Visitors to SOFEX and to the KASOTC Warrior Competition in Jordan now have a new place to visit along with the world-famous Wadi Rum, Petra and Jerash, as early in 2018, the newest tank museum in the world was opened in the capital, Amman.
The museum was established by Royal Decree in 2007 and was inaugurated on January 29, 2018, by King Abdullah II. It has been built on a specially designed site which consists of a 20,000-square-meter building, an outside display area and a tank driving course.
The museum building is described as an “architectural concept that rises from the old desert fortress of the 1800s and 1900s with four pillars, modernized and made ‘stealthy’ for the 21st century.” It has a spacious interior with all the vehicles being on one level that is set up into 14 separate halls, covering tanks from Leonardo da Vinci’s concept tank to the latest Main Battle tanks. The vehicles in the museum have come from Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) military stock, sourced from around the world, and generous donations from 16 countries of 24 further tanks.
Each of the separate halls runs in chronological order from the Armouring Origins, World War I, Great Arab Revolt, World War II, Arab Legion, Jerusalem, Jordanian Armoured Forces (1950s–1960s), Al Karameh, Arab Israeli, King Abdullah II, Sectionalized Tank, Operations and Tank Support, Tank in Battle, International and KADDB which have tanks, armoured cars, tracked and wheeled artillery, armoured recovery, soft-skinned vehicles and small arms relevant to that hall.
Among the vehicles on display in the various halls are an Israeli 75mm Super Sherman M50, British Charioteer (a Cold War-era tank, that is fitted with an Ordnance QF 20 pounder gun and uses Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) ammunition out to an effective range of 2,000 metres), French 75mm AMX-13, American 37mm Stuart, Russian 100mm T-54 and an Austrian SK-105 Kürassier. The SK-105 is fitted with a 105mm gun which has a semi-automatic, revolving magazine-type autoloading system with two revolving magazines holding 6 rounds each of Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) rounds. These are an extremely accurate round out to 2000 metres. There were also the Chinese 100mm Type 59, Polish WZT-1 Armoured Recovery Vehicle and a German 75mm STuG III. The STuG III was mounted with a 75mm KwK L/48 gun which was the main anti-tank gun used by the Germans in WWII. It fired a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) round up to 1800 metres with great accuracy.
Small Arms are also on display and include a .30 Browning machine gun, 3-inch mortar, Bazooka, an M15A1 Jeep with a 105mm Recoilless Rifle and a very good example of the M45 Quadmount .50 BMG mounted on an M20 trailer, which is used to enhance the dioramas.
There is also a Huey Cobra helicopter slung from the roof over the King Abdullah II Hall.
There is an upper level where there is a “World of Tanks” gaming area that all visitors to the museum can play for free, experiencing tanks that are on display in realistic computer tank battles.
You can get up close to most of the exhibits, and there is good use of dioramas, sound effects and laser graphics. Many of the vehicles have information boards on them, and there are less well-known examples of vehicles built in the area from the Middle East conflicts.
One unusual exhibit is a “sectionalized” American 105mm M60 Tank, which has been cut through the middle so that you can walk in-between the two sections, giving you an up-close perspective of the interior.
Outside there are six further Tanks/Armoured cars on display. The tank driving course is in its last stages of construction where they will be holding Tank demonstrations and Tank rides for visitors.
There is a large gift shop within the museum. There is no Café, and food/drink is not permitted in the museum.
The location of the museum is very convenient to the main hotels in Amman as it is only a 15-20 minute taxi ride.
Opening Hours: Every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Entry Fee: 5 Jordanian Dinar ($7 USD) per person
Address: King Abdullah II Park, Amman, Jordan
Telephone: +962 4381881