Tanzania Military - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Military and security forces

Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF or Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Force, National Building Army (Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa, JKT), People's Militia (Reserves); Ministry of Home Affairs: Tanzania Police Force (2023)

note 1: the National Building Army (aka National Services) is a paramilitary organization under the Defense Forces that provides 6 months of military and vocational training to individuals as part of their 2 years of public service; after completion of training, some graduates join the regular Defense Forces while the remainder become part of the People's (or Citizen's) Militia

note 2: the Tanzania Police Force includes the Police Field Force (aka Field Force Unit), a special police division with the responsibility for controlling unlawful demonstrations and riots

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2022 est.)

1.1% of GDP (2021 est.)

1.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.1% of GDP (2019 est.)

1.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 25,000 active duty personnel (21,000 Land Forces; 1,000 Naval Forces; 3,000 Air Force) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the TPDF's inventory includes mostly Soviet-era and Chinese equipment; in recent years, China has been the leading supplier of arms to the TPDF (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; 6-year commitment (2-year contracts afterwards); selective conscription for 2 years of public service (2023)

Military deployments

450 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 850 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 125 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (2022)

note: in 2021, Tanzania began contributing troops to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention force that was assisting the Mozambique Government's fight against Islamic militants

Military - note

the TDPF’s primary concerns are maritime piracy and smuggling, border security, terrorism, animal poaching, and spillover from instability in neighboring countries, particularly Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); it participates in multinational training exercises, regional peacekeeping deployments, and has ties with a variety of foreign militaries, including those of China and the US; it has contributed troops to the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade in the DRC and to the Southern African Development Community intervention force in Mozambique; since 2020, the TPDF has deployed additional troops to its border with Mozambique following several cross-border attacks by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham operating in Mozambique; the TPDF’s principal ground forces are 5 infantry brigades and an armored brigade; the Naval Forces operate patrol and fast attack boats, while the Air Force inventory includes small numbers of combat aircraft and helicopters (2023)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reported no piracy attacks in the territorial and offshore waters of Tanzania in 2022; although the opportunity for incidents has reduced, the Somali pirates continue to possess the capability and capacity to carry out incidents; in the past, vessels have also been targeted off Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, as well as in the Indian ocean, and off the west and south coasts of India and west Maldives; generally, Somali pirates tend to be well armed with automatic weapons, RPGs and sometimes use skiffs launched from mother vessels, which may be hijacked fishing vessels or dhows; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2023-003 - Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab al Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, and Somali Basin-Threats to Commercial Vessels) effective 23 February 2023, which states in part that "Regional conflict, military activity, and political tensions pose threats to commercial vessels operating in the above listed geographic areas" that shipping in territorial and offshore waters in the Indian Ocean remain at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships

NOTE: The information regarding Tanzania on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Tanzania 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Tanzania 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.