Yugoslavia was formed in 1943 during World War 2 (1939-1945) and maintained an existence up until its dissolution in 1992. The country began as a partner to the communist Soviet Union until the Tito-Stalin split of 1948 to which then the nation carried onward through a neutral global stance. During this period, its industrial base accounted for many indigenous products to serve standing military requirements - aircraft, armored vehicles and small arms of various types - with one such development became the little-known M-60 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
Weighing 11,000 kilograms, the M-60 was given a length of 5 meters, a width of 2.7 meters and a height of 2.4 meters. Its standard operating crew numbered three and included a driver, commander and co-driver/machine gunner. Protection for the crew and key internal systems measured 10mm to 25mm in armor thickness (welded steel construction). Primary armament was a 12.7mm Browning M2HB Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) for local air-defense / light armor support and a bow-mounted 7.62mm M53 machine gun fit for anti-infantry duty. Power was served through a FAMOS FFTR series 6-cylinder diesel engine of 150 horsepower and the suspension system was of a torsion bar arrangement. Road speeds reached 45 kmh with ranges out to 400 kilometers. The running gear included five double-tired road wheels to a hull side, the drive sprocket at front and the track idler at rear. Three track return rollers were featured.
Internally, the driver managed a position at front-left with a co-driver/bow machine gunner at front-right. The powerpack was seated under the operating crew to allow for a passenger cabin to be featured in the highly cramped rear section. A twin-door arrangement allowed these occupants entry/exit to the vehicle. Firing ports along the sides of the hull allowed passengers to engage enemies from within the confines of the vehicle. The commander's position was marked by a cupola found immediately aft of the driver's cockpit.
The M-60 was originally designated as "M-590" when it was introduced. It was designed and developed to a Yugoslavia Army requirement for a modern, all-tracked armored vehicle capable of ferrying combat-ready troops to the front under some level of protection. In this way, the M-60 succeeded as the passenger cabin could seat ten such personnel. The M-590 was debuted in 1965 during a Yugoslav military parade.
Initial production models were designated simply as M-590/M-60 while the "M-60P" became its improved standard form. The "M-60PB" was the dedicated Anti-Tank (AT) model fitting 2 x 82mm recoilless rifles as a primary armament fit, these guns found along the top of the hull rear (right or left side). The "M-60PK" was a Battalion Command Vehicle form outfitted with extra communications gear.
The M-60 was delivered through some 600 to 800 examples (sources vary) from 1962 until 1979. Following the end of Yugoslavia as a united state, the vehicles fell to the successors that emerged from the rubble. The line was then carried forward by the armies of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Republika Srpska Krajina, and Serbia and Montenegro. The Iraqi Army became the only foreign operator of the type with 190 M-60P vehicles coming before the events of Operation Desert Storm (1991).
All M-60 vehicles have since been withdrawn from frontline service and ended their days on the scrap heap. Over a career spanning forty years, the M-60 reportedly gave good service to its various local armies and was used by government police for a time. It was available at the time of the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2002) but its best days were clearly behind it - losses were high due to poor armor protection against more modern armor-defeating measures and its machine-gun-only armament proved lacking in punch. Before the end it was pressed into service as a modestly-armored battlefield ambulance.
The line was largely succeeded by the BVP M-80 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).