This collection of tanks and other armoured vehicles was started during the Second World War. It had an operational purpose at first, to study captured enemy technology. From the 1970s, the collection was stored under cover. It was opened to public access in 1996. Today part of the Patriot theme park on the outskirts of Moscow it is visited by around 180,000 people every year. It covers an area of 12 hectares and has more than 300 items from 14 countries. Many of the items are believed to be unique. The collection has grown from several sources: some tanks were purchased abroad by the Soviet Union, some were supplied to the Red Army under Land-Lease after the Second World War, some were trophies of conflict and some have been acquired through purchase or exchange by the museum itself. The displays are shown in exhibition buildings and outside on a former Soviet testing range.