The M48 Patton in Turkish Service
The M48 Patton is the third and final medium tank of the Patton series, used in the Korean and Vietnam. It was to replace the M4 Sherman and M47 Patton tanks in US service and borrowed in the end only a few aspects of the latter. The cast turret notably was brand new, and it served as an intermediate tank in the US Army until the M60 entered service. It saw service also in NATO countries such as West Germany, Belgium and Norway. One of the most prolific foreign user was (and still is) Israel. Turkey imported all variants by batches until the 1990s, the last being the A5 models. West Germany notably sold and disposed of about 1,000 tanks to Turkey, so the latter had the opportunity to replace all former models in service. tanks he had wisely.
Turkey after the German purchase became world's largest user of the type worldwide, with some 3,000 machines. 2,250, including 1,389 M48A5T1 were phased out of active service in the 2000s, leaving 758 M48A5T2 active. They were left in stock condition, with very little modifications if any, unlike Israeli vehicles. The A2 with its 105 mm gun was its first model in the 1970s, gradually replacing the M47s, veterans of the Korean War where the Turkish Armed forces distinguished themselves. Turkey had 578 M48A2C, 179 M48T-5, 1369 M48A5T1, 750 M48A5T2 in service as recently for Globalsecurity.org.
The main battle tank Altay, which will be produced for the Turkish Armed Forces and whose prototypes were produced before, could not be produced in 2020 due to the shortage of engine supply. According to the statements of Koç Holding officials reflected in the press, 1 billion dollars was spent for the Altay tank until the production of its prototypes. Serial production was given to BMC. It must have been seen that BMC could not do this job, so the Tank Pallet Factory, which is an experienced institution in this field, was given to the company. We hope that the new generation main battle tank Altay is produced without the old generation. Because the tanks of our army are getting old day by day. Although they are "modernized", we call this "rectification" in the industry. Of course, a reconditioned vehicle cannot be one with a new vehicle.
Although there are various tanks of US and German origin in our Land Forces, zero tanks have not entered the Turkish Armed Forces inventory for half a century. In other words, all of the tanks in the TAF inventory are second-hand or donated tanks. In addition, when we look at the tank inventories of western countries, the Turkish Armed Forces really has a great variety of tanks. This diversity poses very serious challenges to the logistics of tanks and their keeping up to date.
By 2020, the Turkish Army still had an impressive number of M48, although all ported to the M48A5T2: 750. They were 645 M60A3TTS but the meaty part was represented by 184 Leopard 1A3T1 (Upgraded A3 by Alselan) and 171 Leopard 1Ts but the elite divisions counted in 334 Leopards 2A4. The most modern M60s were the Israeli M60T with 166 in service.
The modernized M48A5T2
M48A5T2 - tankporn on reddit
The basic Turkish M48 was the M48A2C: It had the Mod B turret (larger hatches) full-field coincidence rangefinder, improved turret control system, M13 Fire Control System (M5A2 ballistic drive, M13A3 gun data computer, M17 coincidence range finder). M20 day periscope x8, M105D day telescopic sight x8.
The M48A5T1 was the first of the Turkish upgrade based on the A2 ("T" standing for the country), and it was similar to the M48A5 (ported to the same level). Enhanced version of the M48 armed with M68E1 105mm main gun. Earlier systems have been replaced with an enhanced fire-control system and passive night vision. Approximately 1,100 vehicles were placed in service, though the majority have been retired or converted to T2 standards.
The 48A5T2 variant was the same, but including a new thermal sight by Aselsan.
Specifics about the M48A5T2M48s were first put into service in the Turkish Armed Forces in the 1960s, also used in the Cyprus War, all being 90mm gun armed models with a gasoline engine. In the 1980s, there was the first upgrade, an unnamed modernized version with German technology, with circa 183 M48 Phaving a new night vision device installed coupled with the new 105mm gun. Later in the 1980s, Turkish M48s and M48A1s were ported to the M48A5T1 standard, using US technology, and later to the M48 A5T2 level which basically only added a new laser rangefinder and thermal night vision system to the existing 105 mm gun.
The Fire Control System however is identical to the first M1 Abrams tank. The most distinctive feature of the new T2 is its fiberglass thermal barrel cover, ensuring balanced cooling for the gun barrel. Despite all these major upgrades however no major changes were made to the armor, staling pretty much "stock", and dating back to the 1950s. No add-on armour nor ERA protection (which could have been relatively easy to set in place, given the IDF upgrades). This seems to have been a political choice and budgetary focus. The M48A5T2 is then incompatible with the modern battlefield and would be an easy prey for any "modern" MBT like the T-72 onwards. However it is still an an acceptable tank for infantry support. Indeed as a result, if all the older, unmodernized M48/M48A1s are now in reserve, the bulk of the 700 T2 still active are kept in second line units and many are stationed until today in Cyprus and in the South East region for police duties. They still are a potent deterrent for any insurgency.
Thus, the specifications are the same as the M48A5: For protection, the M48 has a 110 mm (4.3 in) thick glacis at 60° on the nose, 220 mm (8.7 in) LoS and 178 mm (7.0 in) for the turret's face. It is NBC-protected, with halon fire extinguishers in the engine and crew compartments. Only a latter version of the A5T2 seems to have additional side skirts. The turret seems to come with two versions: The enclosed .50 cal HMG (12.7 mm) on the stock M1 mount of the A4/A5 or the new urdan cupola and pintle arm for the same Browning M2HB. This is completed by the 105 mm M68/T254E2 gun with a tailored new fiberglass thermal sleeve, that can fire HE, HEAT and APSFDS rounds and coaxial M219 (7.62mm NATO) LMG. There is not active laser warning system but eight (4 per side) smoke projectors. See the specs below for more.
M48 T5 TamayThe M48 is the dedicated support vehicle created from older M48A2 chassis still in the inventiry, designed by TLFC Kayseri, and introduced at IDEF Ankara in December 2005. It seems to use components of the German CEVs and ARVs.
M48T5 ARVTamay Armored Recovery Vehicle: The turret has been replaced with a welded armored superstructure that provides protection from shell fragments and small arms fire and a front-mounted stabilizer/dozer blade. It is fitted with a hydraulically operated winch with a maximum rated capacity of 70 tons and an auxiliary winch with a capacity of two tons. Both winches are located at the front of the vehicle.
M48T5 CEVTamay Combat Engineer Vehicle: Visually similar to the ARV and has the same two winches and a front-mounted stabilizer/dozer blade. The boom is mounted on the right side of the hull at the front but has an extendable jib that can be fitted with various attachments to meet specific engineer requirements, when used as a crane it has a lift capacity of seven tons. The boom can be traversed through 195 degrees.
Same - Gettyimages
The M48A5T2 should not have any trouble to deal with any insurgency as saif above. For Turkish tankers, they are appreciated as comfortable and sufficiently roomy. These tanks are assighned in small numbers to local police posts, 2 in Ankara, 1 in Kocaeli, 1 in Edirne, 1 in İzmir, 3 in Denizli, 1 in Erzurum, 2 in Kars, 2 in Sarıkamış, 1 in Ardahan, 1 in Hakkari and the rest in Cyprus. More are grouped in the I, 9. Mot. P. Tug. Tank TGK, 1st Tnk Division. and 3. Tank batallion, Tk. I in Sarıkamış. M48T2 are also in three different places in Cyprus, between Sarıkamış, Kars and in Ardahan/Göle.
Leopards are in active units near Ankara, Istanbul and in Thrace, so in the west rather than the east. M60T are in Istanbul, Thrace and Çanakkale and/or Ankara) with an eastern group composed of M60A3 TSS in most locations except Ankara, notably in the Southeast and East Anatolia, notably Gaziantep, Hakkari, Silopi, Cizre, Van, Ağrı in particular and a bit like the "vintage" M48s they are located in city centered and police stations. The M48A5T2 corresponds to the class 32 for tankers. It is agreed that once the new Altay is procured in sufficient numbers (circa 100+) the M48 is to be withdrawn for good, either placed in storage or scrapped outright for spare metal and parts to maintain the fleet of Turkish M60s.
T5 specifications. Origin 1952-1959
|Dimensions||9.3 m (30 ft 6 in) x 3.65 m (12 ft) x 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)|
|Total weight, battle ready||49 Tons|
|Crew||4: Cdr, Driver, Gunner, Loader|
|Propulsion||AVDS 1790-2D V12 750HP diesel, 15.31HP/ton|
|Suspension||Torsion bars + 6 shock absorbers|
|Range||500km. Can cross 1,22 m without preparation, 2,40 m with|
|Armament||M68 105mm rifled Gun, 7.62mm coax, 0.5 in M2HB AA.|
|Armor||As original. vs. 120 mm AP front, NBC Protection|
|Total Conversion||750 A5T2|
LinksMain article on Tank Encyclopedia
Same on Tank-afv
M48A5T2 in standard camouflage in dark green, orange
M48A5Y2 in winter livery
M48A5T2 with side skirts
In white livery close to an Azerbaidjan T90A in winter training
M48A5T1 in parade src