One of the US’s military source has unveiled details of a unique project to convert M60A3 main battle tanks to simulate Russian BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles.
Source has revealed fresh details of the programme, called BMP-surrogate (BMP-S), within which were modified M60A3 tanks that resemble an enemy combat vehicle, such as the BMP-3.
Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois has converted 10 hulls of the M60A3 main battle tanks to simulate Russian modern BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles.
A 15,000-pound turret was removed from an M60A3 tank hull (some source reported that were M48 hulls) and was replaced with the surrogate body that makes the vehicle similar in appearance to a Russian Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, better known as a BMP-3.
Each BMP-S the arsenal is building consist of an M60 hull and drive train with a BMP-3 façade placed on it. Various ductwork and wiring are being added to produce the same thermal imaging as a BMP-3. All installed weapons and hardware will be non-operational.
The BMP-surrogate vehicle based on the M60A3 chassis is designed to simulate the capabilities of potential enemy’s armored fighting vehicles during exercises. It is can be operated manned or unmanned, depending on training requirements.
Similar projects in the US Army it’s no secret. Previously reported about an overhaul of 14 M113A3 using a modified turret from an M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and with visual modifications, which make the vehicle similar in appearance to a Russian BMP-2.
The vehicle imitator is used to simulate the weapons capability, via tactical engagement simulation as an opposing force (abbreviated OPFOR or enemy force) tasked with representing an enemy, usually for training purposes in war game scenarios.