Tanzania Air Force Command

The Tanzania Air Force Command (Swahili: Kamandi ya Jeshi la Anga[1]) is the national air force of Tanzania.[2] The current Commander of the Tanzania Air Force Command is Major General William Ingram, who replaced Major General Joseph Kapwani upon the latter's retirement in January 2016.

Tanzania Air Force Command
Swahili: Jeshi la Anga lA Tanzania
Tanzania roundel 2010.svg
Tanzania Air Force Command insignia
Country Tanzania
BranchAir Force
Part ofTanzania People's Defence Force
EngagementsUganda–Tanzania War
CommanderMaj. Gen. George William Ingram
Aircraft flown
FighterChengdu F-7, Shenyang F-6
HelicopterBell 412, Airbus H125, Airbus H155, Airbus H225LP,
TrainerK-8 Karakorum, Shenyang FT-6, Chengdu FT-7
TransportAntonov An-28, Shaanxi Y-8, Harbin Y-12


Tanzania established its air force as the "Air Wing" (Kiswahili: Usafirashaji wa Anga) of the Tanzania People's Defence Force's (TPDF) Air Defence Command in 1965.[3] An autonomous branch, its purposes were to support the TPDF ground forces and ensure air links between the government and distant areas of the country.[4]

The Tanzania Air Defence Command defeated the nominally stronger Uganda Army Air Force during the air campaign of the Uganda–Tanzania War (1978–79).[5][6]

A few of the Tanzanian air wing's transport remain serviceable. However, its Shenyang F-5s, and Chengdu F-7s are reported to fly only on rare occasions because of airworthiness problems. Tanzania's long coastline means that transports are also used for patrol flights.

In 1980, an order for 10 F-7Bs and two TF-7s was issued to China, and in 1997 also two F-7Ns were purchased from Iran, together with four ex-Iraqi Air Force transports of an unknown type. Today, no Russian-supplied MiG-21s remain in service with the TPDF/AW, and only three or four F-7s remain operational. The TPDF/AW MiG-21MFs are now confirmed to have carried serials - in black or green - underneath the cockpit, but no details about these are known.[citation needed]

On 14 November 2013, Helmoed-Römer Heitman reported for Jane's Defence Weekly that a 'usually reliable source' had informed Jane's that the TPDF had replaced its 12 old CAC J-7 fighters with 14 new J-7s, twelve single-seat and two dual-seat. Deliveries were completed in 2011. Heitman also reported that the aircraft were fully operational at Dar es Salaam and Mwanza air bases.

Recent estimates (2014) suggest that Tanzania's air force command operates 32 aircraft in three different types. It is believed they are operating 14 fighters, 11 fixed-wing attack aircraft and 7 transport aircraft. On October 1, 2015 a K-8 trainer jet of Tanzania Air Force Command crashed into the sea killing both pilots.


A Bell 205 of the Tanzania air force command
A line of Tanzanian MiG-21s.
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Chengdu J-7 China Fighter 11[7] Licensed built MiG-21
Shenyang J-6 China Fighter F-6 3[7]
Antonov An-28 Poland Transport 1[7]
Shaanxi Y-8 China Transport 2[7]
Harbin Y-12 China Transport 2[7]
Bell 412 United States Utility 2[7]
Airbus H155 France Utility 2[7]
Airbus H225 France Utility 2[7]
Airbus H125M France Utility 1[7]
Trainer Aircraft
Hongdu JL-8 China Jet trainer K-8 5[7]
Chengdu J-7 People's Republic of China Conversion trainer FT-7 2[7]
Shenyang J-6 People's Republic of China Conversion trainer FT-6 1[7]


Commanding OfficersEdit

# Picture Name Tenure from Tenure to
1 Robert Mboma February 15, 1982 March 28, 1994
2 Geofrey Dahal July 1, 2003 April 25, 2005
3 Charles Makakala July 2, 2005 October 16, 2007
4 Festo Ulomi October 17, 2007 March 19, 2012
5 Joseph Kapwani March 20, 2012 January 31, 2016
6 George Ingram February 1, 2016 Present[8]


  1. ^ https://www.tpdf.mil.tz/sho-pages/air-force
  2. ^ "TPDF Air Wing" (PDF). air-britain.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ Cooper & Fontanellaz 2015, p. 14.
  4. ^ Hewish 1984, p. 185.
  5. ^ Cooper & Fontanellaz 2015, pp. 30, 42.
  6. ^ Brzoska & Pearson 1994, p. 207.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "World Air Forces 2021". FlightGlobal. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Airforce Tanzania History Overview". Tanzania Peoples Defense Force.

Works citedEdit

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