Communiqué issued by the Ministry
of Communications and Transport of the United Republic of Tanzania
A REPORT ON STRENGTHENING OF AIR SPACE DEFENCE
AND SAFETY IN THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
Recently the British Government granted a licence
to the British Aerospace (BAe) for the sale of sophisticated modern
radar to Tanzania a subject which sparked off a hot debate within
and outside the country. Both local and foreign press have been
pouring scorn on the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania
for its decision to spend nearly 28 million British pounds on
the purchase of the radar equipment. The ongoing debate is based
on the following arguments.
(i) The rationale of a poor country like
Tanzania to spend a staggering amount of money on something which
they claim will not benefit the nation at all.
(ii) The radar equipment to be ordered is
too expensive and too sophisticated for Tanzania's present needs.
(iii) There are fears of dubious transactions
in the deal which could embrace corruption.
(iv) Some senior officials in financial institutions
have claimed that the system of the radar equipment being ordered
is special for military operations and not for civil aviation
In view of the ensuing debate, the Government
of the United Republic of Tanzania would like to give the following
information to the public on the whole issue of radar.
2. THE IMPORTANCE
2.1 Tanzania, like any other poor or rich
country in the world, needs to have a special equipment for its
air space surveillance and air traffic control. This facility
is known as radar. The main function of radar is to enable the
departments of Air Defence and Civil Aviation to detect aircraft
flying the Tanzanian air space with a view to strengthening defence
and controlling the aircraft movement in order to avoid air accidents.
In Tanzania, for instance, there are peak periods
during the month or day when the country's air space becomes congested
with aircraftbig and smallthus making their control
difficult, a situation which causes air movement delays and suspicion
that our air space is not safe.
2.2 At present the radars we have in the
country are either outdated or do not function at all and, therefore,
cannot meet the demands of air safety control. The monitoring
of aircraft movement within the country's airspace is done by
the air traffic controllers at the airports who communicate with
the pilots on various aspects of aviation such as take-off, landing,
speed and locations of aircraft in the air. This is a very cumbersome
job which depends heavily on the honesty of the pilots. Hence:
(a) The likelihood of air accidents happening
is obvious because the Civil Aviation department depends, to a
great extent, on the efficiency of its air traffic controllers
and the radio communication they use to get in touch with the
pilots. This radio communication does not function well in bad
weather and, therefore, is not permanently reliable.
(b) There is also a probability of some aircraft
entering Tanzania's air space illegally and free of charge.
(c) The most important thing, however, is
to maintain peace and security in our country and to save people's
lives by avoiding accidents.
2.3 Besides our air space, Tanzania also
controls air spaces of Rwanda and Burundi for the aircraft flying
at the altitude of more than 24,500 feet. This responsibility
was entrusted to Tanzania by the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) in 1978. Before that, this job over Rwanda
and Burundi was under the auspices of the former East African
Community. Furthermore, on the eastern side of the continent,
Tanzania supervises the Indian Ocean air space between the coastline
and Longitude 44 degrees and between Latitude 5 degrees South
and latitude 11 degrees South.
3. THE PURCHASE
3.1 There are two options for Tanzania to
strengthen safety and security of her air space. The first one
is to let the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) and the
Civil Aviation Department to buy their own radar's each.
3.2 The second option is to have a joint
system incorporating the military and civil equipment which will
function simultaneously and instantly.
3.3 The Government has been working on the
radar since 1987 after the breakdown in 1990 of the radars installed
at the Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airports. Following
these breakdowns, the Government, on 5 August, 1992, appointed
a committee of experts to do a research with a view to establishing
a radar system that would meet the country's requirements.
3.4 The committee of experts suggested to
the Government the purchase of a joint radar system, which, according
to their findings was in use in other countries in Africa and
elsewhere, and it has proved more successful. Its operational
costs are also lower compared with the former system of individual
radars for each department.
3.5 Following recommendations of the committee
in October/November, 1992, the Government floated tenders through
shortlisting (selective bidding) and asked interested parties
to send their offers based on the following:
(a) The capacity of the bidding company in
manufacturing the needed equipment.
(b) The price of the equipment.
(c) Service after the purchase.
(d) The procedure of getting funds for the
purchase of the equipment.
(e) Equipment which will serve both military
and civil operations.
(f) All bidders must ensure that the manufactured
equipment conforms with the requirements as stipulated in the
regulations and procedures of the International Civil Aviation
3.6 Eight international companies were invited
to present their bids:
(a) Marconi Radar System of the UK
(b) Thomson CSF of France
(d) Siemens Plessey (now known as British
Aerospace, BAe of the UK (SPS)
One Canadian company, Raytheon, delivered
its offer after the deadline had passed. Their offer was not accepted.
4.1 after a thorough scrutiny by experts
SPS was picked as a winning bidder, after having fulfilled all
the requirements. Its radars known as Watchman and COMMANDER RADAR
were recommended for purchase.
4.2 In July 1993, SPS submitted officially
its whole programme of manufacturing the equipment and purchase
4.3 After going through the SPS recommendations,
the Government, in November 1993, informed the British company
of its acceptance of the recommended equipment and the procedures
5. PROJECT COSTS
5.1 After lengthy discussions, in June 1994
the Government and SPS agreed on the logistics for acquiring the
equipment. The initial estimated costs for the equipment as prepared
by the committee of experts amounted to US$88 million.
5.2 On 11 February 1995 the Government decided
in principle on the project implementation after discussing and
taking note of the report of the committee of experts. The Treasury
and the Central Bank confirmed that the terms of the project were
not against the conditionalities of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment
Facilities and Policy Framework Paper (ESAF/PFP) agreed upon between
the Government and the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and the
World Bank (WB).
5.3 After further considerations regarding
the high costs of the project, the Government of the Third Phase
in 1996 decided to revisit the project and came to the conclusion
that it should be implemented in phases and directed that amendments
be made in the structure of finance package.
5.4 On March, 1997 the Government directed
the authorities concerned with the project to put final touches
to the project taking in to consideration the question of reducing
the costs of the project.
5.5 In September, 1997 the Government came
to an agreement with SPS regarding the list of components to be
included in the radar system. It was also agreed that the value
of the project in the Sales Agreement be inclusive of equipment
maintenance contract, training, spare parts and wages for expatriates.
5.6 In accordance with the initial report
of the chief negotiator who supported Tanzania's plan of purchasing
a modern radar, a Tanzanian delegation left for England on 16-17
October, 1997 for talks with Barclays Bank regarding a loan agreement.
According to the contract Barclays Bank agreed to provide a soft
loan. The loan was in line with the conditionalities set by IMF/WB
to Tanzania. The loan issue was also included in the discussions
of the Government with the Financial institutions of IMF/WB regarding
our country's ability to pay its debts and debt sustainability
analysis. To date the Government of Tanzania has already made
an initial payment of US$5.4 million. The initial payment was
needed in order for the company to start manufacturing the equipment
because such type of equipment is not found off the shelf. This
kind of equipment is specifically manufactured in accordance with
the client's specifications after signing a contract.
6. EXPERT OPINION
6.1 In an effort to comply with the terms
of the donors and international financial institutions, the Government
of Tanzania agreed with the recommendations of the World Bank
of the appointing of an aviation expert to investigate the decision
of the Government of Tanzania to purchase a radar.
6.2 The World Bank appointed an aviation
expert from TECN-ECON of England to undertake the assignment.
During his investigation the expert held talks with aviation experts
in the country. In his report, the expert supported the plan and
insisted on the importance of the decision of the Government of
Tanzania of purchasing a radar.
6.3 In order to have a second opinion regarding
the project, the World Bank appointed a second expert from a group
of companies of Aerotech of the United States of America to undertake
another investigation. The approach used by this second expert
differed from the first expert in that the second expert did not
hold any talks with Tanzanian experts on our aviation requirements.
Apart from this, the expert, in his report, mentioned nothing
as to whether Tanzania should go ahead with the planned project
or not recommending instead that Tanzania should buy another type
of radar from the United States of America instead of England.
Because of the anomalies contained in the report of the second
expert, the Government of Tanzania decided to go ahead with its
plan to acquire a radar that would suit our requirements.
7. BENEFITS OF
The completion of implementing this project
will enable Tanzania to have the following benefits:
7.1 To detect and identify the number of
aircrafts using Tanzania air space.
7.2 To minimise the possibility of aircrafts
over fly the Tanzanian airspace illegally.
7.3 To control poaching and illegal trade
by using private aircrafts and air strips.
7.4 To identify and control civilian aircraft
efficiently and hence minimising aircraft accidents in the country.
7.5 The absence of a modern radar denies
Tanzania an opportunity of increasing income by charging fees
which currently is US$7 million charged on about 114,404 aircraft
which use Tanzanian airspace annually. It is obvious that our
income will increase because of the radar's ability to detect
more aircraft flying in our air space.
7.6 To win the confidence air travelers
including businessmen and tourists and thus attract more travellers
to fly to Tanzania a move that will generate more income for the
nation. At the moment many aircraft companies hesitate to fly
to Tanzania because of the lack of aviation facilities.
7.7 Most importantly, this project will
assist us strengthen safety and security of our nation.
8.1 There have been many and different views
that have been expressed with regard to the radar project. Those
opposing the project have it that instead of purchasing the radar
the Government should spend the money in improving social services
such as water, health and education. It is true that Tanzania
is a poor country. The people of Tanzania need water, hospitals
and schools. This situation is being dealt with and will continue
to be tackled by the Government of Tanzania.
8.2 But it is also important to take note
that besides clean and safe water, schools and health services,
the people of Tanzania have the right to be assured of security
and safety of their nation enabling them to take part in activities
that are related to their own development and that of their nation.
8.3 There is another school of thought which
has it that Tanzania can purchase a radar for civil aviation at
a cheaper rate from any other company in the world. This issue
of having a radar meant only for civil aviation has been discussed
a great deal. However cost analysis on the different types of
radars which deal with safety and security requirements have proved
that Tanzania would have to spend more money if it had opted to
purchase a type of radar with separate systems, one for air navigation
purpose, while the other for security purposes. That's why the
Government has decided to purchase a radar with a system that
can incorporate the military and civil requirements simultaneously.
We wish to emphasise that in dealing with air space security one
cannot differentiate between civilian system and national defence
system. It is an open secret that the background of radar technology
is a result of a discovery in the use of the equipment in military
operations and defence in the world. It is important to understand
that radar for the navigation of civilian aircraft is a component
part of the system to be purchased. This kind of civilian radar
is used to navigate aircraft when it is about to land at an airport.
It is obvious therefore these kind of civilian radars are not
adequate in meeting our intended objectives as mentioned earlier.
8.4 Now that a long time has passed since
the issue of purchasing a radar had begun, the type of radar that
we will acquire will be of the latest technology of WATCHMAN AND
COMMANDER RADAR. WATCHMAN radars became operational since 1984.
Since then more than 100 of them have been sold. In England alone
about 15 radars have been installed at different airports including
London Heathrow and Gatwick. Other countries which are operating
WATCHMAN radars are Bahrain, China, Dubai, Finland, Portugal,
Spain, Switzerland, United States and Zimbabwe. The radar system
that has been proposed has the ability to detect aircraft, altitude
and location. Given proper maintenance, this type of radar can
last for more than 20 years. It is obvious that during its life
span costs of the project will be recovered and we will have additional
8.5 The application of the latest technology
allows for the possibility of the proposed equipment to make use
of the new ICAO system known as ``S-mode data link system''. The
equipment to be used have been designed to be inline with ICAO
recommendations of being connected to satellite facilities without
8.6 Tanzania needs to purchase a modern
radar in order to strengthen safety of civilian aviation and security
of our nation. And this is what others have done. They have acquired
state-of-the-art radars to meet defence requirements of their
nations and safety for civil aviation. To ignore the existing
poor state of aviation may result in the likelihood of a major
aviation accident in our sky. The costs for compensation and insurance
claims from such an accident will surely be more exorbitant than
the costs of the radar project.
8.7 Many complaints from international airlines
flying over the African Continent arise from the fact that an
aircraft can be given permission by one authority to fly on one
route at a given height from the ground while another aircraft
or aircrafts have been issued permission by other authorities
to fly on the same routes because of the absence of a radar. Many
times this problem had resulted in near mid-air collisions. But
this has not happened because of the keenness and competence of
pilots. Pilots also complain that the amount of work they do while
in the African skies is 15 times more difficult than when they
are in the skies of the Atlantic where there are many more aircraft.
This is a consequence of having navigation systems.
8.8 The Government of Tanzania is pleased
by the decision of the British Government to issue a licence to
the British Aerospace (BAe) Systems Company to sell us a radar.
Tanzania is grateful to the British Government for the decision.
It is the right decision given at the right time.
8.9 The obligation of strengthening the
defence and safety of our airspace and the defence and safety
of our country at large will always be the duty of the Government
and the People of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Ministry of Communication and Transport
Dar es Salaam
21 January 2002