Tanzania parades new Chinese kit - IHS Jane's 360 Stijn Mitzer, Amsterdam - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly 14 May 2014 Tanzania is the first known user of the Type 07PA 120 mm self-propelled mortar. Source: IHS/Ping Zhang A Tanzanian military parade on 26 April to mark the 50th anniversary of the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar shed light on the Tanzania People's Defence Force's (TPDF's) recent procurement. Photographs from the event at Dar es Salaam's Uhuru Stadium show the TPDF now has Type 63A light amphibious tanks, A100 multiple rocket launchers, Type 07PA self-propelled mortar systems, and FB-6A mobile short-range air defence (SHORAD) systems. Along with its newly acquired amphibious tanks, the presence of Type 79 pontoon bridges and Type 84A mechanised bridges underscored the TPDF's emphasis on river-crossing equipment. In its December 2011 parade, the TPDF showed a Russian GSP heavy amphibious ferry, which consists of two vehicles that deploy pontoons and link together to form a motorised raft. This equipment goes a long way to overcome the problems highlighted by Tanzania's war with Uganda in the late 1970s, when a succession of rivers and creeks presented tough obstacles for the TPDF. It also gives Tanzania, which is bordered by several rivers and lakes, the capability to intervene in other neighbouring countries. The A100 300 mm multiple rocket launcher is very similar to the Russian BM 9A52 Smerch, although Norinco claims it has a longer range of 120 km. The system was rumoured to have been acquired by Tanzania in 2009. Aimed at the export market, the Type 07PA combines the hull of the Type 07P 8x8 armoured personnel carrier (APC) with the 120 mm mortar turret from the PLL-05 self-propelled mortar. The mortar has a range of around 9 km. The Chinese FB-6A is similar to the Boeing AN/TWQ-1 Avenger SHORAD system, which fires Stinger missiles from a Humvee-mounted launcher. The FB-6A uses the Shenyang SFQ2040 (a copy of the Humvee) as its platform, with each launcher carrying eight FN-6 missiles with a range of around 5.5 km. A separate vehicle carries a planar array target acquisition radar. The FB-6A supplements the Russian-made Igla-1 (SA-16 'Gimlet') and Strela-2 (SA-7 'Grail') man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) in service with the TPDF. The WZ551 with a fully enclosed turret has now been exported to several African countries. (PA Photos) The parade also featured a previously unseen mobile surveillance radar that may have been acquired to support Tanzania's 2K12 Kub (SA-6 'Gainful') and S-125 Pechora (SA-3 'Goa') air defence systems. The TPDF has also acquired WZ 551 APCs fitted with a 12.7 x 108 mm heavy machine gun and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun in a fully enclosed turret. This variant of the Chinese APC is becoming very popular in East Africa, with users including Burundi, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Tanzania's new F-7G fighters performed a flyby during the celebrations. (PA Photos) A flyover by the TPDF Air Wing, which has recently been restructured into the Tanzania Air Force Command (TAFC), showed the new CAC F-7G fighters in action.