Located in the northern section of the central hall of the exhibition building, the Exhibition of Weapons occupies an area of 20,000 square meters. Housed in a magnificent vaulted structure over 20 meters high with huge squares on two wings, the exhibition hall boasts a 2,000-meter-long displaying route. Among 1,651 cultural relics on display there are 624 guns, 30 tanks and armored vehicles, 146 cannons, 144 sabers, 665 pieces of ammunition, 12 missiles, three satellites, 16 airplanes and two naval vessels.
There are many “firsts” in the PLA’s history displayed in the Exhibition Hall of Weapons. The “Merit” was the PLA’s first tank and the foundation stone of the PLA’s first tank brigade that played a significant role in China’s Liberation War (1946-1949). The Type 99 advanced trainer made in Japan was used by the PLA’s first aviation school and contributed a lot to training the first batch of PLA pilots. There are also Dongfeng-1, the PLA’s first-generation ground-to-ground missile; J-5 fighter, the first-generation jet fighter made by China independently; Type 59 medium tank, the first-generation tank made by China independently; and HQ-2 ground-to-air missile, the first-generation of its kind made by China independently.
In the exhibition there is also lots of military equipment that played an important role in battles, including the MiG-15 fighter which the hero Wang Hai piloted to shoot down or damage nine US fighters and the cannons the Chinese troops used to damage the enemy’s 48 howitzers measuring 105mm and above in caliber, three trench mortars and seven tanks in the Battle of Triangle Hill in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. There is also the 37mm anti-aircraft gun who shot down ten US planes in that war. Moreover, there is No. 215 T-34 tank was known as “the People’s Hero Tank”, for it damaged five heavy tanks, nine cannons and 26 bunkers in the same war. In addition, there are other meritorious weapons like No. 414 gunboat and the torpedo boat which played a significant role in the battles of Chinese coastal defense in the early 1950s.
The exhibits also include the weapons the people’s army repaired and manufactured by themselves in the hard times and harsh conditions of revolutionary wars, such as tailed grenades manufactured in the Red Army’s munitions factories; rifles, light machine guns and Ge Liang-style cannons manufactured by the Eighth Route Army as well as explosive projectors made by the PLA. Crudely-made and rustic, these weapons played a significant role in China’s revolutionary wars.