Tanzanian Special Forces With IWI Galil MAR Carbine, Meprolight Sights

Unbeknownst to us, the Tanzanian Special Forces adopted the IWI Galil MAR compact carbine along with Meprolight Sights and Bulgarian night vision googles. The troops in these photos are taking part in a multinational training exercise as part of the United Nations Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The rifle and sight are impressive equipment for a country that has a mean wage of just $0.52/hour. The cost of each rifle and sight  is probably equivalent to three years of its operators wages. This would be like supplying a rifle and scope that costs $60,000 to a US Army Private First Class (E3). Judging from photos, not many of them are issued night vision googles.




UPDATE: We originally identified the rifle as the Galil ACE, not the Galil MAR.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Bob

    Gotta love the full body camo, adorned on top by a bright blue UN helmet. Can’t see me- oh wait.

    • big daddy

      They are there for more of a deterrent than a true fighting force. They do look better trained and equipped than in the past. Some times they do get into a fight though. That duty is tough duty for any soldier, they work in the worst parts of the planet. He seems proud and I am sure he is making more money than the majority of other people from his country.

      • Ladunia

        Hey dude, if you read up on the Intervention Brigade, it’s actually an offensive one. Which is groundbreaking for the UN.

        Source: http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-08-01-un-goes-on-the-attack-in-the-drc-dragging-south-africa-in-with-it/#.UfpdypUyFFI

      • Lawrence Gwakisa

        big dady, you are wrong
        I hope you have been updated now on the prowess of the Tanzania commandoes in the African bush, truly an awesome force to reckon with.

        • big daddy

          You’re kidding right? I’m sure they are better than in the past as I said but to be considered a true fighting force, no. If Al Qaeda wanted to invest in that region hey would wipe the floors with them. I’m it’s coming in time though I suspect. They do not have the resupply infrastructure to mount a long term offensive operation.

          • Lawrence Gwakisa

            Get yourself acquinted to the historical facts about the Tanzanian Defence Forces.
            The reputation goes to as far al theentire Southern Part of Africa.

          • big daddy

            Come on, no doubt they are good but they just do not have the access to the weaponry and support of a SPETSNAZ or SOF, even French Foreign Legion, SBS or SAS. I’m also sure they are not as good as the old Rhodesian forces in the bush.

          • Lawrence Gwakisa

            I suppose you are right, boils down to the economic ability!
            But when the TPDF chaps were training almost all the liberation movements we were even poorer,

  • Stanley Yiu

    Good to see a military force in an African country armed with something other than old AKs. I know how a good piece of kit can boost the morale of troops, so hopefully the Galil is doing exactly that.

  • Gidge

    That’s not the ACE, it’s the “Classic” Galil. Note the old style for-grips (as opposed to the new AR style quad rail setup), right hand side cocking handle and the old style folding stock.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      You are correct, well spotted. It is actually the Galil MAR Compact Carbine.

      The ACE does not necessarily have quad rails. Its standard handguard looks very similar to the MAR

  • SP mclaughlin

    They might be Vektor R4 derivatives too. They aren’t ACE’s though, as Gidge pointed out.

  • Bob

    Those seem to be the 5.56 variant. I’d love to be able to buy a Galil ACE in 7.62×39 in the US.

  • Lance

    Well since most African nation use AKMs or R4 classic Gailis not surprised to see some tacti cool version used by eite units. Most African nations use every federal penny to upgrade there military anyway.

  • Esh325

    I wonder how does the Galil compare to other 5.56×45 AK’s?

    • Joe Schmoe

      Very reliable. It was designed from the ground up for the 5.56×45 and has a great combat record.

  • Anders Albertsson

    Damn, skull crusher under a PASGT helmet… talk about a crappy way to mount NVGs.

  • Jeff

    It doesn’t matter how poor the Tanzanian people are, as long as some politician can get a photo-op with soldiers who appear to be well-equipped. Money is no obstacle. You can always squeeze a little more out of the peasants.

    • Lawrence Gwakisa

      For your information , the arms that you see are partly funded by the UN.

  • PatrickHenry1789

    I wonder how long it’s going to be until we see those blue helmets on American soil.

  • fredmboma

    I don’t see the point of comparing the cost of the gun to economics of Tanzania. This is a UN Force, so the guns are paid for by UN.

  • Sweetbert

    Tanzanians are participating for disinterested per suit of peace for Congolese than egoistic economic gains! Humanity reigns!

  • DICK