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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Inside the Chieftain's Hatch. Snapshots: M60A2 Patton [World of Tanks]

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In the 1960s there was some debate as to whether or not

the primary weapon system of the future was going to be the kinetic energy round,

or the chemical effect round.

Further, there was some debate as to whether that round

would be delivered by use of a cannon or a missile.

Now, it turned out in hindsight that the cannon was going to win,

but of course there was no way of knowing this in the 60s,

and in 1966 General Dynamics created a new,

low-profile turret equipped with a gun/missile launching system.

Sure enough, in 1971, the US Army actually ordered some.

Slight mistake, this vehicle turned out to be one of America's great failures.

Production didn't start until 1975, 520 or so were built.

Now, some of the neat features about it.

First of all, of course, it could fire missiles, the Shillelagh.

It could fire with the Shillelagh anti-tank missile, or conventional rounds,

HE, Flechette, or HEAT.

Space was found within the vehicle for 33 rounds of conventional ammunition,

and 13 anti-tank missiles.

The vehicle was also equipped with the M85 Calibre.50 machinegun,

and the M73 7.62mm coaxial.

Neither weapon covered themselves with glory.

In fact, they were rather hated.

The M85 eventually being replaced by the M2,

and the M73 being replaced by the M240, the Belgian FN-MAG.

An interesting feature about the turret is that every crewman has his own hatch.

This isn't particularly common in tanks.

The reason is that the gunner is isolated from everybody else

by a huge row of missiles between him and the rest of the tank.

The commander is isolated, himself, he has his own little cupola in the very back center of the turret,

and the loader has a relatively cramped position on the left hand side.

The driver is the most comfortable of the lot,

in the traditional Patton hull, front and center.

The gun was fully stabilized, and also you could mount

an white light or infrared spotlight on the left hand side,

as it is on this vehicle, for night fighting.

Being a regular Patton hull, it also has the regular Patton features of the torsion bar suspension,

the 29.3 litre V12 diesel, pulling out 750 horsepower.

The vehicle weighed in at about 57 tons.

Early versions were equipped with a bore evacuator,

or fume extractor, this is a later version which has the Closed Bore Scavenger System.

This was a compressed air system that would shoot after the gun fired,

and all the fumes and noxious gasses would go out the other end of the gun instead of, as the breech opens,

being drawn back into the crew compartment.

The vehicle was withdrawn from service by 1981.

It suffered a lot of the same failings as the missile was famous for in the M551 Sheridan.

Basically, it didn't work very well.

Most of the vehicles had their turrets removed

and either had them replaced by conventional A3 turrets,

or turned into engineer vehicles such as the AVLB or the mine-clearing Panther.

This vehicle is painted in the 1980s MERDC colour scheme.

It was a palette of up to 16 colours, you choose four of them,

and when the season changed you only would have to repaint one or two of the colours to change from,

say, a summer scheme to an autumn scheme.

This particular variant is the "Verdant Summer".

This vehicle has 13 miles on the clock,

probably the lowest mileage of any tank you'll ever see in a museum anywhere,

this was not a very successful vehicle.

The M60A2 is often known as "Starship".

Now this is a point of contention,

because nobody has ever yet been able to identify anyone

who has used the term "Starship" at the time the vehicle was in service.

Now, if you look inside, you'll see knobs and switches and gadgets and gizmos,

the theory is that it was named after the bridge of the Starship Enterprise,

but there is an argument that this is simply a post-service appellation.

Perhaps a bit of positive reminiscence,

you have got to think something good about this tank.

The Description of Inside the Chieftain's Hatch. Snapshots: M60A2 Patton [World of Tanks]