Royal Jordanian Army

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Royal Jordanian Army
القوّات البرية الاردنيّة
Royal Jordanian Army Seal.svg Royal Jordanian Army Flag.svg
Flag of the Royal Jordanian Army
Active 1920–present
Country Jordan
Role Army
Size 90,000 Active (2012 est.)
60,000 Reserve (2012 est.)
Garrison/HQ Amman
Colors KA2 Desert Digital
KA2 Arid/Woodland Digital
KA2 SF Woodland Digital
Anniversaries June 10
Lieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat

The Royal Jordanian Army (Arabic: القوّات البرية الاردنيّة, "Jordanian Ground Forces") is part of the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF). It draws its origins from units such as the Arab Legion, formed in the British Mandate of Transjordan in the 1920s. It has seen combat against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. The Army also fought the Syrians and the PLO during Black September in 1970.

Origins - 1920–1947

Arab Revolt Tribal Cavalry – Tribes of Jordan and Arabia, c. 1918.
Arab army during the Arab revolt of 1916 against the Ottoman Empire formed the nucleus of the Arab Legion.

On 10 June 1916, Sherif Hussien Bin Ali prince of Mecca, officially declared the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire to rid Arab nations of the Turkish rule that had lasted about four centuries.

On 21 November 1920, Prince Abdullah Bin Al-Hussien (later King) arrived at Ma'an, where he expressed his resolution to drive out the Turkish forces from Syria. Later, on 5 December 1920, he proclaimed himself as deputy king in Syria and appealed to members of the Al-Faissali army to join his forces in Ma'an. His calls received much attention in the Arab world as several prominent Arab nationalists and other Arab princes joined his campaign; these later formed the embryonic force of the Arab legion.

When Prince Abdullah came to power in the Emirate of Transjordan, the Jordanian Armed Forces included:[citation needed]

  • Gendarmerie (Darak) force of 400 men.
  • A mobile (mainly cavalry) force of 150 men and horses.
  • A regular Army battalion of some 200 infantrymen.
  • A camelry of 100 men.
  • An Arab force, which was probably the battalion that had accompanied prince Abdullah to Amman from Ma'an.

Roles of Military Formations in Jordan from the Foundation of the Emirate until the 1948 Arab-Israeli War:

  • Transjordan Frontier Force: It had played an important role for the United Kingdom during World War II, as it provided protection for British lines of communication extending from Iraq to Soviet Union. It also took part in the fighting against the French forces in Syria.
  • The Arab Legion: – During World War II, it was mainly tasked with maintaining law and order in the country. Moreover, it extended support to British Forces engaged in military actions in Syria, Iraq and Palestine. A military detachment of this force participated in the Victory Day ceremonies in London on 8 June 1946, and the victory festival of Allied Forces in Jerusalem.
  • The Desert Force (Al-Badia Force): AKA Desert Patrol. Its main task was to guard Jordan's borders with neighboring Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as well as to provide protection for the petroleum pipelines of the Iraqi Petroleum Company (IPC). Besides that, it participated in the campaigns of Syria and Iraq during World War II.


Pre-1948 War

Units from Jordan's Arab Legion take part in the Victory March in London in 1946

This army started with an infantry company, cavalry company, machine guns unit, signal section and military band. In 1923, the total strength of the army, which was under the command of British Captain Frederick Gerard Peake, did not exceed 750 men.

Commander of the Arab Legion, Glubb Pasha in uniform. Amman, September 11, 1940

During 1930, the Arab Legion's strength was expanded to approximately 1,100. In 1931, a camel-mounted desert mobile force was organized under the command of John Bagot Glubb to maintain security and order.

This organization attracted numerous Bedouin volunteers. In 1933, the first mechanized force was formed. This element consisted of three vehicles and 120 men including the camel-mounted desert mobile force. It undertook the responsibility of maintaining security, preventing the raids among the tribal groups and deterring the raids from the outside.

By the eve of World War II, the legion had been expanded to a force of about 1,600 men. This legion took part in operations in Syria during the war. Independent companies were established in addition to a regular battalion, which was later expanded to become the 1st Brigade.

In 1942, the 2nd battalion was formed, which later became the 2nd Brigade. The army continued its expansion in numbers and equipment.

1948 War

In 1948, it consisted of two brigades; two garrisons and four battalions were merged to become six battalions. At this time, the army consisted of an infantry division, an artillery brigade, a mortar battery, an artillery battery, an engineer and signal battalion and a field aid unit.

After the announcement of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, and the disclosure of the British decision to leave Palestine on 15 May 1948, both warring sides (the Arabs and the Jews) began to make their military preparations for a forthcoming confrontation they believed would be inevitable.

In May 1948, the Arab countries decided to send their forces to assist the Palestinians. The Arab Legion entered Palestine with other Arab Forces on 15 May 1948 using the Allenby (King Hussein) bridge as they were advancing to cover the approaches from Jenin, in the north to Afula and from Al-Majame'a bridge on the Jordan River to Bissan and from there to Afula.

Units of the Arab Legion were engaged in several battles with the Jewish forces including the following:


King Hussein spared no pains at all to improve the army in terms of cadre and equipment, and in the early 1956 dismissed Glubb and Arab commanders assumed leadership posts in the army, most notably Habis Al-Majali.

In 1957, King Hussein ordered the establishment of the 4th infantry brigade and another of field artillery. In 1958, the heavy artillery was entered, In the same year, the Armoured Brigade was recognized to become an Armoured Division and, in 1961, it become the Armour Corps. During this period, the 40th Armoured Brigade, 60th Armoured Brigade and the Royal Guard Brigade were established.

Battles - 1956

On 11 September, an Israeli force infiltrated the Jordanian territories in the Al-Rahwa, Hebron sector, and attacked the police station there. After long clashes with a Jordanian unit from the Desert Guards, the Israeli force was forced to withdraw repulsed.[citation needed]

On 10 October 1956, an enemy force, estimated at a motorized infantry brigade, supported by medium-range artillery and 10 combat aircraft, attacked the Arab towns of Hubla, Al-Nabi Illias and Azroun. The assaulting troops fought the Arab legion west of Al-Nabi Illias and were forced to withdraw to Qalqilia hills.[citation needed]

Equipment 1956




Kuwait - 1963

When Kuwait declared its independence from the Commonwealth on 19 June 1961, the Iraqi government announced that Kuwait was an integral part of its national territories. Following the end of Operation Vantage, the Arab league formed the Arab Emergency Force to protect Kuwait with the participation of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and Tunisia.[citation needed] The Jordanian participation included an infantry battalion reinforced by an anti-aircraft platoon and returned home on 13 December 1963.[citation needed]

Samu Incident - 1966

King Hussein after checking an abandoned Israeli tank in the aftermath of the Battle of Karameh.

On 13 November 1966, in response to a Fatah land mine incident two days prior, Israeli forces raided the Palestinian village of Samu (in the Muhafazat of Hebron) with an infantry brigade reinforced by two tank battalions and supported by artillery and combat aircraft. The Jordanian army suffered 16 dead, as well as material damages.

In 1965, King Hussein ordered the formation of five infantry brigades. The army was divided into two fronts: Western front and Eastern front, ten infantry battalions were concentrated on both fronts.

In 1967, a new armoured brigade was established. The artillery brigade was recognized to have consisted of three field artillery battalions and an anti-aircraft battalion.

Six Day War - 1967

Believing that Israel was a becoming more of a threat, Egypt declared a state of emergency and started to concentrate its forces in the Sinai desert. In addition to that, Jordan signed a mutual defense agreement with Egypt. Consequently, Israel ordered the full mobilisation of its forces on 25 May 1967. As a result, the Arab Jordan Army was placed on maximum alert.

The operational Strengths Of Opposing Forces on the Jordanian Front included:

Arab Forces[citation needed]
  • Jordan Armed Forces (JAF): several infantry brigades, 2 Armoured brigades and 20 operational combat aircraft, distributed in defensive positions in both western and eastern fronts.
  • Iraq: 2 infantry brigades, 1 mechanised brigade, 1 armoured brigade, and 34 aircraft.
  • Syria: one infantry brigade crossed the Jordanian border on 7 June, and left on 9 June 1967 without being involved in any military actions.
  • Saudi Arabia: one infantry brigade and an armoured company, which arrived at the Al-Modawara border crossing point on 21 March 1968.
  • Egypt: 2 Ranger battalions arrived in Jordan on 3 June 1967. Their primary mission was to destroy six Israeli airfields. Due to their late arrival in the occupied territories, they could not accomplish their mission.
Israeli forces opposing the Jordanian front included
  • 4 infantry brigades
  • 3 mechanised brigades
  • 2 paratroop brigades
  • 2 armoured brigades with their full standard support elements
  • 286 combat aircraft of different types.[citation needed]

When the military operations were over on both Egyptian and Syrian fronts, Israel redeployed a part of its forces from these fronts to the Jordanian front.

At 0730 hrs. on 5 June 1967, the Israelis surprised the Arab states with a series of continuous air strikes directed at Arab airfields. As a result, most of the Arab air force was neutralized.

Amid the battles in Jerusalem was the Battle of Ammunition Hill; 71 Jordanian soldiers died. Eventually, the Jordanian Army was driven from East Jerusalem.

Jordanian Army Order of Battle, June 1967
  • 2 × Armoured Brigades (40/60, Each 96 with Patton M-48/M-48A-1 MBTs, 40 × FV-701 Ferret ARVs, 45 × M-113 APCs, 18 × M-52 105mm self-propelled howitzers, 18 × M-42 2×40mm self-propelled anti-aircraft guns)
  • 3 × Indp. Armoured Battalions (with Centurion MK-V/VII or Patton M-47 MBTs)
  • 1 × Paratroop Battalion
  • 1 × "Royal Brigade" (Mechanized Infantry)
  • 9 × Infantry Brigades (1/2/3/4/12/25/27/29/36)
  • 12 × Artillery Battalions
  • 6 × Mortar Batteries
Jordanian Air Force Order of Battle

Equipment of Jordanian Armed Forces, June 1967

1967–1973 War

Jordanian soldiers on a captured Israeli half-track

After the 1967 war, the army was rearmed. In 1968, the army defended Jordan against Israeli troops that had invaded Jordanian territory in pursuit of Palestinian guerrillas – the Battle of Karameh. Palestinians claim a victory just for resisting Israeli troops; the Jordanians say that they forced the Israelis back; the Israelis say that they pulled back after hitting the Palestinians at which time they were bombed by the Jordanians.

Daily clashes continued on the Jordanian Front after the 1967 war until the mid 1970s – the War of Attrition. The most famous one was the Battle of Karameh. In 1968, Israeli forces crossed the border and advanced on the town of Karameh. The Jordanian army mobilized and a battle broke out between the Jordanian army and the IDF. The Israeli forces retreated after a heavy bombardment.'[8]

September 1970 is known as Black September in Arab history. In September 1970, King Hussein moved to quash an attempt by armed Palestinian insurgents to overthrow his monarchy. The violence resulted in civilian casualties on both sides. Armed conflict lasted until July 1971 ending only when remaining Palestinian insurgents were surrounded in the Ajloun-Jarash mountains, finally surrendered to the Jordan army and were expelled from the country.'[8] In October 1970, the Ba'athist regime in neighboring Syria had attempted to intervene in support of the Palestinians by sending an armoured column into the north of Jordan. Jordanian ground and air forces were able to halt this advance and a combination of international political pressure and discord within the Syrian military led to a Syrian retreat.[9]

In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 40th Armoured Brigade was sent to the Syrian front.

After 1977

Since the major reorganisation of 1977, the Royal Jordanian Army has kept the 5th Armoured Division deployed between the Iraqi border and Ramtha on the Syrian border, the 12th Mechanized Division deployed from Ramtha through Umm Qays to the Zarqa River in a defensive posture that covers both Israel and Syria and the 4th Mechanized Division deployed from the Zarqa River, north of As-Salt to the Dead Sea facing Israel. The 3rd Armoured Division acts as both the strategic reserve and the main protection against any internal disturbances. It has units deployed at Zarqa in the north; near the capital Amman (along with a brigade of Royal Guards made up of hand-picked troops from Bedouin tribes known for their long-standing loyalty to the crown), and at Qatraneh in the south covering the route into Saudi Arabia.

In 1996, the Jordanian Army finally established a Special Operations Command, the brain-child of Abdullah (then a serving Army officer). It is tasked to deal with a possible Palestinian uprising and the growth of Islamic terrorism. This powerful force now includes the 71st and 101st Special Force Battalions, the 81st and 91st Paracommando Battalions and both electronic warfare and helicopter support units."[10]

Current Army

The army's organizational structure was traditionally based on two armoured divisions and two mechanized divisions. These have been transformed into a lighter, more mobile forces, based largely on a brigade structure and considered more capable of rapid reaction in emergencies.[11][12][13]

Due to the critical position of Jordan (sandwiched between Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel), Jordan maintains a strong defensive army, with four regional commands, the Northern command, the Central Command, the Eastern Command and the Southern Command. As of August 2004, the army was reported to be 88,000 strong, and the Northern Command is reported to consist of (2 mech, 1 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 AD brigade), the Southern Command (1 armd, 1 infantry brigade), the Central Command (1 mech, 1 lt. inf, 1 arty, 1 AD brigade), the Eastern Command (2 mech, 1 arty, 1 AD brigade), and a strategic reserve (1 Royal armoured division with 3 armd, 1 arty, 1 AD brigades).[12][14] An armoured division has become the core element of a strategic reserve.[13][15] Each command is controlled by its Field General, but all of the commands are under the King of Jordan's control.

The Army have a full range of combat and combat supporting corps, including the Royal Maintenance Corps. Today's Jordanian military ranks are based on those of the British Army, given Jordan's military heritage.

The Jordanian military also contributes to UN peacekeeping missions worldwide, having sent contingents to Africa, Afghanistan, Croatia, Bosnia, parts of the former Soviet Union, and even as far as Haiti and East Timor. The Jordanian military has established a regional center of excellence with regards to special forces training, having received training from both the United Kingdom and the United States. Jordanian Special Forces have trained counterparts from Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.[12][13][15]

Current structure of the Jordanian Army

Jordanian Army - Major combat units - 2011
large pin - Command, small pin - Brigade


His Majesty King Abdullah II is the Supreme Commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces. This authority is vested in the king by the Jordanian Constitution of 1952. He exercises the right to appoint and dismiss all members of the High Command of Jordan's Armed forces, and has the authority to exercise command and control over all units of the armed forces.

General Chiefs of Staff

The Headquarters of Jordan's military is called the Armed Forces General Command and is located in Amman. This headquarters is under the supervision of the Chief of the General Staff, who is appointed by the king. He exercises general responsibility for the day to day command, control and administration of the military and reports directly to the king as Supreme Commander.

Chiefs of Staff is a group of officers qualified militarily and technically working to advise the commander and assist in decision-making, they translate decision of the commander to orders and instructions and they are responsible for monitoring the implementation and size varies Chiefs of Staff of the unit level and the level of formations and at the level of the General Command represents assistant chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff group Chiefs of Staff, as follows:

  • Chairman Joint chiefs of staff Deputy
  • Logistics Support chief of staff
  • Strategic Planning chief of staff
  • Joint Operations chief of staff
  • Training chief of staff
  • Intelligence chief of staff
  • Personnel chief of staff
  • Defense Resources and Investment Management chief of staff

Army Organization

The Jordanian Army has four Regional Commands (Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern), the Special Operations Command, the Border Guards Command, the 3rd Royal Armoured Division (Strategic Reserve) and the 30th Special Mission Brigade.[15]

Jordanian Army Directorates
  • Directorate of Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Directorate of Royal Medical Services
  • Directorate of Military Survey
  • Directorate of Strategic Planning
  • Directorate of Joint Operations
  • Directorate of Military Intelligence
  • Directorate of International Affairs
  • Directorate of Morale Guidance
  • Directorate of Planning and Joint Logistic Supply
  • Directorate of Doctrine and Joint Training
  • Directorate Of Command, Control and Communication
  • Directorate Of Information Technology
  • Directorate of Military Production
  • Directorate of Defensive Procurement
  • Directorate of Housing and Military Construction
Jordanian Army Headquarters
M113 of the Jordanian Army
Al-Hussein tanks Firing
Jordanian soldiers discuss battle strategies with a U.S. Soldier
Forward observers from the Jordanian Army
  • Army General HQ
  • Command, Control and Communication Group - Army HQ
  • HQ Defense & Security Unit
  • Crisis Management National Center
  • Royal Maintenance Corps
  • Royal Engineering Corps :
    • Command HQ
    • 7th Armoured Engineer Battalion
    • Machinery Engineering Group
    • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit
    • 17th Independent Engineer Company
    • Chemical Support Group
    • Counter Nuclear Smuggling National Team (Newly formed)
  • Royal Field Air Defense Command
  • Royal Artillery Corps:
    • Command HQ
    • Army Artillery Command
      • Acquisition and Survey Battalion (STA Battalion)
      • 2nd Field Artillery Battalion
      • 28th WM-120 MLRS Battalion
      • 29th HIMARS MLRS Battalion
      • 42nd Mobile Mortar Battalion
    • Ceremony Artillery Battalion
  • Royal Supply and Transportation Command:
    • Command HQ
    • Main Transportation Group
    • AFV Transporter Group
  • Military Ammunition Command
  • Royal Guard Insignia.jpg Royal Guard Brigade (Sayed Al-Shuhada)
    • Special Royal Guard Brigade is considered the most professional and highly capable brigade in JAF.
  • Northern Command.jpg Jordanian Northern Command
    • Command Troops
    • King Talal 3rd Mechanized Brigade
    • Al-Yarmouk 12th Mechanized Brigade
    • Princess Aliyah 48th Mechanized Brigade
  • Central Command.jpg Jordanian Central Command
    • Command Troops
    • Royal Guard 1st Mechanized Brigade
    • Al Hashemi 51st Mechanized Brigade
  • Eastern Command.jpg Jordanian Eastern Command
    • Command Troops
    • Royal Guard 2nd Mechanized Brigade
    • Martyr King Abdullah I 90th Mechanized Brigade
  • Southern Command.jpg Jordanian Southern Command
    • Command Troops
    • Prince Zeid Bin Hussein 93rd Mechanized Brigade
    • Martyr Wasfi Al Tal 99th Armoured Brigade
  • Jordan JSOC Emblem.jpg Joint Special Operations Command
    • Command Troops
    • Quick Reaction Force Brigade (QRF)
    • Prince Hashim 5th Special Operations Aviation Brigade
    • Prince Hussein 28th Royal Rangers Brigade
    • King Abdullah II 37th Special Forces Group
  • 3rd Royal Armored Div.jpg King Abdullah II 3rd Armoured Division
    • Divisional Troops
    • King Hussein 40th Royal Armoured Brigade
    • Prince Hassan 60th Royal Armoured Brigade
    • 91st Royal Armoured Brigade
  • Border Guard Command.jpg Border Guard Command
    • Command HQ
    • 1st Border Guard Brigade (Eastern Command)
    • 2nd Border Guard Brigade (Northern Command)
    • 3rd Border Guard Brigade (Southern Command)
    • 3rd Border Guard Battalion (Central Command)
  • 30th Airborne Brigade Jordan.jpg Hussein Bin Ali 30th Special Mission Brigade
    • Specialized in Internal Security and Urban Warfare, the brigade is under the control of Joint Military Operations Directorate.
    • Brigade HQ
    • Command & Control & Communication Company
    • 15th Special Mission Battalion
    • 16th Special Mission Battalion
    • 20th Special Mission Battalion
    • Support Companies
    • Military Police Platoon
    • Medical Center
    • Brigade Training Center
  • Military Police.jpg Royal Military Police
    • Military Police HQ
    • Military Police Group / Capital
    • Military Police Group / North
    • Military Police Group / Central
    • Military Police Group / South
    • Female Military Police Company
    • Military Police Prisons
    • Military Reform and Rehabilitation Center
  • Army Education and Training
    • Colleges and Universities
      • Mutah University
      • King Abdullah II Academy for Defense Studies
      • Al Sharif Nasser College for Military Communications
      • Prince Hassan College for Islamic Sciences
      • Prince Hussein technical College
      • Royal Military College
    • Institutes and Centers
      • The Language Institute
      • Center of Excellence
      • National coding and numbering Center
      • Studies and Lessons Learned Center
      • Peace Operation Training Center
    • Armed Forces Schools
      • Martyr King Abdullah bin Al Hussein's Infantry School
      • Royal Supply and Transport School
      • Al Arkan ALSoghra School
      • Royal Armour School
      • Royal Artillery School
      • Royal Air Defense School
      • Royal Engineering Corps School
      • Maintenance and Driving School
      • King Talal Military School
      • Non-commissioned Officers Training School
      • Intelligence School

Kenneth Pollack, a U.S. military analyst, wrote in c.2002 that 'from 1948 to 1956, the Arab Legion was far superior to any of the other Arab militaries. In battle, it generally gave as good as it got, and the Israelis considered it their most dangerous adversary. However, after 1956, the Jordanian capabilities began to decline. In 1967, they performed worse than in 1948, although the exceptional performance of the 40th Armoured Brigade and a number of Israeli mistakes helped disguise the deterioration somewhat. Thereafter Jordanian capabilities continued to gradually erode.'[8]

Jordanian Army OrBat 2013

Unit Summary

Number Unit Type Equipment Notes
Tank Battalion Al-Hussein, M60 Phoenix, M577, M106A2 Two battalions per Armoured Brigade, One battalion per Mechanized Brigade. The 90th Mechanized Brigade has a Field Reconnaissance Battalion instead of a tank battalion.
Mechanized Infantry Battalion (APC) YPR-765, M113A2MK-1J, M577A2, M901 ITV, M106A2, Humvee, Desert Iris, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks Two or Three Battalions per Mechanized Brigade.
Armoured Infantry Battalion (IFV) YPR-765 pri, M113A2MK-1J, M577A2, YPR-765 prat, M106A2 One Battalion per Armoured Brigade
Field Reconnaissance Battalion BMP-2, Humvee, Al-Thalab, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks Subordinated to 90th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, BMP-2 to be replaced with AIFV
Border Guard Battalion Humvee, Al-Thalab, Desert Iris, DAF Military Trucks Three to four battalions per Border Guard Brigade, one battalion in Central Command
Special Mission Battalion (Parachute) Ratel IFV, Saxon APC, Humvee, Desert Iris, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks 15th, 16th, 20th Special Mission (Paratrooper) Battalions, subordinated to 30th Special Mission Brigade
Rangers Battalion (JSOC) Humvee, Ratel IFV, Militarized Dodge RAM, Desert Iris, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks 2nd, 3rd and 111th Ranger battalions under 28th Rangers Brigade
Special Forces Battalion (JSOC) Humvee, Al-Thalab, Militarized Dodge RAM, Desert Iris, GMC Suburban, AL-Jawad MKII/III, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks 61st CSAR, 71st CT, 101st SF Battalions under 37th Special Forces Brigade
SF Airborne Battalion (JSOC) Humvee, Militarized Dodge RAM, Desert Iris, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks 81st Airborne under 37th SF Brigade, 91st Ranger Battalion (Airborne Orientation) under 28th Rangers Brigade
Special Reconnaissance Regiment (JSOC) Al-Thalab, Desert Iris, LATV 61st SRR Tier 1 Force in JAF, under Special Royal Guard Brigade
Self-Propelled Artillery M109A2 Howitzer, M113A2, M577A2, M901 ITV, M35, DAF Military Trucks One Battalion per Armoured Brigade or Mechanized Brigade, Three battalions per Command Artillery or Div. Artillery (DIVART).
Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery M110A2 Howitzer, M113A2, M577A2, M901 ITV, M35, DAF Military Trucks One battalion per Command Artillery or Div. Artillery (DIVART).
Rocket Artillery Battalion HIMARS, WM-120 MLRS, Humvee, FMTV, DAF Military Trucks 28th MLRS, 29th MLRS Battalions
Airborne Artillery Group M102A1 Howitzer, AB-19 MLRS, Hanwha-70 MLRS, W-86 Mortar Airborne Artillery group for JSOC.
Target Acquisition Regiment TPQ-36, TPQ-37, M35, DAF Military Trucks
Field ADA Battalion Pantsir-S1E, 9K33 Osa, Strela-10, PTRL, M163 Vulcan, ZSU-23-4 Shilka, Igla-S, 9K38 Igla, Strela-3 Three battalions per AD brigade, one battalion each in Southern Command, 30th Special Mission Brigade and a Special AD Company for JSOC.
Anti-tank Battalion M901 ITV, YPR-765 prat, M41 ITAS 3rd Anti-tank Battalion in 3rd Armoured Division
Military Police Group Ratel IFV, Humvee, Toyota land cruiser Northern, Central, Southern, Capital Military Police Groups
Engineer Battalion M113A2, M35, CEV, Armoured Tracked Bulldozer (CAT D6T, D7G/R, D8R, D9, Komatsu D155A), Wheeled Bulldozer (CAT 924H, 966C/D/F/G/H, Komatsu WA300-1, WA320, WA380-3A, W470-3), excavators, graders (CAT 12G, 120M), dump trucks, Backhoe loaders, loaders, M58 MICLIC, Aardvark JSFU, M35, DAF Military Trucks, Combat Dozer UDK1 and Bomb disposal robots. One Engineer Battalion per Command or Division and the 7th Armoured Engineer Battalion; Southern Command only has an Engineer Company.
Supply & Transport Battalion FMTV, M35, M800 & M900 Trucks, DAF Military Trucks, Fuel Tankers, Toyota Trucks and many other vehicles. One Supply & Transport battalion per Command or Division, except Southern Command which has a Supply & Transport Group.
Command & Control & Communication Group M577A2, M113A2, Humvee, RG-12, DAF Military Trucks One Group per Command or Division, one Group for Army Headquarter.
Medical Support Group M113A2 Ambulance, HMMWV M997 Ambulance, Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance, Mobile Field Hospitals on trucks. One Medical Support Group per command or division .
Maintenance Group M113A2, M88 Recovery Vehicle, M578 Light Recovery Vehicle, AL Monjed ARV, Chieftain ARV, YPR-806, M109 Van, M35 Trucks, M800 & M900 Trucks, DAF Military Trucks One Maintenance Group per command or division.
Construction Group Wheeled bulldozer, M35, DAF Military Trucks, excavators, dump trucks, Backhoe loaders, loaders. One Construction Group per command or division and General Construction Group.
Administrative Transport Group One Administrative Transport Group per command or division .
AFV Transporter Group Heavy Equipment Transport System, Scammell Commander Used to transport heavy equipment and armoured units.
Main Transportation Groups FMTV, Fuel Tankers, Water Tankers, Toyota Trucks and many other vehicles.
Electricity & Water Group
Electronic Warfare Battalion
Chemical Support Group
Ordnance Command (Ammunition) Include 5 Battalions and Ammunition Protection Battalion.


Volunteers and conscripts receive 14 weeks of basic training in military skills and discipline. This is followed by more advanced training in weaponry and various specialities, such as artillery, communications and engineering, after the recruit is assigned to a permanent unit. Soldiers who qualify for promotion undertake courses at a general NCO school. They may then avail themselves of courses in more specialised centres where there is training in armour, artillery, engineering and logistics. Special Forces personnel are trained in a branch of the infantry school.

Officer cadets are trained at the Mutah Military University, which was established in the town of Mutah, south of Amman, in the 1980s. A cadet who successfully completes the four-year course is commissioned as a second lieutenant. Advanced courses for officer training are provided at two centres near Amman - the Jordanian Staff College and the War College. Generally, officers from senior captain to lieutenant colonel attend the Staff College, where they can earn a BA degree in military science, while more senior officers study at the War College, where a master's degree is offered.

Many Jordanian officers study abroad - at the US Army General Staff College, or at the British Army Staff College, and many Jordanian cadets have graduated from the UK's Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Members of the Jordanian Royal Family have a tradition of attending Sandhurst. The late King Hussein graduated from the college in 1952; he was followed by his son, the present ruler King Abdullah in 1981; his daughter Aisha, now head of the Royal Jordanian Army Women's Corps, in 1987; his son Prince Ali in 1994; Crown Prince Hamzeh in 1999 and Prince Hashem, stepbrother of King Abdullah, in 2000. In addition, both officers and non-commissioned officers attend specialised courses abroad.

The British Government arranges for senior Jordanian officers to attend the Royal College for Defence Studies in the UK. Britain's special relationship with Jordan has remained strong - this was underlined by the provision by the British Army of two short-term training teams to Jordan to advise and oversee the transition and the conversion training of the Jordan Armed Forces on the Al-Hussein/Challenger 1 tanks supplied as part of Britain's military assistance to the kingdom.

British and Jordanian units regularly carry out joint training exercises in Jordan. The kingdom provides British Army units based in Cyprus with the opportunity to train in a desert environment, alongside Jordanian units. It has become a regular practice for two British Army infantry battalions based in Cyprus to exercise in Jordan every year between August and October. The US has provided significant assistance towards the training of Jordanian military personnel. Under the US International Military Education and Training Program (IMET), USD2 million was allotted to the training programme for Jordan in 2002, making it one of the largest IMET programmes of its kind in the world.

The 2002 IMET grant facilitated the training in the US of more than 200 Jordanian military personnel. Jordanian personnel are trained to a very high standard and Jordan's military training has a very high reputation in the Arab world, to the extent that many Arab states (as well as states beyond the Arab world) have sent personnel to be trained at Jordan's military schools. In recent years, personnel from the following countries have been to Jordan for military training: Bahrain, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, South Korea, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Secret military exchanges between Jordan and Taiwan, which had been going on for many years, were revealed in late 1999 after a Jordanian army NCO was killed in a parachute accident in Taiwan. Jordan has diplomatic relations with China but none with Taiwan. Reports in November 1999 indicated that Jordan sent two groups of about 10 servicemen to Taiwan every year for intensive military training, which included parachuting sessions in Pingtung County's Tsochou township, where the accident happened, jungle combat drills in Taichung County's mountainous Kukuan area, as well as winter training in the snow in Taiwan's Central Mountain Range. It was revealed that military exchanges between the two countries began in the mid-1950s, when Taiwan sent instructors to Jordan to help train its F-5 fighter pilots.

The quality of instructors from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is highly regarded abroad, especially in the Arab world. SOCOM instructors have been providing training in Jordan to special operations troops from a range of Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Lebanon. It is understood that Jordanian instructors have also provided training in the UAE to that country's troops. In April 2002, Jordanian special operations instructors left for Yemen to assist US forces in training Yemeni forces to fight terrorism.

Jordan has set up a centre specialising in training for special operations personnel. The King Abdullah Special Operations Training Centre is based at Jajooz, Amman.

In April 2004 the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) established a new committee to further its plans for the creation of a unified national training centre. It was proposed that this combined arms training centre would group together simulation equipment for training infantry, armour and artillery personnel, from the individual to the collective training stages.[15]

Training Areas

  • Artillery and Armour training takes place in the desert area to the east of Amman and southern desert.

Current equipment

Jordanian troops in a military parade in Amman

The present day Jordanian Army is equipped with mainly Western (US and British) supplied weapons.

The Jordanian Army is equipped with a mix of British and American tanks, including the Al-Hussein, Khalid and M-60 Phoenix. The older Centurion tank and M-48A5 series are phased out, as the Challenger and M-60A3 undergo further upgrades.

Current projects carried out by KADDB include integration of the Phoenix digital fire and control system and a revised turret for the M-60A3 (featuring ERA of unknown origin) along RUAG L50/52 Smooth-bore Compact Gun to replace the Rifled 120mm L15A1 and 105mm L7/M68 gun of the Challenger 1 and M-60A3 respectively. The Projects have also been offered for export and existing M-60 users such as Egypt or Saudi Arabia have shown interest in KADDB.

The M113A2MK-1J remains a standard APC and are being supplanted by AIFV and local vehicles, including the MAP II and Al-Temsah (Crocodile, an APC conversion of a Centurion tank chassis). 24-28 AH-1S/F 'Cobra' equip Army aviation and are equipped with TOW II ATGW and capable of night-time operations since been upgraded. Earlier the Bofors 40 mm gun was also used.

Personal Equipment includes the US-supplied M-16 rifles (mainly A2 and some A3/A4), M-4A1, Taiwanese T65 assault rifles and T86 carbines, Browning HP automatic pistols; however, some units utilise the relatively uncommon Beretta Italian SS70/223 (the standard carbine of the Public Security Department and Police Force). The M-60 and FN-MAG are carried as the GPMG. The Badia forces generally carry the M-14 on camel back.

Photo Name Origin Type Number Notes
Main Battle Tank
Challenger 1 suspension.jpg Al-Hussein  United Kingdom Main Battle Tank 392[16][17] ~ 402 [18] The Challenger 1 (Al-Hussein) is the Jordanian Army's battle proven main battle tank upgraded by KADDB.
Phoenix  United States Main Battle Tank 182[19][20][21][22][23] The M60 Phoenix[24] is a Jordanian upgrade of the M60A3 main battle tank. It was developed by KADDB. Jordan upgraded four battalions with total 182 tanks.[19][20][21][22][23]
Khalid MBT (7527914654).jpg Khalid  United Kingdom Main Battle Tank 274 + 90 [18] The Khalid is essentially the Chieftain FV4030/2 MBT with minor modifications to suit Jordanian requirements, currently all in storage. Jordan received 90 captured Iranian Chieftain tanks from Iraq after Iran–Iraq War but never used.[25]
M60a1 lesany.jpg M60A1  United States Main Battle Tank 82 36 Captured from Iran during the Iran–Iraq War and transferred by Saddam Hussein to Jordan on 1980- In storage, +20 Converted to Al-Monjed A2 ARV by KADDB.
Centurion cfb borden 1.JPG Tariq  United Kingdom Main Battle Tank 293 in storage, some converted to MAP II Heavy Armoured APC by KADDB.
Armoured Personnel Carrier
M113A2MK-1J  United States Armoured Personnel Carrier +1,300 Upgraded to Jordan configuration, including 70 M106A2, 93 M901 ITV, 7 M1059 [26][27][28]
Pantserrupsvoertuig YPR-765.jpg AIFV  Netherlands Armoured Personnel Carrier 213 165 YPR-765 pri.50 including YPR-806 prbrg ARV from Netherlands[18][29][30]

48 AIFV-B from Belgium[18]

ACV-300 Adnan.jpg ACV-S  Turkey Armoured Personnel Carrier 100
FV103 Spartan IFOR.jpg FV103 Spartan  United Kingdom Armoured Personnel Carrier 100
M577 command vehicle.jpg M577  United States Command Vehicle +300 Command vehicle based on the M113,[18] 200 M577A2 received from US in 2012.[31]
Infantry Fighting Vehicle
AIFV  Netherlands Infantry Fighting Vehicle 233 220 YPR-765 pri 25mm IFV from Netherlands[18][29][30]

13 AIFV-B-C25 25mm IFV from Belgium[18]

Ratel IFV at the Castle, Cape Town.jpg Ratel IFV South Africa South Africa Infantry Fighting Vehicle 341 20mm / twin gun 23mm [18][32][33]
BMP-2  Soviet Union Infantry Fighting Vehicle 35[18]
Reconnaissance Vehicle
Scimitar upgraded.jpg FV107 Scimitar  United Kingdom Armoured Fighting Vehicle 175 Jordan had 75 Scimitar and obtained over 100 Scimitars in a 2006 deal that netted the British $20 million [18][34]
FV101 Scorpion  United Kingdom Armoured Fighting Vehicle 50 50 Scorpion's received from Belgium in 2001, 4x AT-14 Kornet-E Ready to launch. (Upgraded By JERSCO) [18][35][36]
M109A2  United States Self-propelled Howitzer 341 121 M109A2-90 From Netherlands[18][29][30]
M110A2  United States Self-propelled Howitzer 120 [18]
M102 Howitzer A1206 Tai Iraq 2004.JPG M102A1  United States Towed Howitzer 54
USArmy M114 howitzer.jpg M114  United States Towed Howitzer 18 in storage
HIMARS - missile launched.jpg HIMARS  United States Rocket Artillery 12 [18][37] 12 launchers with 432 guided missiles, option for additional 12 launchers.
JORDANIAN WM-120.jpg WM-120 MLRS  China Rocket Artillery 24 The system has a maximum range of 120 km. (It appeared in a military drill conducted by JAF)[38][39][40][41]
Jordanarmyissa.jpg AB-19  Jordan Rocket Artillery 32[42]
Hanwha-70  Jordan  South Korea Rocket Artillery 20 Hanwha-70 70mm MLRS produced by Hanwha & KADDB[18][43][44]
Air Defense
IMG 2077 pantsir-s1.jpg Pantsir-S1E  Russia Self-propelled Air Defense According to what Jane's Defence Weekly reported in 2007[45] a complete Russian Pantsir-S1 short-range air-defence system was being field tested in Jordan and that the kingdom is set to place an order.[46] Army-Technology reported that Jordan placed an order for an undisclosed number of systems.[47] Russia Today reported Jordan as being a customer for Pantsir-S1, and that they were likely to purchase between 50–75 combat vehicles.
Osa-AKM.jpg 9K33 Osa  Soviet Union Self-propelled Air Defense 48 Upgraded to OSA-AKM - Financed by Saddam Hussein in 1982 as reward for Jordanian volunteer unit fighting against Iran.
Strela 10.jpg 9K35 Strela-10  Soviet Union Self-propelled Air Defense 50 Upgraded by JELS[48] - Financed by Saddam Hussein in 1982 as reward for Jordanian volunteer unit fighting against Iran.
M163 "Vulcan Cannon" Hear It!.jpg M163 Vulcan  United States SPAAG 181 81 VADS transferred from Belgium to Jordan in 2005
Cheetah PRTL.jpg PTRL  West Germany SPAAG 60 60 have been bought from withdrawn Dutch surplus for 21 million dollars.[49][50]
SHILKA.JPG ZSU-23-4 Shilka  Soviet Union SPAAG 48 [18] Financed by Saddam Hussein in 1982 as reward for Jordanian volunteer unit fighting against Iran.
9K338 Igla-S (NATO-Code - SA-24 Grinch).jpg Igla-S  Russia MANPADS 182 182 Dzhigit launchers (2x Igla-S) with Sagem vision on Light vehicles.
IGLA-S MANPADS at IDELF-2008.jpg SA-18 Igla  Russia MANPADS 100
SA-16 launcher and missile.jpg SA-16 Igla-1  Soviet Union MANPADS 240
SA-14 missile and launch tube.jpg SA-14 Strela-3  Soviet Union MANPADS 300
Light Armoured Vehicle
Humvee in difficult terrain.jpg Humvee  United States Multipurpose Utility Vehicle +600 250 M998A0 HMMWVs,[31] 50 M1165A1B3 HMMWVs [51] received from US in 2013
Desert Iris  Jordan Multipurpose Utility Vehicle 450 [52][53]
Al-Thalab (Fox) LRPV  Jordan Multipurpose Utility Vehicle 200[54][55]
International MaxxPro.jpg MaxxPro MRAP  United States Medium Mine Protected Vehicle 100
Mine resistant ambush protected vehicles.jpg Cougar CAT II MRAP  United States Medium Mine Protected Vehicle 149 57 Cougar CAT II, 5 Cougar CAT II EOD, 10 Cougar CAT II ENG W/O ISS, 41 Cougar CAT II Surge W/O ISS, 16 Cougar CAT II Surge with ISS and 20 Cougar CAT II ENG with ISS. (ISS: Improved Suspension)
Permissions-Errors-Rg-33.jpg RG-33L MRAP South Africa South Africa Medium Mine Protected Vehicle 39 39 RG-33L MRAP From US in 2012.[31]
AEV J8 2.8L Turbodiesel 02.jpg Jeep J8  United States Light Utility & Patrol Vehicle Jordanian Armed Forces are set to receive an undisclosed number of Jeep J8 Patrol [56]
AB2 Al-Jawad  Jordan Multipurpose Utility Vehicle 65
LTATV  Jordan All Terrain Vehicle 50 KADDB has already received orders for 50 ATVs.[57][58]
Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan 2011 (2).jpg Matador (mine protected vehicle) South Africa South Africa Mine Protected Vehicle 50
Daimler Ferret armoured car picture-018.JPG Ferret Hybrid  United Kingdom Wheeled Armoured Vehicle 50 Upgraded by KADDB.[59]
Mbombe  South Africa Wheeled Armoured Vehicle 0(50) On order.[60]
Anti-tank Weapon
M901 ITV  United States Tank destroyer 93 [18] Numbers of M901 ITV might be much higher than 93.
Mobile Missile Launcher.jpg YPR-765 prat  United States Tank destroyer +55 +55 YPR-765 with Tow Under Armor (TUA) received from Netherlands[29][30]
Hires 090509-A-4842R-001a.jpg BGM-71 TOW  United States Anti-tank missile 339 Jordan received 320 ITOW launchers in 1982 and 19 launchers in 1999.[18][61] These launchers were removed from the M151 Jeep and modified by KADDB and re-installed on Desert Iris, HMMWV.
Bombeiros de Vigo manipulando un TOW da BRILAT durante unha exhibición.JPG M41 TOW ITAS  United States Anti-tank missile 285 285 M41 TOW ITAS on HMMWV received from USA in 2004 [18][62]
Dragon 04.jpg M47 Dragon  United States Anti-tank missile 310 3080 MAP missiles
Army-fgm148.jpg FGM-148 Javelin  United States Anti-tank missile 192 30 CLUs with 116 missiles delivered,162 CLUs with 1808 missiles being delivered.[63][64]
9M133 Kornet.JPG AT-14 Kornet  Russia Anti-tank missile 200 2,000 missiles [18][65]
Nashab  Russia  Jordan Anti-tank missile 25,000 15,000 training units (Jordan will manufacture 60,000 Nashab units annually),[66] the system name has been changed from Hashim to Nashab.
RPG-27  Soviet Union Anti-tank missile 6,000 [67] will be replaced by Nashab
Grenade launchers RPG-26.jpg RPG-26  Soviet Union Anti-tank missile 3,000 [68] will be replaced by Nashab
APILAS-AUSA88.jpg APILAS  France Anti-tank missile 2,300 will be replaced by Nashab
Copperhead.jpg M712 Copperhead  United States Precision-guided munitions 100 [69]
Mor120.jpg Brandt  France Mortar 300
Mortar M29.jpg M29 mortar  United States Mortar 450
M106 Mortar carrier Dutch army 12002 KU-84-01 pic1.JPG M106 mortar carrier  United States Mortar Carrier 70
W-86  China Mortar 200 200 W-86 120mm mortar For JSOC[70]
WW-90  China Mortar 375 375 WW-90 60mm mortar [62]
PPT89  China Mortar 1275 1275 PPT89 60mm mortar[62]
Ground Radar & Surveillance System News Photo 960420-A-3327S-004.jpg TPQ-36  United States Weapon Locating System 12[18]
AN TPQ-37 Firefinder radar.JPEG TPQ-37  United States Weapon Locating System 6[18]
Flycatcher Mk1[71]  Netherlands Radar Fire Control System 11 Eleven Thales Nederland Flycatcher Mk1 Mobile Radar Fire Control Systems and 22 40mm Bofors L/70 guns from Netherlands.[50]
Distant Sentry [72]  Italy  United States Surveillance System Border Control System (Including Ground Radars, Towers, Sensors, IR Cameras and Aerostats)[64][73]
Logistic and Engineering Vehicle
M88 Armored Recovery Vehicle in pm.jpg M88 Recovery Vehicle  United States Armoured Recovery Vehicles 52 22x M88A2 purchased from the U.S. Anniston Army Depot in April 2012 (to be rebuilt and, potentially, upgraded either at Anniston Army Depot or at the King Hussein Maintenance Facility in Jordan).[74]
Improved M-578 armored recovery vehicle, 1985.JPEG M578 Light Recovery Vehicle  United States Armoured Recovery Vehicles 30 used with M110A2 Howitzer
Al Monjed ARV.jpg AL Monjed ARV  Jordan Armoured Recovery Vehicles 20 AL-Monjed ARV based on M-60A1 tank[75]
FV4204 ARV  United Kingdom Armoured Recovery Vehicles 49[18]
Bergepanzer2.jpg Leopard 1 ARV  West Germany Armoured Recovery Vehicles 5[50] Five Leopard 1 armoured recovery vehicles will be handed over to Jordan from Netherlands together with two Leopard 1 main battle tanks (MBT), which will be used for spare parts.[50]
M113 i.jpg YPR-806 & M806  United States Armoured Recovery Vehicles +90 [29][30] 24 M113 ARV received from Belgium in 2008 / 2010.[18] +17 YPR-806 ARV received from Netherlands in 2012.
Hemtt iraq.jpg HEMTT  United States 8x8 Off-road Heavy Cargo Truck
LMTV.jpg FMTV  United States Cargo truck 250 ~ 300 M1078, M1083, M1085A1, M1089, M1091[76][77]
M35A2 with winch.jpg M35  United States 2½ ton Cargo truck 1200 701 M35A2, 119 M35A2 WW, 226 M35A2 WOW, 50 M35A2C WOW, 74 M109A3 Van, 5 M35A2C WW, 25 M36A2 [78]
US Marine Corps 030224-M-XT622-034 USMC M923 (6X6) 5-ton cargo truck heads a convoy departing Camp Matilda, Kuwait crop.jpg M800 & M900 Truck  United States 5 ton Cargo truck 400 ~ 600 refurbishment for M800 and M900 by JOMSS[79]
DAF-YAM 4442-2.jpg DAF Trucks  Netherlands 4 ton & 10 ton Cargo truck 467 467 DAF4440/4442 and DAF YAK/YAS2300 trucks received from Netherlands.[29][30]
A Company, 9th Engineer Battalion, firing the MICLIC in training, Andar, Afghanistan 2011.jpg M58 MICLIC  United States Mine Clearing
Aardvark demining vehicle.JPEG Aardvark JSFU  United Kingdom Mine Clearing +12 Aardvark Mk 2/3 flail
Pearson Combat Dozer UDK1  United Kingdom Combat Dozer +60 for Challenger-1 tank[80]
A Fox NBC-detection vehicle is transported by a HETS trailer.jpg Heavy Equipment Transport System  United States Heavy Equipment Transport System 215
A British Scammell Commander 6x4 tractor truck leaves the Danish cargo ship Dana Cimbria during Operation Desert Shield.JPEG Scammell Commander  United Kingdom Scammell Commander 100
Military trucks laden with ammunition convoy.jpg M915A2  United States Heavy Equipment Transporter 60 60 M915A2 received from US in 2012.[31]




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External links

  • index of Jordan's camouflage
  • Jordanian Armed Forces (in Arabic)
  • Jordanian Armed Forces, [4] (in English)
  • KAADB (in Arabic)
  • KIG (in English)
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