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Illustrated by Jim Laurier

M60A1. US Marine Corps, Operation Desert Storm, 1991
By 1991, the US Marines were using the M60A1 Rise (Reliability Increased Standardized Equipment) Passive model fitted with additional external armor. The Israeli Army had originally developed the external armor package for the M60 tank as a result of combat experience during the Yom Kippur War. During that conflict lightweight anti-tank missiles destroyed numbers of M60s. In order to add additional protection a kit was developed to add additional armor tiles spaced away from the primary armor. The goal of the kit was to detonate incoming missiles against the tile armor where the jet of hot metal used to pierce armor would be dissipated.

Additionally the Israeli version of the armor used explosive tiles to counteract the blast of the incoming missile. The US Marine version used inactive tiles. This illustration is of one of the 210 that were used by the Marines during Operation Desert Storm. This was the first and last time the M60 saw combat while in US service. During Operation Desert Storm flat black inverted V symbols were painted on Coalition vehicles to aid in recognition.

© 2003 Osprey Publishing Ltd., from New Vanguard 85: M60 Main Battle Tank 1961–91 by R Lathrop & J McDonald (Available September 2003)