AFV Club Military 1/35 M60A2 Starship Patton Late Version Main Battle Tank Kit

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$59.99 $74.99
SKU: AFV-35230

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The M60A2 was named the "Starship" due to the then modern technology fitted to the tank. It was designed as a force multiplier to operate alongside M60A1 tanks. Development began in the 1960s with them entering service in 1972. The Starship featured a new different turret from other tanks of the time. The main turret had quite a low profile which was offset somewhat by a large commanders copula on top. This featured a sighting system and a co-axial 50 cal machine gun. The idea was for the commander to find the target and lock on the main armament and then be searching for the next target while the gunner engaged the current one.

The turret was fitted with M48 152mm gun / launcher. This was the same gun fitted to the M551 Sheridan. This could fire conventional ammunition to a range of 1.5km and the MGM-51 Shillelagh anti-tank guided missile with an effective range of 3km. A groove as cut into the barrel to allow the missile to fire. The US Army at this time had spent a considerable amount of money on the MGM-51 system. One of the major problems with the missile for its time was its technological advancements which made it unreliable. The missile did not come into sight of the gunner until it was over 700m from the tank and with an effective range of 2km (later extended to 3km) it had a limited envelop of operations. Over 88000 missiles were purchased with the only reported use being a dozen or so fired at bunkers by Sheridans in the Gulf war of 1991.

In the end the Starship proved to be a bit of a disaster. The main gun range had already been exceeded by other tanks and the missile system was unreliable. In addition a closed breech scavenger system), which used pressurised air to clear the breech after each shot lead to a slow rate of fire. It was also found that the missile was not as good at penetrating armour as was required. The Starships were phased out by the early 1980s with the hulls being converted to M60A3 tanks, or in some cases armoured bridge layers.

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