If you’re a history buff and a diver, then this new dive site in ,Aqaba might be the place for you…
Military museums are not uncommon, but Aqaba has built what
might be the most unusual of them all: an underwater military
museum. The war machines were sunk in a depth range of 15 to
28 meters, stationed along the coral reefs imitating a tactical battle
formation, creating an exciting underwater adventure, intriguing
divers and snorkelers to discover more and more of the dive site
and have a unique experience.The dive site is located just off the
coast of Aqaba, South Beach in the Red Sea in an area popular
with divers. The museum objects are decommissioned vehicles
that were donated by the Royal Jordanian Army. The museum is
currently made up of 21 military relics and expected to grow as
more equipment becomes available.
Jordan’s Military Hardware Collection.
The military hardware includes a U.K.-built Chieftain main battle
tank (known as Khalid Shir in Jordan) with 120-millimetre tank gun,
and an unarmed FV104 Samaritan tracked military ambulance.
U.S.-made M42 Duster anti-aircraft gun with twin 40-millimetre
Bofors guns, FV701 Ferret armoured car, and a South African
Ratel (“Honey Badger”) 6 x 6 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle are
also a great addition to the “battlefield”.
The most important piece of the collection: a Royal Jordanian Air
Force AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter was built by Bell Helicopter
in the U.S.
1. Field Gun M1 155m.
Field gun M1 155mm, American-made in 1939, it was used in the Second World War. Weight 13.8 tons, shell weight 45kg, shooting range 23km, the crew of 14 soldiers. This gun was put to use in the Jordan Armed Forces in 1962 and it participated in the 1967 War, Al Karama battle in 1968, and also, in the Attrition War 1968-1970.
2. RATEL Armoured Infantry Carrier.
The Ratel is a South African infantry fighting vehicle. Production started in 1976, and it was the first wheeled infantry fighting vehicle to enter service worldwide. The Ratel was a simple, economical
design which helped reduce the significant logistical commitment necessary to keep heavier combat vehicles operational in undeveloped regions. Weight of 18 tons and can carry 12 soldiers,
armed with varied weapons from 90, 23 to 23mm guns. The RATEL entered the Jordanian Armed Forces service in 2002.
3. FERRET Armoured Car.
FERRET is a British-made reconnaissance armoured car which ,entered the service in 1952. It was used by many countries, especially in the Middle East region. Weight 3.7 tons, equipped mainly with a 7.62 mm calibre machine gun. The crew consisted of two soldiers. The vehicle entered in the Jordanian Armed Forces service in 1963 and remained in service until 1985.
4. Anti-Aircraft, Self-Propelled, Gun M42 40mm (Duster).
American-made since 1952. Armoured, tracked vehicle with dual barrel anti-aircraft 40mm calibre guns. The crew consisted of four soldiers. M42 was in Jordanian Armed Forces service from 1965
to 1998 and participated in the 1967 War, Al Karama Battle, and also, in the War of Attrition.
5. Chieftain Tank (KHALID).
British-made in 1966 and widely used in Gulf Wars 1980-1991. The Chieftain was an evolutionary development of the successful cruiser line of tanks that had emerged at the end of the Second
World War. Weight 55 tons, the crew of four soldiers. It carries an L11A5 120 mm rifled gun and two, 7.62 mm calibre machine guns. The tank entered the Jordanian Armed Forces service in 1982 and ended in 2000 under the name KHALID Tank.
6. Chieftain Armoured Recovery Vehicle “The Crane”.
Recovery vehicle, Chieftain Brand, a British-made in 1967 to work with Chieftain Tanks in the field, used in recovery operations of damaged or technically broken down tanks. Weight 50 tons, the crew consisted of five soldiers. The vehicle started service in the Jordanian Armed Forces together with the Chieftain tanks in 1982.
7. SAMARITAN Armoured Ambulance.
Samaritan is a British made armored ambulance based on FV101 light tank with a capacity of up to 6 injured soldiers. It used to operate in battlefields along with the other armored vehicles. Weight 8.7 tons, with the crew of two soldiers. As an ambulance, this vehicle does not carry any weapons according to
the International Laws.
8. Scorpion Light Tank.
The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle, introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and was withdrawn in 1994. Weight 8 tons and crew of three soldiers. Its primary weapon was a 76 mm calibre gun.
9. Bell AH-1F Cobra.
Developed from the Huey transport helicopter, the Cobra was the first purpose-built helicopter gunship to enter military service. It was the backbone of U.S. Army attack aviation from its combat debut in South Vietnam during 1967 until replaced by the AH64 Apache in the 1980s and ’90s. Several versions of the Cobra continue to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of many nations including The Royal Jordanian Air Force which has at least one squadron of Cobras currently in service.
10. Willys MB – The Jeep.
The iconic Willys MB, commonly known as “Jeep” was a highly successful off-road capable, light, military utility vehicle, built-in large numbers to a standardized design, from 1941 to 1945, for the Allied forces in World War II. There were more than one million Jeeps produced in various versions and used for several
military purposes as the over one tone vehicle was also capable of carrying different types of weapons. Jeeps continued service in different armies across the globe to the late ’90s, playing a significant role in different wars. Its influence, however, was much more significant than that, manufacturers around the world began building jeeps and similar designs, either under license or not, at first primarily for military
purposes, but later also for the civilian market. Willys trademarked the “Jeep” name, turned the MB into the civilian Jeep CJ models, and Jeep became a brand. The 1945 Willys Jeep was the world’s first mass-produced civilian four-wheel drive car. Jordan started using Jeeps in the ’60s with the M40 106mm
recoilless rifle mounted, primarily used as an anti-tank gun and continued to be in service until the early ’90s.