The Sabra main battle tank is an upgrade of the M60A3 developed in Israel to extend service life of the ageing M60 MBTs and making them capable of defeating modern main battle tanks. The Sabra main battle tanks are currently in service with Israel and Turkey. A contract to upgrade 170 M60 main battle tanks in service with Turkish army was awarded to Israel Military Industries in 2002 and the first prototype was delivered in 2005. Upgrade package for the Turkish M60 main battle tank include a more powerful German diesel engine.
Vehicle is fitted with new modular armor protection. Upgraded vehicles retain previous, but up-armored turrets.
The Sabra main battle tank is armed with a 120-mm smoothbore gun. This gun was developed in Israel and is similar to the Merkava Mk.3 gun. It is significantly superior to the original 105-mm gun installed on the M60 tanks. This gun is capable of firing all standard NATO 120-mm ammunition. Gun is loaded manually. A total of 42 rounds for the main gun are carried. The Sabra also has new fire control system.
Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun, and two machine guns of the same caliber mounted on top of the roof. Alternatively 5.45-mm MGs can be used. The Sabra MBT is also fitted with a 60-mm mortar.
The Sabra main battle tank has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.
Vehicle is powered by Continental AVDS-1790-5A turbocharged diesel engine, developing 900 horsepower. Chassis of the M60A3 has been upgraded to coupe with increased weight and for better cross-country mobility.
The Sabra Mk.2 is fitted with modular passive armor, which can be upgraded with explosive reactive armor. Modular armor can be easily replaced if damaged or upgraded if more advanced armor is available.
The Sabra Mk.3 is fitted with armor, similar to the Merkava Mk.4 main battle tank. Commander's machine gun is enclosed and operated remotely.
Turkish Sabras were fitted with a more powerful German MTU 881 diesel engine, developing 1 000 horsepower.