The use of ships and military vehicles to create artificial reefs and tourist diving areas is something that is gaining followers.
Some time ago we saw images of military vehicles and the airplanes of the underwater museum of Aqaba, in Jordan, in the waters of Red Sea. Now that museum has a competitor in that same sea, but on the coast of Egypt.
Last August the Hurghada underwater museum was inaugurated, the result of collaboration between the government and the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA). This museum includes 15 old military vehicles of the Egyptian Army, from different eras and origins.
Among the vehicles in the museum there are BRDM-2 armored vehicles and T-34-85 tanks of Soviet origin, Walid armored transports (an Egyptian vehicle based in the Soviet BTR-40), an M-60 Patton tank of American origin and also several BMR-600 of Spanish origin. Above these lines we can see some of the vehicles that were sent to this museum. Three BMR-600s appear in the image.
In order to send this material to the bottom of the sea it was necessary to remove all its liquids and also the dirt accumulated over the years, in order to avoid contaminating the waters of Hurghada. Above these lines we see a Soviet T-34-85 tank (left) and an American M-60 Patton tank.
The Egyptian Army has been the second largest operator of the Spanish BMR-600. It acquired 260 of these armored vehicles in 1986. Above these lines we can see one of the BMR-600 sent to the Hurghada underwater museum. The vehicle's wheels were removed before it was submerged in the sea.
Here we can see the cleaning process of one of Hurghada's BMR-600 before sending it to the bottom of the sea.
The vehicles were taken in trucks to Hurghada and once there they were taken by boat and thrown into the sea. Here we see the loading process of one of the BMR-600.
A T-34-85 of Soviet origin. This variant of the famous T-34 began to be manufactured at the beginning of 1944. The T-34 is one of the most numerous tanks in history: they were built more than 84,000. The Egyptian Army operated 380 tanks of this type.
Two Walid armored vehicles being transported on the ship that threw them into the sea. These vehicles were manufactured in the 1960s and Egypt used them in the Six-Day War (1967), with some of them being captured by Israel.
A BRDM-2 armored vehicle being thrown into the sea. The Egyptian Army has operated 400 vehicles of this type, most of them of Soviet origin, although it also received a hundred BRDM-2M96i manufactured by Poland .
A Walid armored vehicle at the bottom of the sea in Hurghada, being observed by a submariner.
The turret of an M-60 Patton tank in Hurghada. The Egyptian Army has operated more than 1,600 M-60 tanks, mostly received from the US, but also some from Austria. It still has 1,150 combat tanks of this type in active use. In the following video by Marian Pavlik you can see a submerged BMR-600 in Hurghada with its turret:
A BMR-600 of Spanish origin in the Hurghada underwater museum. The wheels, engine and turret with the Browning M-2 heavy machine gun have been removed, but it retains its smoke tubes.
Photos: HEPCA / Red Sea Governorate / Xinhua.
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