A Tanzanian special forces soldier (left) carries a Gilboa DBR Snake assault rifle during the 12 January parade. (Tanzanian Office of the President)
The Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF) became the first military known to have taken a double-barrel assault rifle into service, when one of its special forces units carried the Gilboa DBR Snake during a parade on 12 January to mark the anniversary of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution.
Television coverage of the parade appeared to show that every member of the approximately 50-strong unit was carrying the unusual weapon.
Made by the Israeli company Silver Shadow, the Gilboa DBR Snake effectively combines the operating mechanisms of two 5.56 mm AR-15-type rifles into one weapon that is loaded with two standard magazines coupled together. The brochure says the rifle weighs 5.15 kg without magazines.
In the military version, both sides fire when the single trigger is pulled, while civilian models sold in the United States have two triggers.
The TPDF makes extensive use of Israeli weapons, including the IWI Galil ACE and Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles.