List Of Jordan’s Popular Battle Tanks

This article sheds light on Jordan’s popular battle tanks that form the backbone of its military might – The M60A3 Patton, The M47 Patton, The Al-Hussein tank, The Khalid tank and The M60A1 Patton.

Jordan’s armoured forces are a key player in the strategic landscape of the Middle East. This article sheds light on Jordan’s popular battle tanks that form the backbone of its military might – The M60A3 Patton, The M47 Patton, The Al-Hussein tank, The Khalid tank and The M60A1 Patton.

Jordan’s Popular Battle Tanks

The M60A3 Patton, a second-generation main battle tank (MBT), was officially standardized as the Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105-mm Gun, M60 in March 1959. This upgraded version of the M60A1 boasts improved features such as enhanced turret armour, better gun stabilization, an upgraded fire control system, and an expanded array of 105mm ammunition. Production of the M60A3 Patton spanned from 1978 to 1983, with the Army’s procurement of M60A3 and M60A3 TTS tanks concluding in June 1983. In total, more than 15,000 M60 tanks were manufactured. While Jordan has decided to retain and modernize its fleet of M60s, it has chosen to retire newer tanks like the British Challenger I.

The M60A1 Patton, also known as the Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105-mm Gun, M60, is a variant of the M60 Patton. It was in production from 1962 to 1980 and served as an upgraded version of the M48 tank. The United States extensively utilized this variant for more than three decades until it was eventually replaced by the M1A1 Abrams in 1997. Equipped with the British L7 105 mm tank gun, the M60A1 Patton was not only used by the U.S. but also supplied to several of its allies, including Austria, Iran, Israel, Jordan, and Italy.

The Khalid tank, a Jordanian variant of the British Chieftain tank, was developed from the Shir 1, an export version of the Chieftain for Iran. It featured a redesigned rear hull to accommodate the new Rolls-Royce CV-12 engine, along with improved transmission, suspension, and final drives. Originally, the Khalid MBT was intended to fulfil the Iranian Army’s requirement under the “Shir 1” initiative, but the Islamic Revolution in 1979 halted those plans. However, the Royal Jordanian Army saw potential in the Shir 1 and ordered a new main battle tank based on its qualities, which became known as the “Khalid” or “Sword.” The orders were placed in 1979, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 1981. The Khalid MBT featured a Perkins Engines Condor V12 diesel engine and incorporated internal changes to meet the specific needs of the Jordanian Army. While it remained largely faithful to the original Chieftain design, there were modifications such as a raised engine compartment for the new powerplant and an updated fire control system similar to that of the Challenger 1. Essentially, the Khalid was a hybrid of the Chieftain and Challenger 1 tanks. In November 1979, Jordan placed an order with the UK for 274 Khalid MBTs, totalling £266 million, with deliveries set to commence in 1981.

The Al-Hussein tank is a variant of the British Challenger 1 tank that was sold to Jordan after being replaced by the Challenger 2 in British service. The Jordanians purchased around 400 of these tanks between 1999 and 2004 to replace their ageing Centurions. The vehicle was renamed Al-Hussein after King Hussein of Jordan and initially left in its original state. However, the Jordanians recognized the need for upgrades and turned to the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) for help. The biggest flaws of the vehicle were its firepower and old TOGS-based Fire Control System, which were remedied by replacing them with the Swiss RUAG CTG 120mm L/50 smoothbore and developing a new low-profile turret with an automatic loading mechanism and a new FCS. The resulting Al-Hussein Hybrid featured a new FALCON turret that was extremely low, reducing the vehicle’s silhouette size and enhancing its safety even further.

The M47 Patton, an American Medium tank, was an upgraded version of the M46 Patton with an improved turret. It later served as the basis for the development of the M48 Patton. Named after General George S. Patton, who commanded the U.S. Third Army during World War II, it became widely utilized by U.S. Cold War allies, including SEATO and NATO countries. Interestingly, the M47 Patton never saw combat while in service with the U.S., making it the only tank in the Patton series with this distinction. Designed to replace the M26 Pershing and M46 Patton medium tanks, the M47 Patton became the primary tank for both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Production of the M47 took place from 1951 to 1954. Notably, it was the last U.S. medium tank to feature a bow machine gun. Equipped with an improved Continental AV-1790-5B V12 engine, which was air-cooled and twin-turbo gasoline-powered, the M47 Patton boasted 810 horsepower. In terms of Jordan’s acquisition of the M47 Patton, it was supplied to various U.S. allies, including Austria, Iran, Israel, Jordan, and Italy. Jordan, in particular, received a total of 49 M47 Patton tanks.