FUTURE SOVIET PARTICIPATION IN LONG-RANGE INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT (ORE 14)

Created: 3/11/1947

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE GROUP

FUTURE SOVIET PARTICIPATION IN LONG-RANGE INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT

ORE 14

II MARCHm 22

FUTURE SOVIET PARTICIPATION IN LONG-RANGE INTERNATIONAL AiP TRANSPORT

'"UWAHY

Participation of the USSR in air transport operationsorld-wide nature Is being impeded at present by (aj^oviet

hUh prohlblt the franttnB of ^ing rights^fnin return for lhe u" of ^reign airequipment and lack of long-ran^

ikely that In the immediate future the USSR will

permit the scheduled landing of foreign aircraft within SovietOther concessions, however, may be offered to Westernm order to obtain technical and material assistance as wellaviation rights on international air routes.

n abouirs the USSR will be able to make abidlace among the international air carriers and may be expected to do so for reasons of national prestige and in order to obtain rapid Soviet-controlled communications with other parts of the world.

Factors Determining Soviet Air Policy.

The USSR probably desires totrong position in international air transport. Underlying this desire would be the following alms: To increase national prestige, to obtain control of rapid communications with other parts of the world as an aid to political penetration, and to extend Its foreign trade. Impediments to the realization of this objective are <a) the strict Soviet policy of guarding its political and military security against penetration by foreign commercial air interests: Ibt serious technicalin the Civil Air Fleet, which lacks modern long-range aircraft: and Ic) the imperative requirements of Internal reconstruction, which Include the developmentast domestic air network essential to the industrial and agricultural programs of the current Five-Year Plan. The USSR, however, is not Impelled to immediate participation ln world-wide international air transport by commercial incentives as urgent as those that are driving the Western Powers to protect their overseas interests.

The Intelligence agencies of the State and Navy Departments and of the Army Air Forces have concurred In this report. Comments by the Intell,gence Division or the War Department General Staff arelnereto.

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SSR gave notice as early4 that foreign airwould not be permitted to land on Soviet territory and that all air traffic over the USSR would be limited to Soviet aircraft. This policy of exclusion has been rigidly maintained since that lime. The USSR refused to participate in thc establishment of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization, and has taken no part in any multilateral conferences affecting air matters. In the post-war application of this air policy the USSR has denied all other countries the right of access to Soviet territory while demanding freedom of air movement for Soviet aircraft outside the USSR. This policy has been successfully Implemented only with the Soviet-dominated slates of Pin-land, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Albania.

The US and UK have consistently fostered opposition bynations to any form of air agreement with the USSR that Jeopardized the principle of reciprocity. Italy and Denmark have been approached by the USSR for the right to land Soviet commercial aircraft al Rome and Copenhagen but without reciprocal rights to land in the USSR. Both countries under strong pressure from the US and UK have refused such an arrangement and, together with Norway, have proposed an "exchange point" agreement similar to that between Sweden and the USSR, the "exchange point* planompromise type of agreementoviet-dominated country Is used by both parties for theof air iraffic while neither party nay overfly the territory of the other. This arrangement preserves both the principle ofand the basic Soviet policy of excluding Western commercialfrom the USSR. Soviet efforts lo obtain non-reciprocal airwith Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan, have been unsuccessful.

The latest instance or Soviet interest in commercial airinto Western Europe is afforded by discussions recentlywith France. No agreement has been reached, as the Sovietdoes nol contemplate granting landing rights to the French in the USSR. Also, the French Air Mission in Moscow has taker, the positionilateral agreementraffic exchangehird countryatter for agreement between the respective air lines rather than between governments.

It is most likely ihat the USSR, having failed to conclude non-reciprocal air agreements with Western Europe, will further Soviet air interests In this direction through control of airlines instates. This is already evidencedequest of the Soviet-controlled and operated Rumanian airline TARS for terminal landing rights at Parisrojected air route from Bucharest through Zurich. Soviet control of the Hungarian airline MAZOVLET and indirect control

of lhe Polish airline LOT, arford additional opportunities for Soviet penetration through agreements which even though strictly reciprocal will permit Soviet air crews free access into Western Europe whileterritory remains Inviolate.

Limitations of the Soviet Civil Air Fleet.

Marshal Astakhov, Director of the Civil Air Fleet, recently stated that the principal Soviet airlines are to be equipped for night flying and placedear-round operating basis. This statementby Implication the backwardness of Soviet civil aviation compared with that of other major air powers, and supports the evaluation of the US Military Attache in Moscow that the Soviet Union "is not prepared to compete in global aviation due to lack of suitable equipment and years of commercial aviation experience which other nations possess.'

The Civil Air Fleet has no advanced types of long-rangeand is restricted to shorthaul transport operations withs Theoviet version of the pre-war Americanuilt under Douglas license.* The Soviet lack of modem electronic equipment,for navigation and safely over extended air routes. Is adeficiency. Hardly less seriouselaying factor is lhefor prolonged training of ground personnel and air crews tothe present lack of experience In the practical use of such

Ability to Overcome Present Limitations.

Soviet civil aviation will overcome its present limitations and eventually attain standards comparable to those of the Western air powers. The rate of improvement, however, will be accelerated Inratio to the extent of foreign assistance obtained. During lhe war the USSR developed an aircraft manufacturing industry ofproportions and although reconversion to peace-time economy has greatly reduced production, the industry must be considered adequate for the requirements of civil aviation. International air transport operations, furthermore, may be carried onurprisingly swill number of aircraft. For example. Pan American World Airways, the largest commercial carrier,otal of onlyircraft for all its overseas services.

The lack of advanced types of long-ranee aircraft may be remedied by acquiring forolgn-bulIt aircraft or through development of new Soviet types. The US is the only country today Trom which the USSR con obtain long-range transport aircraft. This fact places the

Seeereto, snowing characteristics of Soviet transport aircraft and comparable US aircraft.

U? in ato lnsi8ta bilateral air agreement with the USSR including fully reciprocal landing rights as the price of such assistance.

Hew Soviet types Include the twin-enginehicharked improvement over thend Is now going into production. It Is essentially, however, an aircraft designed for lifting heavy cargoes over short distances- Another new typeour-engine transport, expected to be in quantity productionaid to resemble then appearance though its carrying capacity isto be somewhat less. While this aircraft will be superior to present Soviet types, it will not be comparable, either In range or capacity, to the aircraft which are now under development by theInternational air carriers. This new four-engine transport must be considered nevertheless as capable of initialing Sovietoperations in the International field, although not onterms with other carriers. Within two years this aircraft will be available in sufficient numbers for this purpose.

Harked Improvement in technical equipment and facilities for the Civil Air Fleet will be made through the acquisition ofoods from Sweden under theear trade treaty; (bi modern navigational aids and electronic devices from Germantaken as reparations; (cJ skilled services from German personnel resettled in Soviet territory; and (d) German scientists and research specialists willing to work In the Soviet aircraft industry. The flight training curriculum for personnel of the Civil Air Fleet was completely revised and modernized as early5 and now includes courses in instrument flying and night flying.

Entrance of liiifit in World Air Transport.

In about two years, when technical deficiencies have been overcome, thc USSR will probably attempt to initiate limitedorld-wide basis. The handicap of late arrival in this highly competitive field will not deter the Soviet service, which Is In reality an arm of the State and not under compulsion lo show profits.

In order to achieve complete coverage jr. world-wide airthe USSR must have landing rights in areas controlled by the US and UK. onsequence, if the US and UK continue to Insist on fullin any air agreements with the USSR, it is probable that the USSR, without relaxing the safeguards to its political and military security, will eventually modify Its present policy to the extent of granting rights to land nt points on the perimeter of Soviet territory."

See comment in Enclosure B.

COMPARISON OF US ANO SOVIFT TRANSPORT AIRCRAFI

of Aircraft

of Engines

of Passengers

of Crew

approx.

mi.

MPH"

ml.

KPH""

mi.

MPH

mi.

KPH

mi.

MPH

mi.

MPH

mi.

HPH

MPH

Performance and characteristics quoted are those of theeveloped during the war as?

Cruising speed* power).

COMMENTS BY THE INTELLIGENCE OlVISION. WAR DEPARTMENT GENERAL STAFF

It Is believed that in the foreseeable futureconsiderations of Soviet political policy, will continue lo regard the factor of internal security as more important than the introduction of International Civil Aviation to.eciprocal basis. Granted,. will beosition within two years to compete in the fieldernational civil aviation, but it is believed that Moscow will continue to prefer to operate through dummy companies and agreements with satellite countries.

Original document.

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