CONTENT PREVIEW
Terrorism & Insurgency

Turkish tank survives Kornet missile strike

21 April 2016
A still from the Islamic State video shows a militant about about to fire a Kornet ATGW. Source: Amaq Agency

A Turkish M60T - a version of the US-made tank upgraded by Israeli Military Industries (IMI) - has apparently survived being hit by the latest Russian man-portable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system.

The attack was seen in a video released by the Islamic State militant group on 19 April and showed a man firing a 9K129 Kornet ATGW towards a tank on a hilltop position. The missile hit its target, but the tank was not seen exploding or burning.

The Islamic State said the target was a Turkish tank deployed to Bashiqah, 30 km to the northeast of Mosul city in northern Iraq. The Turkish military presence at Bashiqah and several other locations in Iraq was revealed in December 2015, prompting Baghdad to demand that Turkey withdraw all its troops from its territory.

Ankara ignored the demand, stating that the base at Bashiqah had been established to train a militia to help expel the Islamic State from Mosul.

Later on 19 April, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported a military source as saying that the Islamic State carried out an attack on a M60 tank at Bashiqah. The source said the tank had been slightly damaged and there were no casualties in the camp. Turkish forces returned fire, killing 32 Islamic State fighters, the source said.

A photograph that was presumably released by a Turkish military source to counter the Islamic State's claim that it destroyed a Turkish tank at Bashiqah. The image shows a M60T tank that has been damaged, but not destroyed. (unknown)A photograph that was presumably released by a Turkish military source to counter the Islamic State's claim that it destroyed a Turkish tank at Bashiqah. The image shows a M60T tank that has been damaged, but not destroyed. (unknown)

A photograph emerged on social media purportedly showing the tank that was hit in the attack. The tank was an M60T in a hull-down defensive position with much of the applique armour fitted to the front right side of its turret blown away. The underlying armour did not appear to have been penetrated.

The M60T is an M60A1 that has been upgraded with a 120 mm smoothbore gun, a new fire-control system, a more powerful engine and transmission, and hybrid armour (both active and passive) over its frontal arc.

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