TechSpain Auctions Its Vintage M60 Tanks, Opting Against Aid to Ukraine

Spain Auctions Its Vintage M60 Tanks, Opting Against Aid to Ukraine

Spanish M60 TTS tanks
Spanish M60 TTS tanks
Images source: © armada.defensa.gob.es
5:13 AM EDT, March 31, 2024
Spain has finally retired its old M60 tanks, which were previously utilized by Marine Infantry units. While there was speculation about these withdrawn tanks potentially aiding Ukraine, the Spanish government has chosen not to send them eastwards. Instead, they are being offered up for auction. What exactly is known about these tanks?
Until not long ago, Spain was among the few NATO countries still operating the M60 Patton tanks. Alongside Spain, countries like Greece and Turkey continue to use them, albeit with significant upgrades that markedly improve their performance.
The tanks in Spain's arsenal did not receive such upgrades. For years, they operated 16 vehicles in the M60A3 TTS (Tank Thermal Sight) version. These were part of the 11th Armored Company within the 3rd Mechanized Battalion of the Tercio de Armada.
Since 2017, these vehicles have been phased out in favor of the VCR (Vehículos de Combate a Ruedas) Dragon vehicles, which feature 120 mm guns.
With the discontinuation of the M60 tanks, Spain opted not to donate the equipment to Ukraine. Instead, the tanks are up for auction with an opening bid of almost 47,000 euros each. Bids can be submitted until April 26.
The M60 tank stands as a Cold War relic, having been developed in the USA concurrently with France's AMX-30 and Germany's Leopard 1. The American model boasts superior armor and, as evidenced over the years, offers significant potential for modernization.
The tank's main limitation is its relatively underpowered 750 horsepower (HP) engine. Given the tank's weight of around 57 tons (about 63 tons), this impacts its mobility, limiting its maximum speed to just 30 mph (around 48 km/h). The M60 is equipped with a rifled 105-mm cannon.
The M60A3 TTS version, which Spain has withdrawn, was a tank outfitted with an updated fire control system in the 70s. When introduced, it was noted for its advanced capabilities, including modern observation and target acquisition devices.
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