Royal Jordanian Army

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Royal Jordanian Army
القوّات البرية الاردنيّة
Royal Jordanian Army Seal.svg
Emblem of the Royal Jordanian Army
Size90,000 Active (2012 est.)
60,000 Reserve (2012 est.)
ColorsKA2 Desert Digital
KA2 Arid/Woodland Digital
KA2 SF Woodland Digital
AnniversariesJune 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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 reorganized as an Armoured Division and, in 1961, it became the Armour Corps. During this period, the 40th Armoured Brigade, 60th Armoured Brigade and the Royal Guard Brigade were established.

Battles – 1956[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

1967–1973 War[edit]

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.'[9]

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.'[9] 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.[10]

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

After 1977[edit]

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."[11]

2000s Army[edit]

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.[12][13][14]

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).[13][15] An armoured division has become the core element of a strategic reserve.[14][16] Each command is controlled by its Field General, but all of the commands are under the King of Jordan's control.

Currently Royal Jordanian Army is restructuring its armoured units. 80 upgraded second-hand Italian Centauro 105mm 8x8 Mobile Gun Systems and 50 German Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles will equip two battalions. Challenger 1 MBTs equipping four battalions will be retired and only the M60A3s will remain in the service.

Current structure of the Jordanian Army[edit]

Jordanian Army – Major combat units – 2018
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[edit]

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[edit]

The Jordanian Army has four Regional Commands (Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern), Rapid Intervention Brigade, Special Forces Group and Special Royal Guard Command.[16]

Jordanian Army Directorates[edit]

  • Directorate of Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Directorate of Royal Medical Services
  • Directorate of Military Survey
  • Directorate of Strategic Planning
  • Directorate of Joint Military 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[edit]

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
  • Army Headquarters Communication Group
  • Crisis Management National Center
  • Royal Maintenance Corps
  • Royal Engineering Corps :
    • Command HQ
    • General Support Engineering Battalion
    • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit
    • Chemical Support Group
    • Counter Nuclear Smuggling National Team
  • Directorate of Border Security
    • Command HQ
    • Electronic Reconnaissance Group
    • Border Security Training Center
  • Airport Security and Protection Directorate
  • Royal Field Air Defense Directorate
  • 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
  • Royal Military Police Command
  • Royal Supply and Transportation Directorate:
    • Command HQ
    • Main Transportation Group
    • Tank Transportation Group
  • Military Ammunition Command
    • Command HQ
    • Ammunition Security Groups
    • Ammunition Storage and Warehouses

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.[13][14][16]

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.'[9]

Jordanian Army OrBat 2013

Unit Summary[edit]

Number Unit Type Equipment Notes
Tank Battalion Al-Hussein, M60A3 IFCS, M577A2, M88A1 ARV, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series Two battalions per Armoured Brigade (4 Btn. - Al-Hussein), One battalion per Mechanized Brigade (4 Btn. - M60A3 IFCS).
Mechanized Infantry Battalion (APC) YPR-765, M113A2MK-1J, M577A2, YPR-806, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks Two or Three Battalions per Mechanized Brigade.
Mechanized Infantry Battalion (MRAP) RG33L MRAP, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks Royal Guard 3rd Mechanized Battalion subordinate to 60th Armored Brigade, only wheeled Battalion in JAF.
Armored Infantry Battalion (IFV) Marder 1A3, M577A2, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series Both Battalions subordinate to 40th Armored Brigade
Border Guard Battalion MRAP, M113A2MK-1J, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks four to five battalions per Border Guard Brigade, two battalions in 3rd Border Guard Group, one battalion in Central Command
Special Mission Battalion Saxon APC, Humvee, Toyota pickups, Al-Tha'lab LRPV, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks 15th, 16th, 20th Special Mission Battalions, subordinated to Special Royal Guard Command
Rapid Intervention Battalion (QRF) MRAP, Humvee, Toyota pickups, Al-Tha'lab LRPV, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks 61st Royal Raiders Battalion, 81st & 91st Rapid Intervention battalions under Rapid Intervention / High Readiness Brigade
Special Forces Battalion (SFG) Humvee, Al-Tha'lab LRPV, GMC Suburban, AL-Jawad MKIV, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series 71st Special Battalion - CT, 101st Special Battalion - Spec. Ops., Defense & protection Battalion under King Abdullah II Special Forces Group
Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion M109A2 Howitzer, M113A2, M577A2, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks Two to Four battalions per Command Artillery.
Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion M110A2 Howitzer, M113A2, M577A2, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks After JAF 2017 reform, only two battalions remained in service (One battalion each in Central & Northern Command).
Mobile Mortar Battalion RG-31 Agrab Mk2 Mortar, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks After JAF 2017 reform, two Mobile Mortar battalions were established.
Field Artillery Battalion M119A2 Howitzer, M102 howitzer, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks 2nd Field Artillery Battalion.
Rocket Artillery Battalion HIMARS, WM-120 MLRS, Humvee, M577A2, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks 28th MLRS (WM-120) Battalion and 29th MLRS (HIMARS) Battalion
Target Acquisition Battalion TPQ-36, TPQ-37, COBRA COunter Battery RAdar, Humvee, M577A2, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks
Field ADA Battalion Strela-10, ZSU-23-4 Shilka, Igla-S, 9K38 Igla, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks Two battalions per AD Group, Three Battalions in the 4th AD Brigade, Special AD Battalion subordinate to Royal Guard Command.
Military Police Group Humvee, Toyota land cruiser Northern, Central, Southern, Capital Military Police Groups
Engineer Battalion M113A2, 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, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks, Combat Dozer UDK1 and Bomb disposal robots. One Engineer Battalion per Command and General Support Engineering Battalion
Supply & Transport Battalion FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks, Fuel Tankers, Toyota Trucks and many other vehicles. One Supply & Transport battalion per Command.
Command Communication Group M577A2, M113A2, MRAP, Humvee, FMTV, Navistar 7000 series, DAF Military Trucks One Group per Command, one Group for Army Headquarter.
Medical Support Group M577A2 Ambulance, M113A2 Ambulance, HMMWV M997 Ambulance, Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance, Mobile Field Hospitals on trucks One Medical Support Group per command.
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.
Administrative Transport Group One Administrative Transport Group per command.
AFV Transporter Group Heavy Equipment Transport System 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 Group
Chemical Support Group


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, half-brother 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), US$2 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 Yajooz, 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.[16]

Training Areas

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

Current equipment[edit]

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
American M60A3 tank Lake Charles, Louisiana April 2005.jpg M60 Patton  United States,  Jordan Main Battle Tank 182[17][18][19][20][21] The M60 Phoenix[22] is a Jordanian upgrade of the M60A3 main battle tank. It was developed by KADDB. Jordan upgraded four battalions with total 182 tanks.[17][18][19][20][21]
Eager Lion '15 concludes with monumental military demonstration 150518-A-XL223-001 M60 Phoenix.jpg M60A1/M60 Phoenix 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.
Challenger 1MBT Mk 3 (7527916878).jpg Al-Hussein  United Kingdom,  Jordan 392[23][24] ~ 402 [25] The Challenger 1 (Al-Hussein) is the Jordanian Army's battle proven main battle tank upgraded by KADDB.
Khalid MBT (7527914654).jpg Khalid 274 + 90 [25] 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.[26]
Centurion cfb borden 1.JPG Tariq 293 in storage, some converted to MAP II Heavy Armoured APC by KADDB.
Armoured Personnel Carrier
ACV-300 Adnan.jpg ACV-S  Turkey Armoured Personnel Carrier 100
FV103 Spartan IFOR.jpg FV103 Spartan  United Kingdom 100
Allied Spirit I 150126-A-LO967-001.jpg M113A2MK-1J  United States +1,300 Upgraded to Jordan configuration, including 70 M106A2, 93 M901 ITV, 7 M1059 [27][28][29]
Pantserrupsvoertuig YPR-765.jpg AIFV 213 165 YPR-765 pri.50 including YPR-806 prbrg ARV from Netherlands[25][30][31]

48 AIFV-B from Belgium[25]

M577 command vehicle.jpg M577 Command Vehicle +300 Command vehicle based on the M113,[25] 200 M577A2 received from US in 2012.[32]
Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Dutch YPR-765 in Afghanistan.jpg AIFV  United States Infantry Fighting Vehicle 233 220 YPR-765 pri 25mm IFV from Netherlands[25][30][31]

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

Ratel 6X6 APC (9686194015).jpg Ratel IFV South Africa South Africa 341 20mm / twin gun 23mm [25][33][34]
BMP-2 military parade rehearsal.jpg BMP-2  Soviet Union 35[25]
Marder1A3.6.jpg Marder 1A3  Germany 50[35] delivered 2016-2017
Reconnaissance Vehicle
Scorpion CRVT (4119399295).jpg 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) [25][36][37]
Scimitar upgraded.jpg FV107 Scimitar 175 Jordan had 75 Scimitar and obtained over 100 Scimitars in a 2006 deal that netted the British $20 million [25][38]
Spanish M109A5 howitzer Bright Star 2001.jpg M109A2  United States Self-propelled Howitzer 341 121 M109A2-90 From Netherlands[25][30][31]
203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer M110A2.JPG M110A2 120 [25]
M102 Howitzer A1206 Tai Iraq 2004.JPG M102A1 Towed Howitzer 54
USArmy M114 howitzer.jpg M114 18 in storage
Fire support training 140313-A-DM872-123.jpg HIMARS Rocket Artillery 12 [25][39] 12 launchers with 432 guided missiles, option for additional 12 launchers.
JORDANIAN WM-120.jpg WM-120 MLRS 24 The system has a maximum range of 120 km. (It appeared in a military drill conducted by JAF)[40][41][42][43]
Jordanarmyissa.jpg AB-19  Jordan 32[44]
Hanwha-70  Jordan  South Korea 20 Hanwha-70 70mm MLRS produced by Hanwha & KADDB[25][45][46]
Air Defense
MAKS Airshow 2013 (Ramenskoye Airport, Russia) (521-05).jpg Pantsir-S1E  Russia Self-propelled Air Defense According to what Jane's Defence Weekly reported in 2007[47] 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.[48] Army-Technology reported that Jordan placed an order for an undisclosed number of systems.[49] 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 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 50 Upgraded by JELS[50] – Financed by Saddam Hussein in 1982 as reward for Jordanian volunteer unit fighting against Iran.
SHILKA.JPG ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG 48 [25] 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 181 81 VADS transferred from Belgium to Jordan in 2005
Cheetah PRTL.jpg PTRL  West Germany 60 60 have been bought from withdrawn Dutch surplus for 21 million dollars.[51][52]
9K338 Igla-S (NATO-Code - SA-24 Grinch).jpg Igla-S  Soviet Union MANPADS 182 182 Dzhigit launchers (2x Igla-S) with Sagem vision on Light vehicles.
IGLA-S MANPADS at IDELF-2008.jpg SA-18 Igla 100
SA-16 launcher and missile.jpg SA-16 Igla-1 240
SA-14 missile and launch tube.jpg SA-14 Strela-3 300
Light Armoured Vehicle
Nimr  United Arab Emirates Multipurpose Utility Vehicle +500
Desert Iris  Jordan 450 [53][54]
Al-Thalab (Fox) LRPV 200[55][56]
AB2 Al-Jawad 65
Hummer TOW español.JPG Humvee  United States +600 250 M998A0 HMMWVs,[32] 50 M1165A1B3 HMMWVs [57] received from US in 2013
International MaxxPro.jpg MaxxPro MRAP Medium Mine Protected Vehicle 100
Mine resistant ambush protected vehicles.jpg Cougar CAT II MRAP 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 39 39 RG-33L MRAP From US in 2012.[32]
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 [58]
LTATV  Jordan All Terrain Vehicle 50 KADDB has already received orders for 50 ATVs.[59][60]
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.[61]
Mbombe  South Africa 0(50) On order.[62]
Anti-tank Weapon
M901 ITV  United States Tank destroyer 93 [25] Numbers of M901 ITV might be much higher than 93.
Mobile Missile Launcher.jpg YPR-765 prat +55 +55 YPR-765 with Tow Under Armor (TUA) received from Netherlands[30][31]
Hires 090509-A-4842R-001a.jpg BGM-71 TOW Anti-tank missile 339 Jordan received 320 ITOW launchers in 1982 and 19 launchers in 1999.[25][63] 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 285 285 M41 TOW ITAS on HMMWV received from USA in 2004 [25][64]
Dragon 04.jpg M47 Dragon 310 3080 MAP missiles
FGM-148 Javelin (5160721562).jpg FGM-148 Javelin 192 30 CLUs with 116 missiles delivered,162 CLUs with 1808 missiles being delivered.[65][66]
Grenade launchers RPG-26.jpg RPG-26  Soviet Union 3,000 [67] will be replaced by Nashab
RPG-27 6,000 [68] will be replaced by Nashab
RPG-32  Russia 25,000 15,000 training units (Jordan will manufacture 60,000 Nashab units annually),[69] the system name has been changed from Hashim to Nashab.
9M133 Kornet.JPG AT-14 Kornet 200 2,000 missiles [25][70]
Apilas Lippujuhlan päivä 2014.JPG APILAS  France 2,300 will be replaced by Nashab
Copperhead.jpg M712 Copperhead  United States Precision-guided munitions 100 [71]
W-86  China Mortar 200 200 W-86 120mm mortar For JSOC[72]
WW-90 375 375 WW-90 60mm mortar [64]
PPT89 1275 1275 PPT89 60mm mortar[64]
Mor120.jpg Brandt  France 300
Mortar M29.jpg M29 mortar  United States 450
M106 Mortar carrier Dutch army 12002 KU-84-01 pic1.JPG M106 mortar carrier Mortar Carrier 70
Ground Radar & Surveillance System News Photo 960420-A-3327S-004.jpg TPQ-36  United States Weapon Locating System 12[25]
AN TPQ-37 Firefinder radar.JPEG TPQ-37 6[25]
Flycatcher Mk1[73]  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.[52]
Distant Sentry [74]  Italy  United States Surveillance System Border Control System (Including Ground Radars, Towers, Sensors, IR Cameras and Aerostats)[66][75]
Logistic and Engineering Vehicle
Al Monjed ARV.jpg AL Monjed ARV  Jordan Armoured Recovery Vehicles 20 AL-Monjed ARV based on M-60A1 tank[76]
FV4204 ARV  United Kingdom Armoured Recovery Vehicles 49[25]
Bergepanzer2.jpg Leopard 1 ARV  West Germany Armoured Recovery Vehicles 5[52] 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.[52]
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).[77]
Improved M-578 armored recovery vehicle, 1985.JPEG M578 Light Recovery Vehicle Armoured Recovery Vehicles 30 used with M110A2 Howitzer
M113 i.jpg YPR-806 & M806 Armoured Recovery Vehicles +90 [30][31] 24 M113 ARV received from Belgium in 2008 / 2010.[25] +17 YPR-806 ARV received from Netherlands in 2012.
Hemtt iraq.jpg HEMTT 8x8 Off-road Heavy Cargo Truck
LMTV.jpg FMTV Cargo truck 250 ~ 300 M1078, M1083, M1085A1, M1089, M1091[78][79]
M35A2 with winch.jpg M35 2½ ton Cargo truck 1200 701 M35A2, 119 M35A2 WW, 226 M35A2 WOW, 50 M35A2C WOW, 74 M109A3 Van, 5 M35A2C WW, 25 M36A2 [80]
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 5 ton Cargo truck 400 ~ 600 refurbishment for M800 and M900 by JOMSS[81]
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.[30][31]
Aardvark demining vehicle.JPEG Aardvark JSFU  United Kingdom Mine Clearing +12 Aardvark Mk 2/3 flail
Pearson Combat Dozer UDK1 Combat Dozer +60 for Challenger-1 tank[82]
A British Scammell Commander 6x4 tractor truck leaves the Danish cargo ship Dana Cimbria during Operation Desert Shield.JPEG Scammell Commander Scammell Commander 100
A Company, 9th Engineer Battalion, firing the MICLIC in training, Andar, Afghanistan 2011.jpg M58 MICLIC  United States Mine Clearing
A Fox NBC-detection vehicle is transported by a HETS trailer.jpg Heavy Equipment Transport System Heavy Equipment Transport System 215
Military trucks laden with ammunition convoy.jpg M915A2 60 60 M915A2 received from US in 2012.[32]


Model Image Origin Caliber Type Details
Caracal pistol Caracal F pistol.jpg  United Arab Emirates 9×19mm Parabellum Pistol Standard Issue Pistol. 8,000+ acquired.[83]
Viper Jaws pistol  United States
9x19mm Luger Pistol Standard issue pistol for the Jordanian armed forces.[84][85]
Browning Hi-Power High power Inglis (6971784217).jpg  Belgium 9×19mm Pistol [86]


SIG Sauer P226[86] SIGSauerP226.JPG  Germany 9×19mm Pistol [86]
Glock 17
Glock 19
ARMS & Hunting 2012 exhibition (474-23).jpg
 Austria 9×19mm Pistol Used By Royal Guard.[88]
Beretta 92 Beretta 92 FS.gif  Italy 9×19mm Parabellum Pistol [89]
Heckler & Koch USP First-year H&K USP 9mm (32415150000) modified.jpg  Germany 9×19mm Parabellum Pistol [86]
Assault rifles
M4 carbine PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg  United States 5.56×45mm NATO Carbine Standard Issue Assault Carbine. Sold as part of a 2007 Foreign Military Sales package.[90] Additional M4s sold as a 2008 Foreign Military Sales package.[91]
T86 assault rifle Type 86 carbine.jpg  Taiwan 5.56×45mm Assault rifle Jordanian royal guards and special troops are reportedly armed with Taiwan made T86 carbines.[92]
M16 rifle M16a1m16a2m4m16a45wi.jpg  United States 5.56×45mm Assault rifle [93]
T91 assault rifle T91 Assault Rifle.jpg  Taiwan 5.56×45mm Assault rifle The Jordanian Defense Forces had reportedly conducted comparison tests between several service rifles in a desert environment.[94]
AK-74 Ak74l.jpg  Soviet Union 5.45×39mm Assault rifle [86]
Heckler & Koch G3 DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg  Germany 7.62×51mm NATO Assault rifle Standard Issue Rifle.[95]
Heckler & Koch G36 H&K G36 Compact Carbine of Royal Malaysian Navy.JPG  Germany 5.56×45mm Assault rifle Jordanian Special Operations Forces employ the G36C.[96]
Heckler & Koch HK416 HK416.jpg  Germany 5.56×45mm NATO Carbine Used by Joint Special Operations Command (Jordan) only [96]
Benelli M4 Benelli m4 2.jpg  Italy 12 gauge Shotgun Standard shotgun.
Remington Model 870 Remington 870 Wmaster.jpg  United States 12 gauge Shotgun
Sniper rifles
VSS Vintorez Vss vintorez 01.jpeg  Soviet Union 9×39mm Sniper rifle Used by Special forces since 2002.
Steyr SSG 69 Steyr SSG 69.jpg  Austria 7.62×51mm NATO Sniper rifle [86]
DPMS Panther LR308 DPMS Oracle AR15.jpg  United States 5.56×45mm NATO Sniper rifle [97]
12.7 RSTKIV 2000 M82A1 barrett.jpeg  United States .50 BMG Anti materiel Semi Automatic Sniper system Barrett M82A1 Versions.[98][96]
Sako TRG Sako TRG-42.jpg  Finland .260 Remington
.338 Lapua Magnum
Sniper rifle The TRG-22 and TRG-42 sniper rifles are used by Jordanian Royal Special Forces SRR-61 (Special Reconnaissance Regiment).[96][99]
Barrett M95 Barrett M95SP.jpg  United States .50 BMG Sniper rifle Employed by Jordanian Special Operations Forces.[96]
McMillan TAC-50 Tac50white1.jpg  United States .50 BMG Sniper rifle Used by SRR-61 (Special Reconnaissance Regiment).[100]
Submachine guns
Heckler & Koch MP5 Heckler & Koch MP5 b.jpg  Germany 9×19mm Submachine gun Used by Special Forces.[101]
Heckler & Koch MP7 Heckler & Koch MP7A1.jpg  Germany HK 4.6×30mm Submachine gun [86]
Heckler & Koch UMP HKUMP45.JPG  Germany 9×19mm Submachine gun Used by Jordanian Special Operations Forces.[96]
Machine Guns
Heckler & Koch HK21 HK 21 LMG RIGHT SIDE.jpg  Germany 7.62×51mm NATO General-purpose machine gun HK21A1 variant.[101]
M60 machine gun M60GPMG.jpeg  United States 7.62×51mm NATO General-purpose machine gun [86]
M240 machine gun M240-1 mg.jpeg  United States 7.62×51mm NATO General-purpose machine gun [86]
M2 Browning Machine Gun Patria AMV XA-360 Kokonaisturvallisuus 2015 05 Protector RWS.JPG  United States .50BMG Heavy machine gun 1,261+ acquired. In use on tripods and as flexible gun on M113A2 Mk 1J armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles.[86]
FN MAG FN MAG.jpg  Belgium 7.62×51mm NATO General-purpose machine gun Standard Issue General-purpose Machine Gun.[86][97][97][86]
Grenade Launcher
Mk 19 grenade launcher MK19-02.jpg  United States 40mm Grenade machine gun used by Royal Guard.
Milkor MGL M-32 Grenade Launcher.jpg  South Africa 40mm Grenade launcher Limited use by CTB-71 and other JSOC.
M203 grenade launcher PEO M203A2 Grenade Launcher.jpg  United States 40mm Grenade launcher [86]


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External links[edit]