|Underwater Military Museum
|7 to 28m
|Deep, wreck, easy access, light surge
|Snorkelling, freediving, diver training
|No, only in the shallow
|Other names used
The Underwater Military Museum is a new and unique dive site in Aqaba with a great potential for the coming years. It will captivate divers far beyond the military enthusiast, due to the rich marine life growing on the former war machines.
Despite the name, we would not describe this dive site as a military museum, at least not in the traditional sense of word. The scuttling of military vehicles is building a bridge between Jordan's turbulent past and the peaceful future, creating new life in the ocean.
Several Jordanian authorities worked close together for the project, after a month of planning and a week of sinking all vehicles we can visit now 21 wrecks in one dive – a new record for your logbooks! The location was chosen in a sandy patch to attract snorkelers, divers of different levels and of course corals and reef fish alike.
After starting the dive in the north we reach the sea grass, where the first sunken vehicles are placed in 7 meters depth, reachable for snorkelers and beginners. The Willis MB Jeep was the first off-road car and used around the world, becoming a trademark for a four-wheel drive car and copied many times for military and civilian purposes.
In a depth of 15 meters we approach a carefully arranged line of military vehicles simulating a battle lineup. The bottom slopes gentle to the south and we follow the line of sunken relics. Which kind of army hardware you can see? Most of it was built in the UK, USA or South Africa and were used by the Jordanian army until 2000.
After crossing the FV701 Ferrets, five reconnaissance armoured cars, you reach two FV101 Scorpion Light Tanks followed by a FV103 Spartan personal carrier. Now you can see the heavy stuff, the famous Chieftain tanks, well-known in the Middle East as Khalid Shir tanks.
Passing the Ratel-20 Infantry Carrier for 12 soldiers you will find something familiar, when you dove "The Tank" before, another two M42 Duster self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. Before you enter the deepest part of the dive, check out the FV104 Samaritan armoured ambulance and the Chieftain armoured recovery vehicle "The Crane" which was special built for the Chieftain tanks in case of damage or recovery of the tanks.
A Field Gun MI 155 mm and two Bell AH-IF Cobra attack helicopters awaiting the advanced diver on a depth of 25-28 meters. Keep in mind for a safe dive plan that the monitoring of your air consumption is crucial when you would spend 1-2 minutes for each item on display!
Please, choose one of the reefs to see its location on the map, or browse through all the reefs below