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Taiwan to retrofit M60 tanks with new engines

Upgrade to extend service life of aging tanks

M60A3 Patton tank. (National Interest photo)

M60A3 Patton tank. (National Interest photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Army is planning to outfit its aging fleet of around 460 M60A3 Patton tanks with newer engines to extend their service life.

The U.S. has offered to replace the tanks’ current AVDS-1790-2C engines, which are facing supply issues and incompatible with future armor upgrades, with newer AVDS-1790-8CR engines, Liberty Times reported. According to military officials, the AVDS-1790-8CR has a similar shape and size to the current engine and provides 1050 horsepower, in comparison to the current 750.

Continental Motors manufactures both engine variants. It said the more modern version could meet the future requirements for additional armored protection, enhance off-road capabilities, and improve firing stability while in motion.

After a comprehensive evaluation, the military has decided to purchase 460 new engines, allowing all M60A3 tanks to be retrofitted. With new engines and fire control systems, the Patton tanks’ overall combat capabilities will receive a moderate boost to their service life.

Taiwan is still waiting to receive all of the 108 Abrams tanks it purchased from the U.S. in 2019. Taiwanese Army personnel have already been sent to the U.S. for training.