Tanzania Air Force Command
Jeshi la Anga lA Tanzania
Roundel of the Tanzania Air Force Command
Founded2024; 0 years ago (2024)
Country Tanzania
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofTanzania People's Defence Force
EngagementsUganda–Tanzania War
CommanderMajor General Shaban Mani
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

The Tanzania Air Force Command (Swahili: Kamandi ya Jeshi la Anga)[1] is the aerial service branch of the Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF).[2] The current commander of the Tanzania Air Force Command is Major General Shaban Mani, who replaced major general Ingram upon the latter's retirement in 2021.


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 2024.[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
Shenyang F-7 China fighter 11[7] licensed built MiG-21
Shenyang J-6 China fighter F-6 3[7]
Cessna 402 United States transport 1[7]
Shaanxi Y-8 China transport 2[7]
Harbin Y-12 China transport 2[7]
Antonov An-28 Poland transport 1[7]
Alenia C-27J Spartan Italy transport 2 on order[8]
Bell 412 United States utility 2[7]
Airbus H155 France utility 2[7]
Airbus H225M France utility 2[7]
Airbus H215M France utility 1 1 on order[7]
Airbus H125M France utility 2 1 on order[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 officer

Term of office
Took office Left office Time in office
Brigadier general
Robert Mboma[9]
February 15, 1982 March 28, 1994 12 years, 41 days
Major General
Jumanne Omari Mwakitosi[9]
March 29, 1994 July 1, 2003 8 years, 100 days
Brigadier general
Geofrey Dahal[9]
July 1, 2003 April 25, 2005 1 year, 298 days
Brigadier general
Charles Makakala[9]
July 2, 2005 October 16, 2007 2 years, 174 days
Brigadier general
Festo Ulomi[9]
October 17, 2007 March 19, 2012 4 years, 154 days
Brigadier general
Joseph Kapwani[9]
March 20, 2012 January 31, 2016 3 years, 317 days
Brigadier general
George Ingram[9]
February 1, 2016 August 22, 2016 203 days
Mayor general
Shabani Mani[9]
August 23, 2016 Incumbent' 7 years, 252 days


  1. ^ "Mwanzo-Jeshi la Ulinzi la Wananchi wa Tanzania".
  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 m n "World Air Forces 2022". Flightglobal. 2022. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Tanzania, Leonardo SpA Signs Contract for Aircraft Supply". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Italy). 9 January 2024. Archived from the original on 9 January 2024. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Makamanda Waliowahi Kuongoza". tpdf.mil.tz (in Swahili). Tanzania People's Defence Forces. Retrieved 15 October 2021.

Works cited