A3 and use it.



Ah, I thought there was an A3 out there besides the old Tamiya one.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 07:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ah, I thought there was an A3 out there besides the old Tamiya one.



Yup, it is much better quality than the old Tamiya one and its Academy and Trumpeter copies too. Esci also got the ride height of the suspension right. Tamiya based theirs on one that had no engine or interior, thus it sat too high on its suspension, about 3mm too high in 1/35.
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 08:03 AM UTC
Well, the rangefinder hoods were modified--the right one had the new laser rangefinder, which had a hinged flap that protected it when not in use. The left one was retained as a dummy, so laser equipped tanks could not be distinguished. Top loading air cleaner boxes replaced the side loading variety. The A3 also had a mast for a cross wind sensor on the turret roof near the rear, though many units dismounted it when they found it it didn't work very well and was prone to damage. A thermal shroud was fitted to the main gun. From 1980 onward, the M48 style steel wheels were adopted, as the aluminum wheels used on earlier vehicles had an unacceptable failure rate (these had the fins or gussets on the inside of the rims). The steel wheels appeared as replacements on older vehicles over the next decade, though the aluminum wheels never completely disappeared.
The turret casting was altered a couple of times over the tank's production life. The armor around the turret ring at the sides was thickened after the Yom Kippur War showed it was vulnerable to penetrations, and the cheek armor to the lower right and left of the mantlet was also beefed up. The final casting batch eliminated the undercut at the turret sides completely (Tamiya's revised turret depicts this version). Older turrets were not modified, as the Army preferred to spend money on new Abrams tanks rather than fully upgrade the M60 series.
dexter059
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Region de Valparaiso, Chile
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 08:54 AM UTC
Thanks for the help guys, In fact, the pics I was using as reference were the ones from the official Austrian Army site.

I guess Ill get the Revell rendition and start from there. Lucky me, there are quite a few of them in my LHS, guess Ill have to build my M60A1 in other configuration.... ;p

The only problem I see are the Diehl tracks and grousers. Maybe some of the A3 austrian tanks had the octagonal track pads in some point of their lives....

Thanks again

Cheers
junglejim
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 09:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The turret casting was altered a couple of times over the tank's production life. The armor around the turret ring at the sides was thickened...and the cheek armor to the lower right and left of the mantlet was also beefed up. The final casting batch eliminated the undercut at the turret sides completely (Tamiya's revised turret depicts this version).


Any good photos out there to illustrate the differences (real vehicles)? And which Tamiya kit? - the USMC M60A1 with ERA tiles, or M60A3, or both?

Cheers,
Jim


m4sherman
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Arizona, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 10:42 AM UTC
I believe the kits used the same turret. The Marine version was almost upgraded to A3 if I remember right. It's been a long time since I looked at those kits. Any modern armor guys out there?
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 06:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Claus,
There were a good number of improvements and changes between the A1 and A3 series. New air filter boxes, lazer range finder, wind sensor, thermal shoud on the gun tube, new optics, smoke launchers, boxes for the smoke laucher refill and the new track. Some, many, had the road wheels from the M48 series. I have not built the Italeri model so I have no idea if it was a base M60A1 or not. Improved M60A1 varients did have some of these upgrades.

Do you have pictures of your Austrian tank? It should make an interesting model.
Randy

The ex-Esci M60A1 and M60A3 kits are two of my favorite "modern" armor models. They are basically the exact same model with some portions of the molds swapped out for A1 and A3 specific parts. The A3 kit is more "correct" than the A1 kit, although neither is wrong.

The A1 kit contains early side loading air cleaners but late octagonal tracks. Not incorrect, but if they included late top loading air cleaners, you could get a late Desert Storm era RISE/Passive out of the box. Likewise, if they included early style tracks, you could have gotten an early M60A1 OOB.

It would have been interesting if Esci had included a half dozen or so steel road wheels along with their A3 kit. Most, if not all, of the A3s I served with had a mixture of steel and aluminum wheels. The aluminum ones were replaced with steel as they wore out.

There is an Italeri/Esci Austrian M60A1 build on this site by Werner Kampfhofer. It should help you out since the kits are near identical. He did a good job on the kit and I believe I've seen the same model in a print magazine (Armor or AFV?). He does make one error by pointing out a taillight error, but the light assemblies are not symmetrical. Right and left are both different from one another.
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,587 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 06:16 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The turret casting was altered a couple of times over the tank's production life. The armor around the turret ring at the sides was thickened...and the cheek armor to the lower right and left of the mantlet was also beefed up. The final casting batch eliminated the undercut at the turret sides completely (Tamiya's revised turret depicts this version).


Any good photos out there to illustrate the differences (real vehicles)? And which Tamiya kit? - the USMC M60A1 with ERA tiles, or M60A3, or both?

Cheers,
Jim



The Tamiya USMC M60A1 w/ERA kit is the same kit as the Tamiya M60A3 but with new steel road wheels and the ERA. Everything you need to build the A3 is in the box except for Army decals.

The Tamiya M60A3 reused the suspension from the original Tamiya M60A1/A2 kit.
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,587 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 06:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi folks, Ive been working on the M60A1 from Italeri No 6397. What I want its to convert it into the Austrian Army version of the A3.

Ive been gathering some info around the web and I think Im aware of the most notorious differences (AEG searchlight, smoke launchers) but Im not sure if Im missing something else that I have to do.

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Cheers

Do you know if the Austrian M60A3 was equipped with a thermal sight? All US M60A3 tanks were fitted or retrofitted with the TTS or Tank Thermal Sight. Because of this, we tend to refer to the tank as the "M60A3" or just "A3" when it is more properly the M60A3TTS.

I know there were some Foreign Military Sales versions of the M60A3 that did not include the TTS. Because of this, searchlights are non-existant on US M60A3TTS, but may be present on a non-US tank. On the US tank, the searchlight mount was still there, but the power cable plug was welded over on top of the turret.

Because of the late use of the M60A1 into the 90s and foreign use M60A3s, the only real identifying features on the A3 are the thermal shroud, crosswind sensor, and laser range finder blister. I do not know if the armored thermal sight housing would be on a foreign use M60A3 that did not have the TTS installed.

Late style tracks, late style air cleaners, smoke grenade launchers, steel vs. aluminum road wheels cannot be used to positively identify an M60A3 since these features could be found on a late M60A1 RISE/Passive.
dexter059
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Region de Valparaiso, Chile
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 08:20 PM UTC
Thanks for the information Sabot. Unfortunately, the model built by Werner Kampfhofer represents a 60s A1, but he used the same kit I have.

For what Ive read, austrian A3s were modified by Styer from original A1s not bought as A3 from the US. If you see the link posted by Jason, the most recent photographs of Austrian A3s show the AEG searchlight still installed.

Thanks guys youve been much helpful

Cheers
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,587 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 09:50 PM UTC
I understand the tanks are different. It was a good build and I thought it may assist you since you are starting with the same kit.

After looking at a photo of an M60A3TTS on Patton Mania (http://www.patton-mania.com/M60_Patton/M60_the_real_thing/M60a3-28.jpg) and the second photo of the Austrian M60A3 Jason linked, it appears that the up armored sight housing is not the one used on a US M60A3TTS.
dexter059
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Region de Valparaiso, Chile
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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2007 - 01:40 AM UTC
Robin, your help is much appreciated, Im sorry if my last response sounded a little unpolite...

Seeing the interesting pic youve posted (I guess its an american vehicle) I see some different tracks also. Are they the octagonal track or some different one?

cheers
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,587 posts
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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2007 - 02:12 AM UTC
It's a US tank with the octagonal tracks. The US only used the original style and the octagonal style.
crockett
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Ohio, United States
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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2007 - 02:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hi folks, Ive been working on the M60A1 from Italeri No 6397. What I want its to convert it into the Austrian Army version of the A3.

Ive been gathering some info around the web and I think Im aware of the most notorious differences (AEG searchlight, smoke launchers) but Im not sure if Im missing something else that I have to do.

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Cheers

Do you know if the Austrian M60A3 was equipped with a thermal sight? All US M60A3 tanks were fitted or retrofitted with the TTS or Tank Thermal Sight. Because of this, we tend to refer to the tank as the "M60A3" or just "A3" when it is more properly the M60A3TTS.

I know there were some Foreign Military Sales versions of the M60A3 that did not include the TTS. Because of this, searchlights are non-existant on US M60A3TTS, but may be present on a non-US tank. On the US tank, the searchlight mount was still there, but the power cable plug was welded over on top of the turret.

Because of the late use of the M60A1 into the 90s and foreign use M60A3s, the only real identifying features on the A3 are the thermal shroud, crosswind sensor, and laser range finder blister. I do not know if the armored thermal sight housing would be on a foreign use M60A3 that did not have the TTS installed.

Late style tracks, late style air cleaners, smoke grenade launchers, steel vs. aluminum road wheels cannot be used to positively identify an M60A3 since these features could be found on a late M60A1 RISE/Passive.



As an added comment, the TTS was not the same as the Hughes thermal imaging system used in the Abrams at present. This thermal imaging system was developed by Texas Insturments, years ahead of the Hughes system. Many tankers who had the opprtunity to shoot / crew both tanks, (myself included) preferred the TTS.......why it wasn't purchased for the M1 program has been a question in my mind for decades.

Steve
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2007 - 03:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The turret casting was altered a couple of times over the tank's production life. The armor around the turret ring at the sides was thickened...and the cheek armor to the lower right and left of the mantlet was also beefed up. The final casting batch eliminated the undercut at the turret sides completely (Tamiya's revised turret depicts this version).


Any good photos out there to illustrate the differences (real vehicles)? And which Tamiya kit? - the USMC M60A1 with ERA tiles, or M60A3, or both?

Cheers,
Jim


I wasn't aware of it until the IPMS Quarterly ran a photo article about fifteen years ago with side by side pictures of tanks in a storage depot. If you aren't looking for the contour change, it's easy to miss--I've spoken with tankers who served on M60A3's who never noticed (the Army did not publicize the improvement, as most older tanks were not going to receive it--those crews were SOL). If you compare the Tamiya and Italeri turrets, you'll notice it right away. No information on exactly when the change ocurred, or how many tanks were part of the program.
The same late-style turret shell is included in both Tamiya kits (Tamiya's original M60A1 turret from 1970 depicted the earliest turret casting with the severe undercut at the turret sides, but the angles on the turret were wrong, throwing the whole shape off--fortunately, that tooling was abandoned in the 1980's). If you use the current Tamiya kit but want to depict an earlier vehicle, a little judicious filing will restore the undercut.