(Supported by a Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities)
Kenya Tanzania  Uganda Burundi  Rwanda

Tanzania -- Defenses

The defense structure is headed by the president who has operational control over all the armed forces. Below the president, the entire military structure is commanded by the chief of staff, but this is mainly for the mainland. The units in Zanzibar are commanded by a senior officer. The Tanzanian People's Defense Force (TPDF) includes the army, navy, and air force. Outside the TPDF there is a militia and the paramilitary Police Field Force. Military expenditures in 1994 were $69 million.

The TPDF was involved in the successful invasion of Uganda in 1979 in order to overthrow Idi Amin. It proved its capability and power and also demonstrated it was the strongest military power in East Africa. TPDF sailors, pilots and officers are trained in China.

The army consists of 8 infantry brigades, 2 divisional headquarters, 1 tank battalion, 2 field artillery battalions, 2 AA artillery battalions, 1 SAM battalion, 2 anti-tank battalions, and 2 signal battalions. Equipment includes 30 heavy tanks, 66 light tanks, 20 combat vehicles, 50 armored personnel carriers, 240 guns, 50 rocket launchers, 350 mortars, 400 air defense guns, 61 SAMs.

The navy operates 7 fast attack craft and 12 patrol boats.

The air force operates 29 combat aircraft divided into three fighter squadrons, 1 transport squadron, 2 training squadrons, 2 helicopter squadrons. TPDF operates four air bases at Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Tabora and Zanzibar.

Source: Kurian, George Thomas 1992. Encyclopedia of the Third World, fourth edition, volume III, Facts on File: New York, N.Y

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Disclaimer