DEPENDENCE OF THE SOVIET BLOC ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY UPON THE WEST

Created: 5/25/1950

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL UtTELL'/GBHCE AGENCY

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INTELLIGENCE MHIORAKDUH

SUBJECT: Dependence of the Soviet Bloc Electronics Industry upon tne West

TftiaWra exports to Soviet orbit countries of certain oloctronics items, production materials, and plant oquipEsnt, although not large In dollar value, penalt an expanding electronics production program in the Soviut bloc and are making an iaportmt contribution to tSoviet war potential* The electronics Industry in Soviet orbit countries is dependent upon BeatsrO sourcesumber of spocialiaed materials, coniporonts, asssmbled equipment, and plant equlpcent, and the projected expansion of the production of electronics items in Eastern Europe is partially dependent upon the delivery of certain critical nate rials and plant equipment from suppliers in Western nations, particularly the US, the UK, and the Existing Western export controls do not prevent export to Eastern Europe of most of those items of electronics materials and equipnsnt which Soviet bloc nanufacturers nsed and aro attempting to acquire*

lo Electronics Hanufacturlnfi in the Soviat Orbit.

All significant electronics manufacturing capability in Eastern Europa is in the USSR, Eastern Germany, Hungary, Cseeboalovefcia, andessor extent, Austria. Prior to and during (forld Bar II, the major part of Soviet facilities, technology, and end-products was obtained from the USoow point during the war, the USSR has inoreased. its capability to produce electronics materials byi onfiscating plant, engineering data, and skilled personnel from Germany andxploiting tha reorganized industries in Eastern Germany and the Satellites;oncentrating on developing production facilities and new techniques within the USSR*

Tha Soviet bloc electronics production capacity is still extremely small in comparison to US capacity- Using tho quantity of vacuum tubes manufacturedough index of electronics production capability, the capacity ot the Soviet bloc9 was less thanercent of US capacity. |

The Soviet bloc countries continue to rely upon Western sourcesumber of specialized oaterials, components, an3etabled equipment, and

note; This seaorandum has not been coordinated with the intelligence organisations of tho Departments of State, nrmy. Navy, andthe Air Forcoo

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plant equipment not yet being produced or not being produced In adequate quantities ir. tbe Soviet bloc* Furthermore, projected expansion ofof electronics items in Eastern Europe is partially dependent upon tha delivery of certain ol' these materials and plant equipment from suppliers in Western nations, particularly the OS, the UK, and the Netherlands. These countries have normallyarge share of Eastern European requirements for electronics items, particularlyspecialized materials, and plant equiprasnto Substantial orders are still being be received, Canada, West Go many, Japan, and Sire den are,esser extent, oanufaoturars of electronics equipment,

pfry; Important.TTqvlpTjinil Mm ^niilnf nl'Mfc,.

Categories of Soviet-Bloc Electronics Imports, li

Consumer Goods (radios and receiving tubes), Shipments oftubes, which have' military and industrial' aa well as consumer uses, have been considerable to the Soviet orbit, especially from the US where prices are relatively low. Probably because of foreign exchange limitations and lack of consumer purchasing power, trade in radios has not been significant.. Western nations have not considered radiosto development of the Soviet war potontialo

bi Assembled Squipraent and Coiaponont IteJi3o Soviet bloc interest hasin "a, limited list of asaeaibled equipment and ccciponanthe need to import such productsesult of current lack of production or of diversion in effort to other lines* This list includes:

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I) Electronic test equipment 2) Prototypes 3) High-voltage capacitors tt) Electrical meters $) Transmitting tubas 6) Receiving tubes

C. Specialized Parts or Materials. To support the needs of tbe expanding electronics' manufacturing industries in the Sovietumber of specialized parts or materials are imported from Eastern sources * The apparent reason is usually Inadequate existing fabricating capacity or serious technological difficulties* ratherhortage of basic raw material in the Soviet bloc. Among the items requested from Western sources for Soviet oroit electronics industries are the following:

Electrolytic copper wire bars and billets

Special nickel tubing and ingots, of types

required for vacuum tubes

raetal

ingots, rod and wire

Electrical capacitor thin paper

Zirconium compounds

Graphite anodes

insulation materials

tube emission coating materials

Technical Data and Spec jailed Production Equipment, Tha Soviet bloc is also attending to obtain:

Vacuum tubs and lamp manufacturing machinery

Ductile tungsten and molybdenum fabricating equipment

Technical assistance agreements

3'- PS Export Controls*

Of these eighteen product-lines which the Soviet bloc eleotronicsapparently need from Western sources, only four (electronic test equipment} colybdenurB natal; sirconium compounds; and vacuum tubemachinery) aro completely embargoed to Eastern European destinations by the DSa Five no re (transmitting tubes; electrolytic copper wire bars and billets; special nickel tubing and ingots, of types required for vacuum tubes; tungsten ingots, rod and wire; and ductile tungsten and molybdenum fabricating equipment) are controlled in part by quantitative (IB) restrictions on exports. Per tbe remaining nine, which make an Important contribution to tbe Soviet war potential- no adequate control is administered by theFurthermore, few of these signoeenare Known to be under export control by masters European countries.

Soviet Trade Channels for Procurement of Electronics Supplies*

The technical nature of many of the products listed limits tho nusber of possible trade channels. Recent intelligence information points to three principal channels for the movement of these materials po Eastern Europe:

purchases by the Satellites and tbe USSR in the OS, UK,

from .Testern countries via Austria to the Satellites,and Czechoslovakia*

Co_ Exports from fleetern European and Western German sources to consuEcrs and fabricators in the Soviet Zone of Gomany0

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Othar channels used, but apparently less frequently, includei

Through jobbers in Italy to Yugoslavia, the Satellites, and the USSR0hrough Jobbers and electrical manufacturers in Switzerland to Czechoslovakia*

jobbers in Sweden to the USSR, Poland, and scree

Barcelona, Spain, to Eastern

Recent Indications of Trade in and Expansion of Soviet Orbit Electronics Production.

Recent highlights In East-West trading activities in electronics supplies are outlined:

go_ An Italian firm purchased in theons of special capacitor paper (equalear's supplyarge manufacturer)oviet 9 Soviet inquiries for large quantities were directed to US sources through Sweden and Austria,.

bo Shortages of vacuum-tube heaters, cathodes and grid wire wereat East German, Austrian, und Czechoslovak factories. OSW-Berlinovict-dooinated electronics manufacture) was set up as principal supplier, obtaining tungsten, molybdenum, cathode nickel, and necessary chemicals from Yfeetern sources.

Definite quotations for special nickel tubing (onp year's supply) were requested in the US byieboldienna, probably for shipment to Eastern Europe*

d. Foundry for molybdenum and tungsten aetal fabrication was ordered by CSS'-Berlin. through Sweden and Poland.

e* Summary of Austrian-Hungarian trade agreement0 (electronics itemsji

Austria to supply Hungary0 of components, materials (molybdenum, tungsten, nickel tubing, meters, capacitors-most must coma from US, UK, and Netherlands sources).

Hungary to sell Austriaf finished products (tubes* lamps, radio parte).

Philips, Netherlands, agreed to provide the USSR withof electronic products, manufacturing equipment, endduring

UK shipped tungsten metal to Eastern0 in October

h.ajor electronics plant was started in Czechoslovakia9 with initial materials and plant equipment allegealy coming from Western European sources.

Frequent reports of materials tubes, capacitors, -sire and cable, in the UsSKo

6. Conclusions.

shortage9 were made for plants producing Eastern Qernany, Czechoslovakia, and

tha value of Western shipments of electronics items and production materials to Eastern European industries isarge part of total East-heat trade, certain production materials and electronic devicesubstantial contribution to the Soviet war potential. The major Eastern emphasis currently is in obtaining essential production materials and facilitiespecial nature. The smaller part of the trade is in assembled equipments. Shipments of tha materials noted above permit an expanding production pro-gran in the Soviet bloc, and existing TJestern export controls are not adequate In this field to prevent Soviet acquisition.

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BiTKLLKUICE AGENCY.

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TO llOtDfiRS OF DITEIXIGENCK MSJCRArlDlW:

Please mke the following correction on pagehe sentence9 beginning "The Netherlands,read:

Canada, West Germany, Japan, and Sweden are,esser extent, manufacturers of electronics equipment, the soviet orbit doee obtain considerable electronics supplies fron so,-ce cf these countries, particularly -Vest

Original document.

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