Tanzania People’s Defence Force


Tanzania People’s Defence Force

1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. State of military forces
5. Country threat report
6. External deployments

1. Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 42 000
Air Force: 800
Navy: 1 050
Paramilitary: 1400
Armour 30: T-54
25: Type-62
30: Type-59
30: Scorpion
Reconnaissance 10: BRDM-2
APC 10: BTR-40
28: Type-56
4: ZFB-05
10: Type-92A/WZ-551
5: Casspir
Towed artillery 24: ZIS-3 76 mm
20: D-30 122 mm
80: M-30 122 mm
30: Type-59 130 mm
80: Type-56 85 mm
36: M46 130 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 48: BM-21 122 mm
Mortar 100: M-43 82 mm
50: M-43 120 mm
Recoilless rifle 75: D-44 85 mm
Rocket launcher RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
500: Type 55 75 mm
Structure 3 division HQs
1 armoured brigade
8 infantry brigades
6 artillery batteries (2 field, 2 AA, 2 mortar)
2 anti-tank battalions
1 SAM battalion with SA-3 and SA-6
2 signals battalions
1 engineer battalion
1 commando battalion
Air Force
Combat aircraft 14: J-7 (12 J-7G, 2 J-7N trainers)
10: J-6
Trainer aircraft 6: K-8 Karakorum-8
4: PA-28
Transport aircraft 2: An-28
4: DHC-5
2: Y-8
3: Y-12
2: Cessna 404
7: Cessna 310
3: HS-748
1: Y-5
2: F-28
1: Shorts 330
Transport helicopter 4: Bell 412
4: Bell 205
6: Bell 206B
4: SA316 Alouette III
1: BO 105
Air defence gun 280: ZPU-2/ZPU-4 14.5 mm
40: ZU-23 23 mm
120: Type 55 37 mm
Air defence missile 20: SA-6 Gainful (Unserviceable)
20: SA-3 Goa (Unserviceable)
120: SA-7 Grail (Unserviceable)
50: SA-16
Patrol/Strike boat (Gun/Missile/OPV/IPV) 4: Huchuan class
2: Ngunguri class
2: Shanghai II class
2: 27 ft Defender type patrol boats
Amphibious/Transport/Supply 2: Yuchin class

2. Overview

Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces: President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
Prime Minister: Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda
Defence Minister: Shamsi Vuai Nahodha
Chief of Defence Forces: General Davis Adolf Mwamunyange

Chief of General Staff: Major General Samuel Albert Ndomba
Commander land Forces: Major General Salum Mustafa Kijuu
Commander Naval Forces: Major General Said Shaban Omar
Chief of Air Defence Command: Major General Festo N Ulomi
Member of: UN, AU, EAC, Commonwealth, AfDB
Conscription: 24 months (national service also including civil duties)
3. Defence economics

Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

Tanzania has a strong record of democracy and stability – having never suffered a coup or civil war – and is heavily involved in peacekeeping operations on the continent. It recently contributed troops to the pioneering UN Force Intervention Brigade in the DRC. Due to its peacekeeping operations, Tanzania has received training and assistance from foreign nations – the United States, for instance, has provided training, boats, logistics vehicles, communications systems and other hardware. Tanzania also conducts exercises and training with foreign countries, particularly at sea.

The Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) has recently expressed a desire to expand by growing troops numbers as well as acquiring more hardware, but affordability is a problem. Nevertheless, in late 2012 the Tanzania Ministry of Defence said the government will soon spend more on the procurement of defence equipment for the army and the air force as country strengthens its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the face of security threats such as maritime piracy and trans-national and home-grown terrorism.

The government is also seeking better air and naval defence capabilities to defend newly-found offshore hydrocarbon resources and secure its territorial waters against economic crimes such as illegal fishing. Last year, Tanzania mobilised its defence forces and threatened to go to war with neighbouring Malawi in a feud over exploratory drilling works which were taking place in an oil-rich maritime territory in Lake Nyasa which borders the two countries.

Apart from instability on Tanzania’s land and lake borders, maritime piracy is another issue for the country to deal with. As a result, Tanzania recently signed a joint maritime agreement with Mozambique and South Africa to patrol and protect the waters around the Mozambique Channel.

5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Tanzania is currently facing no external military threat.
• Incidences of maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean have until recently negatively affected Tanzania’s maritime security and coastal economy.
Internal • Violence between the country’s Muslim and Christian population has increased steadily in the last 5 years.
Regional • Insecurity in Burundi, DRC, Mozambique, and Kenya may affect the country’s foreign security policies.
Political • There is continuing political tension between Dar es Salaam and the predominantly Islamic based island of Zanzibar.
Economic • Tanzania economy has been improving steadily in recent years with its economy growing at 4 percent annually. However the country remains highly indebted with 40 percent of government expenditure being used to pay off debts.

6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
Peacekeeping DRC Troops: 1 250
Peace enforcement Sudan (Darfur) Police: 208
Experts on Mission: 21
Troops: 895
Peacekeeping Liberia Troops: 160


Ministry of Defence and National Service

PO Box 9544



Tel +22 21190611/21128513

Fax +22 2116600