Freitag, 27. Mai 2016

Thailand ditches further T-84 purchases, orders MBT-3000 instead

Apparently Thailand's patience with the Ukranian state-owned company Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) has come to an end. The Thai Army had initally ordered 49 T-84 Oplot-M tanks from KMDB in 2011, while requiring total number of about 200 main battle tanks (MBTs). The delivery of the T-84s however was extremely delayed - mostly due to the Ukrainian conflict with the Donbass rebels and Russia's annexion of the Crimean peninusla, but even before that the production rate was poor. There also were some issues with production quality.
While KMDB decided to give an additional five tanks to Thailand for no costs as compensation, the Thai Army decided to order an initial batch of 28 MBT-3000 tanks made by the Chinese state-owned company NORINCO. The project name for the MBT-3000 is "Haider".
Supposedly Pakistan might order a further ~150 MBT-3000 tanks if satisfied with the performance of the first batch, however Pakistan also has shown interest in the Turkish Altay tank, which might become available for export once Turkey has developed an indigenous powerpack, which cannot be subject to foreign export regulations.

The MBT-3000 tank
The MBT-3000 is a further development of the MBT-2000 tank and the Type 99 MBT. At a 52 ton weight - 4 tons heavier than the previous MBT-2000 tank - it reaches a top speed of about 68 kilometres per hour thanks to a 1300 horsepower engine. It's armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun, an improved local version of the Soviet 2A46M tank gun, and a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG). Optionally a further 12.7 mm heavy MG can be mounted on top of the turret near the commander's hatch for anti-air defence. This weapon can be remotely controlled from inside the tank. The MBT-3000's autoloader provides space for 22 rounds of 125 mm two-piece tank ammunition or barrel-launched guided missiles. Space for the storage for further 16 rounds of main gun ammunition is provided in the tank.
The frontal aspect of the tank is protected by composite armor and a type of heavy ERA, which should provide good protection against shaped charge warheads (HEAT warheads) found in ATGMs and RPG, aswell some amount of prorection against kinetic energy penetrators such as APFSDS rounds. The side of turret and hull are only protected by thin steel armor. Additional side-skirts provide some additional protection against HEAT warheads at the hull flanks. The storage bins at the turret flanks and rear can also provide some additional protection against HEAT warheads, double-acting as spaced and/or slat armor.


The MBT-3000 is provided with a modern fire control system (FCS), which contains separate optronics for the tank commander and gunner. The gunner has his main sight located in front of his hatch at the left side of the turret. It incorporates a laser-rangefinder, a conventional daysight and a thermal imager for operations in the night and situations with poor visibility.
The commander's optics are housed in a 360° rotatable periscope, enabling hunter/killer operations. This means the commander can spot targets independently, while the gunner is engaging another target. By pressing a button, the turret rotates and aims onto the target spotted by the commander. The commander's sight also incorporates a thermal imager.

T-84 Oplot-M being paraded in Thailand
The MBT-3000 however appears to be a major downgrade compared to the T-84M tank in many aspects. The coverage with explosive reactive armor (ERA) is rather low and has even a few gaps in the frontal profile. The quality of the ERA is also questionable, compared to the heavy multi-layer Duplet ERA of the T-84 (using up to three ERA layers) the Chinese ERA seems to be considerable thinner. While the MBT-3000's ERA solution is only applied to the frontal area of the vehicle, the T-84 has ERA protecting most of the tank's sides and roof.
In general the protection appears to be downgraded, as the turret design of Chinese tanks provides less armor coverage along the frontal arc and reduces the safe maneuvering angles. Unless the Chinese composite armor is a lot stronger, it seems very unlikely that the MBT-3000 can reach the same protection level as a T-84 Oplot-M tank.
In terms of FCS, both tanks seem to have different benefits. While the T-84 Oplot-M follows the old Soviet tradition of having separated day and night sights for the gunner, which unnecessarily increases the complexity of the tank and can affect the gunner negatively, it also has a much larger commander's sight with unobstructed view to the left and right sides. On the MBT-3000 the gunner has a unitary sight for day and night operations, but the commander's sight is smaller (which can affect the performance) and it's field of view will be reduced due to the gunner's sight having a similar overall height.

Nonetheless, the delivery of the T-84 Olpot-M tanks is still under way. The third batch of Oplot tanks was delivered in May after the tanks were shipped by sea in December 2015. According to Ukrainian expectations, the last remaining 29 tanks will all be delivered in this year, 2016.

Sonntag, 22. Mai 2016

Leopard 2RI in production

Defence-Blog.com has posted photographs of the new Leopard 2RI main battle tank (MBT) for the Indonesian Army.

Front view of the Leopard 2RI
The Leopard 2RI (Republic Indonesia) is a version of the Leopard 2A4 MBT upgraded by Rheinmetall with parts of their Revolution package. The first prototype of the Leopard 2RI was presented at Eurosatory 2014, but the final configuration has still changed after. It seems that the ROSY smoke screen system has not been adopted and a different types of headlights and driver night vision camera have been chosen for the final configuration. Another change comapred to the older configuration might be made to the hull - the current Leopard 2RI appears to lack any sort of specialized mine protection kit, which according to older sources was part of the Leopard 2RI at Eurosatory 2014.

Leopard 2RI inside Rheinmetall's facilities

Aside of the addition of AMAP composite armor designed by the German company IBD, the Leopard 2RI also features electric turret drives instead of the previous hydraulic ones and an air-conditioning unit. The gun brakes have been improved, allowing the tank to fire the current generation of high-pressure APFSDS ammunition. The fire control system has been improved to allow firing programmable HE ammunition. Overall the Leopard 2RI should weigh slightly less than sixty metric tons, based on lacking a few features of the sixty tons Leopard 2 Evolution (IBD's armor testbed, on which Rheinmetall based it's Revolution tank).
Except for the additional armor modules, all changes have also been made to the Leopard 2A4+, the Indonesian version of the Leopard 2A4.

MBT Technologieträger and Leopard 2RI
The Leopard 2RI was also presented at the Rheinmetall Land Forces Symposium 2016 in Germany. It was located next to the current version of the MBT Technologieträger, a testbed based on Rheinmetall's Leopard 2 Revolution.


The MBT Technologieträger is showing what Rheinmetall currently can offer for a tank upgrade and is also used for testing new parts. At the Land Forces Symposium 2016 the tank was shown for the first time with a thermal camouflage/cover - it is not exactly known if this is SAAB's Barracuda MCS, the current market leading product, or based on the AMAP-S thermal cover manufactured by Rheinmetall. An interesting change compared to the previous version of the Technologieträger is the missing remote weapon station.
The MBT Technologieträger can show future upgrade options for the Leopard 2RI. Compared to it, Rheinmetall's demonstrator includes the longer-barreled L55 tank gun, superior optics with third general thermal imagers, the ROSY smoke screen system, the ADS active hardkill protection system, an APU and a 360° surveillance system with day and night sights.

KADDB shows off new developments

The King Abdullah II Design And Development Bureau (KADDB) presented a number of interesting new developments at the SOFEX 2016.

The al-Dawsar heavy armored personnel carrier (APC) is based on the hull of the obsolete Tariq main battle tank (MBT), itself a local version of the British Centurion tank, retrofitted with an US AVDS-1970 diesel engine and a relatively modern fire control system (FCS) from the Belgian company SABCA. The Tariq also features an improved suspension aswell as turret drive and stabilization systems from the US company Textron. Overall 293 Centurion tanks were converted into Tariq MBTs, however with the adoption of the Chieftain, the Khalid tank (an improved version of the Chieftain originally intended for Persia, it features the ICSS FCS and Condor CV12 engine later adopted on the Challenger 1 tank) and also ex-British Challenger 1 tanks, the Tariq tanks have become obsolote.
In an attempt to reuse the already existing hulls of the Tariq, the KADDB has been developing a heavy APC based on the Tariq chassis since several years. In 2001 the KADDB revealed the Temsah heavy APC, which was a Tariq hull modified by the KADDB in cooperation with companies from the UK and South-Africa. The Temsah has a front-mounted powerpack, which allows the usage of a rear ramp like commonly found on tracked APCs like the M113 and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) like the Bradley, BMP and Marder.

A prototype of the Temsah HAPC.
The Temsah however was never ordered nor adopted in any form. The prototypes have been fitted with numerous different weapon systems including machine guns (MGs), autocannons and anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launchers.

The MAP II/Dawsar APC. The front door and hatches are open, the rear door is folded up (at the right).
Following the Temsah and it's end, the next project for re-using the Tariq MBT was the Modular Armored Platform, MAP. The MAP II was finally adopted in 2014 as (al-)Dawsar. Unlike the Temsah, the MAP APC retains the rear-mounted powerpack with the AVDS-1790 engine, but has a small rear door together with a path at the left side of the powerpack. When not folded up, the rear door has a height of only 450 milimetres (mm). A larger 750 mm wide and one metre tall front door is located at the frontal hull, slightly moved to the left. Four hatches of 500 x 550 mm allow access to the roof. Overall 11 soldiers and 2 crew members can be carried inside the MAP II APC. The armament consists of two MGs with an option for a missile launcher. It provides protection against medium calibre ammunition. The MAP II has been nicknamed "al-Dawsar".

The upgraded al-Dawsar at SOFEX 2016
The upgraded al-Dawsar design presented at the SOFEX 2016 has yet to enter service, but it has a number of improvments over the previous model. While the drivetrain and powerpack are still identical to the older Tariq MBT, the armor has been improved compared to the MAP II by adding a further layer of spaced armor, probably to increase protection against KE penetrators. Unlike the MAP II, which has a 450 mm (1.5 feet) widened hull, the al-Dawsar has retained the standard Centurion hull width - this decrease production costs and time, but results in a smaller vehicle. Unlike the MAP II, the al-Dawsar from SOEFX can only carry 7 dismounts and a crew of two, although an alternative seating arrangment might increase the number of dismounts. It doesn't have a rear door. 
Protection is provided in accordance with STANAG 4569 level 5 against kinetic energy ammunition (resists 25 mm APDS at the frontal arc), but only level 1 against mines and IEDs, which seems rather poor.

CGI of the new 8x8 APC developed by the KADDB
Another new development presented by the KADDB is a new 8x8 wheeled vehicle. It's design in form of a scale  model was first presented at the DSEI 2015 exhibition in London, but no prototype. With a total weight of 25 metric tons (depending on armor and mission configuration), the new vehicle can reach a top speed of about 100 kilometres per hour (kph). The total range lies at about 700 km. In general the KADDB 8x8 wheeled vehicle design seems a bit lacklaster compared to offerings from European companies, but should perform rather well in the regional context. It does have 4 wheel steering only and it's independent tetra back bone suspension is very similar to the ones currently used on civil Tatra trucks, it seems likely that there is a connection. 
The dismounts of the APC version can fire their individual weapons through firing ports - one is located in the rear door, while four firing ports are located at each side of the crew compartment. This is an interesting feature, but very old fashioned. The  firing ports are embedded into bullet-proof glass. Firing ports have been abandoned by other vehicle manufacturers, as they are weakspots that lower the armor protection of the surrounding area.
No details about engine, performance and armor protection have yet been released. However at a weight of only 25 metric tons, a protection level larger than STANAG 4569 level 4 against kinetic energy (protection against 14.5 mm AP all-round) seems to be very unlikely. More likely seems to be only protection in accordance with level 3 (protection against 7.62 mm AP all-round) together with protection against 14.5 mm AP along the frontal arc seems more likely given the firing ports. The v-shaped hull and high overall ride of the crew should give the vehicle a rather high level of mine proteciton.

The KADDB announced at DSEI, that they are interested in developing multiple variants including an APC version, an IFV and a tank destroyer/fire support vehicle with 105 mm gun.

About that M60T which survived a Kornet ATGM...

On the 19th April 2016 a photograph of a damaged  M60T tank have been posted on the internet. The tank was attacked by terrorists using supposedly a Russian Kornet (9M133, NATO reporting name AT-14 Spriggan) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). Jane's also reported on this matter.

The M60T tank is a version of the Sabra Mark 2 tank upgrade by the Israeli Military Inudstries (IMI) developed for the Turkish Army. It is based on the Sabra upgrade for the M60 main battle tank (MBT). The Sabra add upgrade includes additional special armor (composite and/or reactive armor), a 120 milimetre smoothbore gun, the Knight fire control system (FCS) and upgrades to the engine aswell as the transmission. 
In case of the Sabra Mark 2 on which the M60T is based, the M60's AVDS-1790 engine and Allison transmission are replaced with the MT881 engine and Renk R304S transmission from the German companies MTU and Renk. The armor solution has been described as hybrid armor, which might suggest a type of ERA in combination with passive armor. However also the combination of non-explosive reactive armor types (NERA, NxRA) with passive armor has been described as hybrid armor.

Damaged M60T tank after the impact of a Kornet ATGM
Following the release of the photograph of the damaged tank, a lot of different claims and opinions on the matter of the effectiveness of tanks, the M60T's armor, ATGMs and the Kornet have been made. While some of these claims and opinions are based on a careful evaluation of the available information and on a reasonable thought process, it appears that a lot of people have abused the incident for preaching their own beliefs — "tanks are dead", "Turkish M60 tank is better armored than Russian T-90", "missiles cannot penetrate ERA/modern armor".

So, what should one learn from the incident? Is the M60T Sabra tank able to survive a Kornet ATGM under all circumstances? Can it survive a Kornet ATGM at least frontally? Or can any old, last generation tank be upgraded with a lightweight armor package to survive an impact from the Kornet ATGM? Is the Kornet weaker than other ATGMs? 
First of all, let's take a few looks at the M60T/Sabra and the Kornet ATGM. The M60T is based on the M60 tank from the 1960s. It uses the original turret and chassis, but has additional hybrid armor laid over the steel construction. How much armor? An approximation for this answer can be found by looking at the vehicle weight: The M60T has supposedly a weight of 59 metric tons - that is between 7 and 8 metric tons heavier than the original M60 model on which it is based. The weight increase is however not only the result of the new armor modules, but is also related to the 120 mm smoohtbore gun, the heavier powerpack and new fire control system components. Just for the reference, the weight of the composite armor modules of the original Leopard 2 turret only (from 1979) supposedly is 8 metric tons, while the turret is considerably smaller! Yes, the original Leopard 2 uses older armor, but instead of just replacing the old armor modules during future upgrades, additional armor was installed, increasing the turret weight by about 5 metric tons.

The Kornet ATGM is meant to combat modern main battle tanks from the front - it's 152 mm calibre tandem warhead is much more capable than the RPG-29 with 105 mm calibre warhead with precursor charge. According to Russian sources the Kornet ATGM can depending on version penetrate between 1,000 and 1,300 mm of steel armor, which given the missile's calibre and the penetration power of modern shaped charge warheads seems plausible.


Above is a screen-capture from the video, which supposedly shows the same M60T being hit by the Kornet ATGM. While it cannot be said for sure that this is the same tank, sources like Jane's have claimed that the only reason for releasing the photograph of the damaged tank was to counter the terrorists' propaganda, which claimed that the M60T was destroyed by the Kornet missile.
The screenshot from the video shows a number of interesting facts. Most importantly here is however the location and the angle of the impact. By comparing the position of the gun (marked in blue) to the path of the missile (marked in red), we can see that the missile approached from the left side (from the tank's perspective) and impacted on the righthand side of the turret frontal armor.


This means that the missile passed the gun barrel and impact on the frontal armor below the gunner's sight at an angle, which made it impossible to hit the base turret behind the armor. The missile's impact path was facing away from the turret. The large module of spaced hybrid armor was probably the only reason why the missile detonated, otherwise it most likely would have missed given the extremely sleek turret cheeks of the M60 tank!

Did the M60T survive a Kornet missile? Yes. Would the missile have hit the tank, if it wasn't for the additional armor module? Most likely not. If the missile had more penetration power, could it have penetrated the M60T's turret and killed the crew? Based on the angle from the video footage, no.

Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016: Germany claims the Trophy

The platoon from the German Army has won the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016. The Danish platoon managed to win the second place, while the third place was claimed by the Polish platoon.

The winning platoon of the Strong Europe Tank Challenge

An interesting aspect of the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016 is the fact that the top three platoons all used variants of the German Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT). The Polish and Danish platoons operated versions of the Leopard 2A5, which originally entered service in 1995 (more than twenty years ago) with the German Army. The German platoon was equipped with the slightly newer Leopard 2A6, an upgraded version of the Leopard 2A5 with longer gun barrel. This configuration was first used by the German Army in 2001, about 15 years ago.
Suprisingly, the Italian platoon C1 Ariete did manage to get the fourth place, beating the two American platoons operating the M1A2 SEP v2, the newest tank in the competition. The Slovenian team with the M-84 performed worse.


Every nation used a platoon of four tanks to compete. Except for the US Army, all nation was represented only by a single platoon. Only the M-84, a local version of the T-72, was manned by a crew of three; all other tanks had a four men crew.

The Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016 consisted of a number of tasks which alltogether had a maximum score of 1,000 points.
  • For offensive and defensive trials including firing and maneuvering up to 700 points were awarded (350 points for offensive actions, 350 points for defensive actions).
  • For "mounted orienteering" (MO in the further text) up to 300 points evenly distributed in six sub-tasks (each 50 points) were awarded 
  • MO included a "mystery physical challenge" were teamwork was important
  • There was an obstacle course with thirteen minor challenges
  • Soldiers from each platoon fired 10 rounds with their service weapons from three locations in the combat shooting lane
  • A total of 25 firendly and threatening targets had to be identified while the tanks were on the course at the vehicle idenfication lane
  • During a simulated NBC attack, crews had to recover and tow one of their tanks while wearing NBC protection gear
  • Multinational teams reacted to an IED attack, assessed and evacuated the casualities
  • One task was to walk as many laps as possible along a track located at a hillside while carrying a 20 kilogram (44 lbs) training round


Further detailed results have unfortunately no been published, only a very few informations and rumors have emerged. A short list of the informations and common rumors gathered is presented below:
  • According to the German Army video, the German targets used for the tank shooting tests were smaller than the ones usually used by the other participating nations
  • The German team was the best in terms of physical fitness, managing a record of 64 laps on the track while carrying ammunition
  • They also performed best at recovering one of their tanks after the simulated NBC attack
  • Contrary to the often posted claim that the German unit consisted of reservists, it actually consisted of normal soldiers: the GebPzBtl 8 is semi-active, the first two platoons (1st and 2nd platoon) are made of reservists. The other two platoons (3rd and 4th) are consisting of professional soldiers. The third platoon of GebPzBtl 8 (belonging to the PzBtl 104 during the time the GebPzBtl 8 is not fully active) participated. However German rumors say that the reserve platoons actually performed equal or better during their last official training
  • According to Polish sources the Polish platoon destroyed more than 75% of of all their targets during the offensive shooting (distance to target up to 2 kilometres, two targets were destroyed at more than 1800 metres distance) and scored 285 out of 350 points. Only the German platoon performed better. In the defensive shooting the Poles managed to hit 17 out of 23 targets, scoring 277.5 out of 350 points - supposedly the highest score in this category.
  • The Italian Ariete tanks were filmed performing extremely bad, missing most of their targets. But on the second day shooting at another lane they supposedly were among the best during shooting
  • Supposedly the Italian Ariete performed worst overall in gunnery
  • The US platoons did a poor job at camouflaging their tank, supposedly the crews couldn't figure out how to properly use a camouflage net. According to US sources Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said that of those skills tested, some — like using camouflage netting to mask a 60-ton hunk of metal — haven’t been part of regular tanker training in some time.
  • Rumors from the unofficial US Master Gunner network say that the US platoons scored 4th overall in the shooting tests
  •  During the medevac operation after an IED attack, the Slovenian team aswell as another one (according to the rumors probably the Polish team) run over the dummy simulating the wounded
Overall some blogs, forums and people are reacting in either a state of denial ("how could my country loose, their tanks should be better") or in a state of surprise. I don't think that a lot of the results is unexpected for the following reasons:
  • The German tanks had the highest muzzle velocity in combination with a very accurate round (the training round is meant to simulate the current DM53 and DM63 ammunition, which according to the values used in the marketing brochures is probably the most accurate), so that the good shooting results are not that surprising
  • The Polish and Danish platoons used slightly older/worse types of training, but still have a rather high muzzle velocity and rather flat trajectory.
  • The current US ammunition is the heaviest and slowest of all participating countries, which will result in a higher trajectory and a greater impact of external factors; hence it will have a higher dispersion. The current US training round is meant to simulate this ammunition.
  • The Slovenian M-84 is the oldest tank design with the worst ammunition, fire control system and gun stabilizer. 
  • While the M1A2 SEP v2 is the newest tank in the competition with the newest optronics, overall the optics of the M1A2 SEP suffer from a number of drawbacks: the field of view of the CITV is blocked by the RWS, the commander's cupola and the loader's gun shield; the CITV also lacks a day channel, which can be advantageous for target identication at day

Samstag, 14. Mai 2016

Rheinmetall's new 130 mm gun to be presented at Eurosatory

According to Jane's IHS, the new 130 mm smoothbore gun from Rheinmetall will be first unveiled at Eurosatory 2016 in June. The gun will be ready for production by 2025. Also a new turret with the 130 mm gun for the Leopard 2 will be developed.

The new 130 mm smoothbore gun was first announced by Rheinmetall during an investor's meeting in 2015. The gun will also be utilized for the future Main Ground Combat System, which sometimes has been nicknamed "Leopard 3".

Previously we speculated that the choice of developing a new 130 mm calibre instead of reusing the older 140 mm smoothbore gun design of the late-1980s and early-1990s was result of the smaller calibre being compatible with the existing Leopard 2 turret. This seems to have been somewhat confirmed by Jane's, whose article states that "[a] new MBT turret is also being designed", which will be "based on an existing Leopard 2 MBT turret".
This leaves some questions: Will the future turrets be newly built or manufactured from already existing Leopard 2A6 turrets (such as the Leopard 2A5/6 turret was created by remanufacturing old Leopard 2A4 turrets).

The future 130 mm smoothbore gun of the Leopard 2 and MGCS is understood to deliver comparable or even slightly more performance than the old 140 mm smoothbore gun design of the 80s & 90s. Overall the new gun will offer about 50% increased performance and penetration compared to the 120 mm L/55 or an improved version of the L/55 gun.

Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2016

Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016

Currently the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016 is under way (from 10th to 12th May) It's the first competition under the name, but follows the tradition of the Canadian Army Trophy (CAT) competition of the Cold War or the Russian Tank Biathlon.

Tanks for the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016
The competition is held in Germany at Grafenwöhr. Participating are the Danish Army using the Leopard 2A5DK, the German Army with the Leopard 2A6, the Polish Army using ex-German Leopard 2A5 tanks, the US Army with the M1A2 SEP and the Slovenian Army using their current version of the M-84.
The Italian Army has been said to also take part in the challenge, but their Ariete tank wasn't presented at the photoshooting on 8th May nor in the video recap of the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command of the US Army. This might indicate that Italy has withdrawn from the competition or the Italian tanks simply were delayed or arrived at a later point of time.

The trophy shows a WW1 British tank...
The Strong Europe Tank Challenge is a competition between several tank units stationed in Europe. In the challenge, tanks have to fullfill a number of tasks such as shooting targets at different range stationary and on the move, while time and accuracy are taken into account.
Based on the results and some further rating pattern, the winner is chosen and given the trophy.


PS: The Italian Ariete arrived at a different time, it's, also taking part in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016.

Sonntag, 8. Mai 2016

SLEP: Raytheon's new M60 upgrade

Two days ago, Raytheon released a trailer for their new M60 tank Service Life Extension Program (SLEP).


The new features of the M60 after SLEP are an inncreased firing range and accuracy at only one third of the original the costs aswell as an uprated engine, which delivers 950 horsepower instead of the  earlier 750 hp. Electric gun and turret drives replace the previous hydraulic versions, which were slower and a further explosion hazard aside of the ammunition.The old mechanical ballistic computer is replaced by a modern digital fire control system, which also features a digital LCD displays.
Furthermore the 105 mm M68 rifled tank gun is replaced by the 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun of the M1A1 Abrams tank.

The video footage from the prototype shows a number of further changes, which have not been mentioned in the Raytheon video. This might be the result of cooperation with further companies for this prototype. It is fitted with additional slat armor at the front and sides of the turret and very thin passive armor on the hull. An APU and an air-conditioning system have been fitted in large sponson boxes at the rear of the vehicle. 

M60 SLEP tank with slat armor at the turret
Given that these features have not been mentioned, Raytheon's SLEP upgrade might be limited only to their contribution of the upgrade. Photographs of the upgraded prototype have been floating around on the internet since at least 2012. Some Russian sources suggest that Textron might be involved into the development of the prototype. The Turkish company StandartBio included photographs of said tank in one presentation, it seems plausible that StandartBio might have been involved into the upgrade or was at least a partner for pitching this upgrade to Turkey. However this prototype included a number of further changes - it was probably the same prototype from Raytheon's footage, but at a different time of development. At the stage of StandartBio's presentation, the tank was fitted with an additional remote weapon station armed with a LW-25 lightweight chaingun from Aliant Techsystems (ATK). This gun is chambered in the 25 x 59 mm calibre developed for low-recoil and possible use in aircraft. It has been claimed that the tank was also fitted with an even more powerful 1,200 hp engine.
 
Side view of the SLEP prototype: the box at the rear contains the APU
Raytheon's SLEP upgrade for the M60 tank - regardless wether we take the additional features not mentioned by Raytheon into account or not - is not really a good or competitive upgrade. While the market for M60 modernization is very limited, because the tank is strictly operated by poor countries or has been relegated to secondary tasks, other companies have come up with more advanced upgrade solutions. 

The Turkish M60T is based on the Sabra Mk. 2
Israel has already developed three versions of their Sabra tank upgrade, which features thicker and more advanced armor, a comparable fire control systems and a 120 mm smoothbore gun. The Sabra Mk. 1 still uses the old AVDS engine, but uprated to 908 horsepowers - this is quite comparable to SLEP. The Mk. 2 and the Mk. 3 however have replaced the AVDS engine with a MT881 engine from German manufacturer MTU; this offers a 1,000 hp output, better acceleration and lower fuel consumption in a smaller package. A new transmission from German Renk further increases the mobility together with an updated drivetrain.
The Sabra Mk. 2 has been adopted in a special version by the Turkish military as the M60T tank.

The KADDB-designed M60 Phoenix has yet to be adopted in service
The Jordanian KADDB has developed together with RUAG of Switzerland an even more advanced upgrade. The so-called M60 Phoenix also retains the AVDS, but this has been upgrated by General Dynamics to 950 hp output. The Phoenix also has been fitted with a more modern suspension and transmission, a 120 mm RUAG Compact Tank Gun (with increased barrel length compared to the M256) and huge amounts of new composite armor. Ontop of the composite armor, the M60 Phoenix however utilizes SidePro-CE explosive reactive amror, which provides protection against shaped charge warheads (including tandem warhead configurations) and some protection against kinetic energy ammunitions. The LEDS active hardkill protection system has been fitted to the later prototypes, which is able to destroy an incoming RPG or ATGM by firing a small unguided Mongoose missile from one of the two six-round launchers at it.

In general however the M60 tank is not well suited for being upgraded to modern standards. It is extremely tall, resulting in a larger frontal profile and a target easier to spot and to hit. Hence in comparison with a smaller tank, more armor is required to reach a required level of protection. A further disadvantage of the M60 design is it's heavy weight resulting from the relatively thick base armor. While this might sound counter-intuitive in the first moment, the problem is related to the low amount of protection offered by steel armor compared to modern composite armor types: modern composite armor can provide more than twice as much protection against KE and more than 3 times as much protection against HEAT warheads than steel armor of the same weight - this means that instead of having a ten inch (254 milimetres) thick steel turret, a thinner 3-4 inch turret (76 - 102 mm) turret could mount an additional 6-7 inch steel weight equivalent composite armor module without exceeding the weight of the ten inch steel turret.
In case of the M60 and most tanks of the same generation, the situtation is even worse due to utilizing cast steel armor for the turret instead of using rolled steel plates welded together. Cast steel offers up to 20% less protection than rolled steel, depending on the exact composition and treatment. In case of the M60, the cast armor was supposedly very soft at about 220-240 on the Brinell scale. In 1978 the steel composition was altered, probably to provide hardness comparable to the British Chieftain or Soviet T-series tanks (260-280 BHN).
Lastly, the upgrades are quite lackluster in some aspects: more modern tracks are not included, no upgrade provides the commander with an independent (thermal) optic with FCS integration, and the power-to-weight ratio is poor on all models.