Turkey has deployed upgraded M60TM main battle tanks (MBTs) fitted with Pulat active protection systems (APS) to the Syrian border as part of Operation 'Peace Spring', according to photographs taken on 11 and 12 October.
The photographs showed the tanks deploying in the Akçakale area opposite the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, one of the operation's initial objectives. There appeared to be two different standards of upgraded M60s, both fitted with a remote weapon station and laser-warning receivers mounted behind the smoke grenade launchers on the front of their turrets and at the rear.
Some of the tanks also had what appeared to be elements of the Pulat hard-kill APS fitted to their hulls, with one module mounted to the rear of the exhaust on the right side and a second between the first and second road wheels.
This indicates that Turkey is the second country outside of the former Soviet Union to deploy an APS to an operational theatre.
Some of the tanks showed M60s fitted with Aselsan's Telescopic Periscope System (TEPES) fitted on their turrets to the left of the remote weapon station.
With the exception of the Pulat APS, all the additional elements were under covers. However, their shapes and locations matched those seen in imagery released by Aselsan and a concept demonstrator of the M60TM that was displayed at the IDEF show held in Istanbul earlier this year.
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