A Comparison of Soviet and US Defense^
A Research Paper
A Comparison of Soviet and US Defense
A Research Paper
This paper was prepared by|
| ' Office of Soviet Analysis, with
Comments and queries are welcome and mayto the Chief,
A Comparison of So.iet and US Defense
This Research Paper revises and updates CIA comparisons of Soviet and US defense activities. It also extends the period covered by Ihe comparisons toears to include trends since the. Like our earlierhis update uses physical measures such as the number of weapons procured as wellonetarydollar costs. Dollar valuations of Soviet defense activitiesommonto summarize the diverse activities that are associated with Soviet military programs and to portray the relative magnitudes of theseand general trend* in defense activities in terms that take account of both quantitative and qualitative differences.
Dollar valuations should not be used to measure actual Soviet defense spending, the impact of defense on the Soviet economy, or Soviet leaders' perceptions of defense activities. Valuations in rubles should be used for these purposes. Also, dollar valuations should not be used to compare military capabilities. Such assessments must take account of accumulated slocks of military weapons, equipment, and supplies; military doctrine and battle scenarios; the tactical proficiency, readiness, and morale of forces; the effectiveness of weapons; logistic factors; and many other
For the readers' convenience, dollar values of defense programs presented in this paper arc shown in graphs and tables as point estimates rather lhan as ranges. The reader should remember, however, that around each estimate is an implicit confidence band and that, in general, our certainty is greater for higher levels of aggregation. CH
1 For our mou recent publication, we DI Intelligence AMcnmcnlI0OM (Secret | omparison of Soviet and US Defense.
A Comparison of Soviet and US Defense
the, the Soviet Unione United Slates built up their military forces in ways that reflected fundamental differences in doctrine, strategy, and the relative costs of resources. Soviet procurement policy has traditionally put more emphasis on quantity, and less on quality, than that of the United States. The USSR procured more than four times as many intercontinental ballistic missileslmost twice as many submarine-launched ballistic missilesive times as many strategic bombers, three limesany helicopters.imes as many artillery weapons, nearly five times as many armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, more than ihrce times as many tanks, almost three times as many attack submarines, and about the same number of major surface combatants as the United States, f
the most part. Soviet weapons were less technologically complex than iheir US counterparts and lacked the same high-performance, multirolc capabilities. As the period progressed, the Soviets increased iheirof higher technology, higher performance weapon systems. Still, such weapons generally account formall share of current Soviet weapon holdings,! I
In comparison with the Soviet Union, the United Slates stressed quality rather lhan quantity in improving its national defense; it did not seek to match the Soviet Union in (he number of weapons procured. US policy focused on the acquisition of more advanced, and thus individually more cost'y. weapons to counter ihe Soviets" numerical superiority. I I
The two countries also followed different approaches to operating and maintaining their military forces. Soviet operating procedures have been designed to preserve equipment andigh level of equipment readiness. The Soviet forces typically have not used their equipment as much as US forces. The United States, in keeping with its emphasis onnit readiness, conducted more intensive and sophisticated training, wilh consequent heavier demands on its peacetime logistics andsystem.
Some sense of how these differences in the quantities and qualities of weapons procured and in the two countries' approaches to the operation and mainienanccof military forces affected the overall levels of their defense activities can be gained by comparine the estimated dollar value of the Soviet activities wilh US defense ou' jys. The dollar valuations of Soviet
activities attempt to measure theprevailing US prices, wages, anddevt!op. deploy, andilitary force of the same size and with the same weapons as the USSR's and to operate that force as the Soviets do. Although this measureseful way toacgrcEiiic and compare diverse defense activities and programs, it has importantDollar valuations do not measure actual Soviet defense spending, the impact of defense on the Soviet economy, the Soviet perception of defense activities, or the overall capabilities of US and Soviet military forces. They do. however,ommon denominatorrnr-awc 'he diverse activities that are associated with Soviet military programs and to portray thc relative magnitudes of these programs and general trends in defense activities in terms that take account of both quantitative and qualitative differences, jj |
The cumulativealue of Soviet defense activitiesasercent greater than that ofcomparablc US activities. The degree of difference, however, has been narrowinghen Soviet activities wereercent larger in dollar terms.7 the dollar value of Soviet activities was almost the same as US outlays. The closing ofthisdiffcrer.ee resulted mainly from differing trends in the growth of military investment:
ilitary investment outlays almost tripled in real termsnd have grown at an average or almostercent per year
While exceeding comparable US outlays during the firstf the lastears, estimated Soviet military investment measured in dollars leveled off in thefter dramatic increases in thend.owever, the estimated dollar value of Soviet military investment has grownear.
For the periodhole. Soviet investment costs exceeded comparable US outlays in each of the three majorgeneral purpose, and support. (| |
The dollar value of Soviet operatingpersonnel and operations and mainlcnanccaboutercent greater than US outlays. Because the Soviets maintained more men in uniform, the dollar value of military pay and allowances wasercent greater than comparable US outlays. In contrast. US outlaysere aboutercent greater than the dollar value of Sovietesult of the differences in equipment technology and usage levels noted above. I 1
Mcthodoloaics for Soviet and US Military Programs
Dollar Cost Comparisons
Comparisons of the Characteristics and Costs of Selected
Soviet and US Weapon Systems
This paper compares US and Soviet defense activities during ihe. using both physical and value measures. The physical measure* used include data on the quantity of weapons and equipment produced and delivered to military units, inventories of major weapon sis (cms. and levels of military manpower. Such measures arc useful in portraying the weapons mix and the relative sires of Ihe iwo opposing forces and their components. They cannot, however, be used to produce summary measures of diverse kinds of defense programs and military units such as tanks, tactical aircraft, and infantrynl%
To aggregate such diverse activities, some value mutt be assigned that captures the relative worth ofin terms of physical and operational characteristics, resource costs, or tome other quality. Because price*seful way to combine incommensurableand because trends in defense activities are often related to overall developments in an economy, wc have developed aggregate measures based on the costs of ihe resources devoted to various defense activities. These costs can be calculated it. any currency, but dollars are the frame of reference of US policymakers and force planners, who arc familiar withdefense dollar" can buy. fj^
The dollar valuations of Soviet defense activities used in thi* paper measure theprevailing US prices, wages, anddevelop, deploy, andilitary force of the samend with the same weapons as the USSR's and to operate that force as the Soviets do. Used in conjunction with US defense program data, dollar valuations of Soviet programs capture differences in the technicalof military hardware, the number and mix of weapons procured, manpower strengths, and theand training levels of the forces being compared. They can be useful in portraying the relativeof similar procrarm, general trends in defense
activities,very roughinamong those activities. (| "]
Dollar valuations, however, have the followinglimitations:
They do not measure actual Soviet defensethe impact of defense on the economy, or the Soviet perception of defense activities. Tho Soviets do nol spend dollars. Issues of defense burden are properly analyzed with estimates of defensein the Soviet domestic currency- -rubles (seeecause the price structures in the Soviet Union and the United Slates are substantiallySoviet costs in rubles are distributedamong the resource categories than they would be in US dollars. For example, Sovietinvestment in rubles accounts for about half of total costs, but measured in dollars it accounts for only about one-fourth. We do not address the question of whether the Soviets would choose to have the same military establishment if they had to pay dollar prices instead of ruble prices for their weapons and manpower. Presumably, if they were to make their decisions on this basis, they wouldifferent mixture of weapons and manpower.
Do/tar valuations areeasure of the overall military capabilities of US and Soviet forces.of capability must take into account (he accumulated slocks of military equipment andmilitary doctrine and battle scenarios; the tactical proficiency, readiness, and morale of forces; the effectiveness of weapons; logistic factors,ost of other considerations. Dollar valuations of defense activities do noteliable measure of these disparate factors,
'See also DI Reference AidirWitr MtU'wr*tfrmwti Dei.
laim on Notional Resources in the Soviet Union and the United Slates
In addition to comparing ihe size of US and Soviet defensewhich requires the use of ais also useful to compare the .'hares of Bros* national product IGNP) that the United Stairs anil the Soviet Union allocate lo defense. To do so reaulres thai each country's defenwand GNP he expressed in Us indigenousmonetary terms in which the national leader-skip would measure iis commitment of resources to defense. Q
After peaking during the Vietnam war. the share of GNP goingefense in the United Stalesercent in theerceni by the. US defense spendingin the, pushing the defense share of GNP loercenthe Soviets, on ihe other hand, allocated toairly steady share of GNP of aboutercent overR7 period f |
These estimates are basedefinition of defense that includes the following VS aetivitiei and their Soviet counterparts: national security programsby the Department of Defense, defense-related nuclear programs funded by the Department ofSelective Service activities, and the defense-related activities of the Coast Guard It does not include those activities that might be considered to be relatedroader concept cf national security, such at strategic resents, industrial surge capacity, civil defense, and military aid. Inclusion of such activitiesefinition of defense would resultigher burden for both countries. | |
In additionhc valuation of Soviet defense activities in dollars, we include instimates of US military outlays valued in rubles for comparison with Soviet ruble outlays. In principle, ruble comparisons provide aseasure of the resources dcvolcd to US and Soviet defense activities as dollar comparisons
do. It should be noted, however, that using the currency Of cither countryasis for comparison imposes on Ihe other an artificial choice on resource allocation. The difference in results is the consequence of differences in the relative prices of defense goods and services produced in ihc two
The estimates of the dollar value of Soviet defense activities presented in Ihis paper were deriveduilding-block methodology (seche values for these activities arc developed by identifying all the Soviet force* to be compared with those of ihc United Stales, including their support elements, and estimating their order of battle, equipmentand new equipment purchases. To theseestimates of physical resources, weollar costs | 1
Because the building-block approach is based on the individual components of (he Soviet defense effort, we can estimate the dollar value of defense program values by resourceoperating, and research, development, testing, and evaluationbygeneraland support missions. We arc not yet able to apportionosls by mission because we lack sufficiently detailed daiaV]
US data in this paper are expressed in terms of calendar-year outlays derived from the Five-Year Defense Program (FYMP) issued by the Department of Defense in6 and from the Budget of the United Stales Government. FiscalS. Defense-related activities of the Department ofthe Coast Guard, and the Selective Service have been added lo improve the comparison with Soviet programs. The outlays arc expressed in6 dollars so that trends in the value estimates reflect real changes in military forces and activities and not Ihc cfTccis of inflation. US ordcr-of-battle data were also derived from the FYDP: US production data
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Trends and Comparisons Weapons Acquisition
he Soviet Union acquired greater quantities of weapon* than the United States in every category except ships. The USSR procured more than four times as many intercomincntal ballistic missiles iICUMii. turo times as many submarine-launched ballistic missileshree limes asimes as many artillery weapons. Ave times as many armored personnel carriers |APCs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVsl. more than three times as many tanks, and almost three times as many attack submarines. The Soviets acquired aboutmc number of major surfaces did the United States (see- j
jtt uVnncd i% eiunfeui-earuWtf
Difference* in Weapons Acquisition Policies. The large acquisition of weapons by the Soviet Union during this period reflects its slrong commitment to modernizing its armed forces and maintaining the Quantitative advantage it has historically enjoyed over the United Slates in the area of conventionalIndeed,7 the Soviets hud substantially more arms in most major categories than the United Slates, particularly in land arms (see table It.
In general, the large Soviet weapons acquisitions consisted of systems that, while improving forceand potential effectiveness, were less icchno-logiolls complex than their cfoscu US counterparts'
i. .rf fxiil CS and Snarl ew-arch Paper SOY rIT.imiT?umfv'u-ini/Mitfi* Part unVSAlhIJtVvilv nfio.
Selected Soviet Weapon*S7
thai, if produced in the United States, would have been less costly per unit. The USSR has also placed less emphasis than the United States on pushing the state of the art in designing its weapons. Many Soviet weapon systems were developed through andesign process, drawing on older weapon designs. US weapons, in contrast, are generally designed from scratch, and,esult, are more technologically advanced and more cosily.) |
As the period progressed, in an effort to narrow the US lead in weapons technology, the Soviets increased their emphasis on more advanced systems such as0 tank and thendighter aircraft. They also began lo outfit theirih more advanced and sophisticated weapons. These advanced systems, however, generally representmall share of Soviet weapons inventories (secor example, only aboutercent of the Soviet inventory of tactical combat aircraft andercent the inventory of artillery consisted of these newer systems. There arc exceptions to this general rule; for example.ercent of the SV.vict tank inventory7 was modern, j
During the period 'he Soviets also buill up slockpilcs of ground and air supplies in Central Europe.one at the same time thai supplies in the Far East Military District svere increased to keep pace wilh the growth of Soviet conventional forces opposite China. These improvement* would allow the Soviets lo replenish successive front operations without pause and would permit rapid early reinforcement with forces moving from the western USSR. In addition, the Soviets have recentlyetermined effort to improve iheir nuclear logistic posture opposite NATO, which has increased force readiness and reduced warning time] |
The United States, in keeping with its geographical position, super'or technology, and greater emphasis oneterrence,ifferent weaponsstrategy than the USSR. In general, the United States procured smaller numbers ofweapons than the USSR and focused on the acquisition of more advanced weapon systems to counter the Soviets' quantitative advantage. Inthe United Stales devoted an increasing share of its procurement outlays to improving both the combat readiness and sustainabilily of its forces by increasing war reserve stockpiles of munitions and spare parts.
Differences in Weapons Acquisition Programs. The broad differences between Soviet and US weapons acquisition strategies were also reflected inin the mix and number of specific weapons procured (sec tablej
Strategic Forces. To improve the capabilities and enhance Ihe survivability of their strategic offensiveballisticSoviets over Iheears have:
Sharply increased the number of nuclear weapons available for strategic3 tonreplacing many older, singlc-warhcod missiles wilh MIRVcd system* The majority of deliverableweapons arc deployed onndCBMs.
Improved the accuracy of their weapons, inICBMs. The most accurate Soviet strategic missile, theircular error probablel aboull-
Seleclcd Soiiei ind IS I'rocurcmtnl of Major
. SS-IB. andonith-tcneraiRin ICBM* and about I'0CBMive Typliooi and lour Dclta-IV nuclear ballntie mnnlc tubovirinct;Iostl,Jt.allof*liic'MIRVt,of the Ben IImire naiuOe carublni. more than TOOBBMs andbe-ssber* for peripheral attach, more0 SAM> for urateiK defense,
About UO ICBMi, incbdmtSO retrefuted Mmtiicman IIIlimotSIBMi. includinj iheiM Ohiorlnss ballistic mmtleombers, more lhanI IRBM*
aeiical jlrcrali.ndU-IT fitters, andaie-tnodel aircraft suthanker. MIGOI Fochound. andulcrum
ajor surface ceanbaianti. ourItmatcrt. ltdrsaro*<Ts.anel
actical combat aircraft,nt. and more lhanO* for the Air Force and cncr.Hs lor the Nav*.
III Bator wrf.eewMif lour reran> II deurcneis. andn
ile* elancol kimi submarine*
anks," bvi iflclwdintOi; moderntration
More0 unks.l Abrams mods-is.O models, mod-erniiailonS0 models
elicopters, mostlyips andinds, bui includiniea'vlill helicopter* introduced In ihe early
MorelackodemtiedIM auacknd over ifOttack helicopters
armored fKlevTRMtand II.JO0BMP.2kiot BMP-li -Jh imcec-cd ATOM*
v-edinclodmeIM Bradley mfaaerye*
< Ifieces, mufcipte rocket launchers, and heavy me*-
i rller. are tclfr tut'of-fee*
urface contbaisnii include all com bat-capable shins ofons displacement Sincehe USSR hit acquired 4ti >liip*0 ions, all thlpi procured by Unlied Slate?on.
refurbishing existing forces.inuleman III ICBMs were retrofitted withguidance systems and higher yield Mark
Iarheads, existing Minuleman lilot wereThe United Siaies ako modernized its bomber force by retrofitting* to carry ALCMs and begun looulfil alls as ALCM carriers. | )
Theater Air Forces. In the early to, the Sovietsarge effort to rcequip their air forces with new. more advanced, and more capable aircraft.fort continues, and the advanced technology of the new generation of Soviet fighter aircraft makes these forces far more capable than in the post. These new aircraft include.
Theoxhoundstrategic air defense fighter capable of tracking and engaging low-altitude bombers, cruise missiles, and other low-flying targets It can engage four targets simultaneously
Theulcrum fighter, which will replace theogger as the backbone of Soviet tactical air forces. This twin-engine aircraft carries pulsc-Dopplcr radar and compatible missiles andrue lookdown/shootdown capability.
Thelanker fighter, which, like thecarries pulse-Dopplcr radar,ookdown/ showdown capability, and is armed with Ihe AA-10
missile. | |
The procurement of thendlog-ger.itter, and iheishbed. however, was more representative of the period.these aircraft have advanced avionics, and better range and payload capabilities than thegeneration of Soviet combat aircraft, they arc technologically and operationally inferior to NATO aircraft such as |
The Soviets have stressed the importance of combat helicopters to counter the potential threat of NATO's antilank weapons and provide increased mobility for
troop movement. Sincehey have relied increasingly on helicopters for ground attack and support operations, und ihcy continue to emphasize thesewitnessed in Afghanistan. They have also been developing liellcoplcr air-to-air combat capabilities. Production of theind multirolc attack helicopter and thealo heavy-lift helicopter has increased the sire of Soviet helicopter forces. Two new attackHavoc and thewill supplement the Hind. The Havoc willrimary ground attack mission while the Hokum will probably have air-to-air combat as Its primary mission
The United States regards tactical combat aircraftlexible and responsive element of its generalthat can be equipped toariety of military operations al land and sea.he United States sought to build on its qualitative advantage over the USSR in tactical aircraft by continuingeplace older aircraft in the active and reserve forces wilh newer models;capabilities on the proven, newer aircraft: and pursuing the development of new aircraftmore advanced technologies.! |
Key US aircraft programs include
ntruder, in production since Ihe.s an all-weather strike aircraft capable of operatingarrier. Its primary mission is deep interdiction of both Itnd and sea targets. Repeated upgrades will prolong the life ofn its ro'e in the all-weather attack force.
5 Eagle, in productionhe initial variant was an atr-superiority aircraft. Theariantual-role aircraft designed primarily for ground attack but retaining capability for air-superiority missions. It has night and all-weather capabilities and enhanced avionics and serviceability.
4 Tomcat, in produclion4 isavy all-weather air-superiority fighter designed fur flcci defense It it armed with long-range Phoenix missiles for carrier-group defense and shoricr range Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles for close-in engagements It is currentlyircraft in naval reserve uniis.
Thearrier, in productionhis vertical/short takeoff and landingircraft is designed to provide close air support and is capable of opcrjting from unprepared airfields near the battle area or from aircraft carriers.(Harrier III AV-JB aircraft will replace the olderM in Marine Corps air uings
6 Falcon, in productionhis Air Force multirolc fighter is gradually replacingircraft throughout the active and reserve forces.
8 Hornet, in production8ual-mission fighlcr/nltackth demonstrated high performance and reliability. As the backbone of the US naval air modernization cfTort. it is replacingn US Navy and Marine Corps units. | |
The United Stales relics on helicopters in Army aviation units to support battlefield operations by providing responsive lift and mobile direct-fireMajor US helicopter programsncluded:
The AH-lS Cobra, in produclion5 to the. The AIMSight amiarmor capability and is equipped with rockets, guns, and TOW missile.
Thelack Hawk, in produclionheombat assault-transport helicopter designed to increase ihe effectiveness of Army air assault and combat support operations. It can be equipped with guns, missiles, and rockets.
Thepache, in productionheas an improved anliarmor capability and is equipped withissiles, including the Stinger to provide countcrair capability.
Naval Forces. The Soviet general purpose submarine construction program rcflccis Moscow's intention to close the technological gap between Soviet andsubmarines. The Soviets are currently producing three new classes of general purposeSierra- and Akula-class nuclear-powered attack(SSNs) and the Oscar-class nuclear-powered cruise missile attack submarinesof which incorporate substantial advances in sound-quieting and war-fighting capability. In addition, the Victor-Ill, an extensive modification of the earlier Victor designs, became operationalndnits were produced. The Victor-Ill is significantly quieter than ils forerunners andthe besi Soviet communications andacoustic antisubmarine warfare (ASW) systems. Diesel-powered submarines, constituting aboutercent of the force, remain an important clement of the Soviet genera) purpose submarine program
he Soviets also vigorously continued the expansion of their surface ship fleet. They have introduced two classes of largeandwell as the Slava-classandton Kirov-class nuclccr-powercd cruiser. The Slava class carries iheurface-to-air missile (SAM) system and ihe Kirov class carries thendystems. The Soviets also acquired four Kiev-class aircraft carriersTOL aircraft andmajor advance in iheir surface fleet. These carriers have an early warning radar lhat uses advanced signal-processing and data-handling techniques to detect and truck multiple targets. The Soviets also began construction inlass of carrier lhat will probably be capable of handling conventional-takeoff jet aircraft. The first or ihese ships, the Leonid Brezhnev, is fitting out. with about one more yearof work remaining, and the second is under conslruction.l-
The US Nuvy made significant strides in modernizing its submarine forcesy achieving operational advantages in low noise generation and superior acoustic tracking capabilities. It producedos Angles-class nuclear-powered attackeach of which can fireoomahawk cruise missiles as well as torpedoes
The US Navy also strengthened its surface fleet considerably.tajor surface combatants, including four Virginia-classcruisers, nine Ticondcroga-class Aegis cruisers, four Kidd-class andpruance-elassanderry-etas* frigates. The Navy abo procured four Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and recommissioned three modernized Iowa-class battleships. These battleships each carryinch guns.omahawk andarpoon missiles, and four Phalanx close-in weapon systems andop speed ofnots. | |
Ground Forces.. the Soviet Ground Forces, ihe largest element of the general purpose forces, increased the number of maneuver divisionsnd expanded ihe divisional table of organization and equipment. The Soviets also created two unified army corps made up of brigades wiih combined-arms battalions. In addition, Soviethave been reorganized and enlarged to better integrate armored, infantry, and artillery forces. The goal of this activity has been primarily to provide Soviet commanders with the means to counterNATO antiarmor capabilities,
The USSR has long believed that tanks are the most important weapon systems in ihe ground forcesihey give (hese forces the firepower andneeded to conduci high-tempo offensiveFrom theo the. the USSR fielded several new tank models and variants of0 In the, another tank, referred io as ihe FST (Future Sovietntered production. The new tanks have belter armor protect ion. better firepower, and greater cross-couniryspeed thannd
The Soviet Union also expanded the size andthe capability of its artillery forces3
Soviet goals were to increase tbe density, accuracy, and range of fire and to improve survivability and mobility, particularly for the artillery components of tank and motorized rifle divisions.They increased the use of self-propelled2m.m) with armor protection.
Equipment holdings in artillery battalions at the army and front levels were expanded fromoeapons. Artillery baltalions were formed in the maneuver regiments of most divisions; artillerywere established in some armies; and the number of artillery divisions and heavy artillery brigades at the front level was increased.
Improved conventional munitions and upgrades in target acquisition and fire control have given thear more lethal fire-support capability. New munitions include nuclear projectiles for
m cannon systems andmm artillery that were iniroduced
multiple rocket launcher was iniroduced in artillery divisions to supplementartillery and strike targets beyond cannon range,ere deployed j j
The USSR also increased the number of tracked IFVs and the capabilities of its wheeled APCs:
use of tracked IFVs increased in the. Motorized rifle divisions in the Western Theater of Military Operations (TMO) began convertingtructure consisting of two motorized rifle regiments with tracked IFVs and one regiment with wheeled APCs. Formerly only oneegiments had IFVs. Some motorized rifle divisions in the groups of forces in Central Europe and in the western military districts are being equippedwith tracked IFVs.
The Soviets produced three types ol* wheeled APCs duringariant, thend. beginning. thehe BTR-W)ingle diesel engine (instead of thes two gasolineetter nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) protection,eavy machine-gun with improved antiaircraft capability.
In addition to various command vehicles, the USSR pioduccd three types of tracked IFVs. The BMD airborne/air-assault vehicle has an armamentsimilar to that of theheniroduceds an improved version of the HM p. I.mm automaticewer antitank missile. Q
The United Stales strengthened its ground forcesith the introductionew tank, an armored fightingarget-acquisitionantitank missiles, and laser-guided munitions, providing an improved capability to engage Soviet forces. To respond quickly to worldwide cmergcnc.es. ihe United States developed light infantry forces that can be deployed rapidly to face forces less capable than those of the Warsaw Pact0 the United Stales began tieldingank, and5 it introduced an improved model,. which incorporates better armorm0 tanks continued to be produced and fielded with active units and used for modermralion of the Army Reserve and National Guard. Armored forces were modernized withradley
The US ground forces acquired increased capabilities to detect enemy formations and lo mass large volumes of accurate and effective firepower against Ihcm:
Automated fire-control systems linked lo target-acquisition radars were introduced.
Increased numbers of multiple-launch rocketwere fielded ino supplementartillery fire or to strike targets beyond cannon range.
conventionalm scat ten-ble mines,m laser-guided Copperhead artillery projectiles were fielded.
Rtadiatsi Slraiegy. In addition to following different approaches to weapons acquisition, the Soviet Union and the United States have different policies for preparing their forces for war. The Soviet Union believes that the better preserved its equipment, the readier it is ror combat; thus. Soviet forces generally have lower operating levels than US forces. In its Ground Forces, for example,mall share of equipment is used for training; most equipment is kept in storage. Soviet forces do not use their combat aircraft and vehicles as much as US forces use theirs, or conduct nearly as many live-fire exercises. |
The US military believes that the more practiced its people are in the use of their equipment, the readier Ihey are for combat. In comparison with Soviet military training. US training tends to be more sophisticated, involving more realistic and complex combat scenarios.[
oviet military manpower wasillionthat of the United States Soviet manpower rose every yearsec figurehe Soviets addeden to their forces over the period, with most of thein the land forces (seen contrast. US manpower levels declined byainly because of post-Vietnam-war retrenchment and conversion to an all-volunteer force.S manpower levels rose byen. Most of the increase occurred in the general purposeission0 |
The comparison of manpower levels in table 3several differences in Soviet and US missions and force structures:
Soviet strategic offensive manpower is three times as large as that of the United States, primarily because the Sovietsarge peripheral strategic strike force for which the United States
no equivalent. In addition, the Sovietattack forcearge force of liquid-propcllant ballistic missiles, which requiremore manpower to operate than the solid-propellant missiles thai make up the US force.
The Sovietsarge force of men io strategic defense because of their concern about Ihe threat posed by US bombers and the USSR's proximity to potential war theaters in Europe and the Far East. The United States hasmall fore dedicated to the strategic defense mission. When Ihe Soviet and US ballistic missile buildup began in, ihe United Slates decided against investing in what would beartial defense.
Soviet manpower levels for general purpose forces are almost twice as large ai those of the United States. The Soviet land forces, which arc about three times as large as their US counterparts.
account for this difference. The disparity inreflects Moscow's decision to maintainoppositehe East and NATO in
Trends In (he Dollar Value of Total Defense Actisilies
Because the Soviets maintained larger military forces than Ihe United States and procured large numbers of weapons and support systems, tbe estimateddollar coal of Soviet defense activities exceeded comparable US outlays byercent during the.owever, the margin of difference has narrowed:6 the dollar value of Soviet defense activities was aboutercent greater
Growth in ihc dollar value of Soviei defense activities avcrafcdear duringAmoof the major resource categories.as the primary source of growth, although (he dollar value of operating activities also increased because of increasing weapons inventories and the introduction of more advanced weapons and equipment into the Soviet Armed Forces. The dollar value of Soviet military investment was fairly level over the period but began to increasemong the major military missions, the dollar costs of general purpose forces and support activities grew at an average annual rateercent. The dollar costs of Soviet strategic programsycticapattern, largely determined by missile procurement
US defense outlays, after peaking during the Vietnam war, decreased6 and then grew at an average annual rateercenthe most rapid growth occurred0 because of large increases inear onoperating costs for all the major missions, j
of Investment Trends
Investment activities comprise two categories:
acquisition of weapon systems and support equipment including major spare parts.
building of military facilities.
but7 was about the same as US defense outlays (secresents ourof the dollar value of Soviet defense activities compared with US defense outlays!^
hc estimated cumulative dollar value of Soviet military investment was almostercent greater than US investment outlays (seehe dollar value of Soviet military procurement exceeded comparable US procurement by almostercent, and ihe value of Soviet military construction was nearly three times that of US construction outlays Over time, however, the relationship between the estimated dollar value of Soviet military investment and US military investment outlays changed sharply. Al Ihc beginning of the period, ihc dollar value of
procurement and construction in the Soviet Union and the United States (sec appendix. Soviet procurement, measured in US dollar terms, remained stable atillion annually, but then bef-an increasing so thai7 procurement hadillion. Soviet military construction measured in dollar terms experienced almost no growl |
US investment in military programs, by contrast, declined during the first pari oferiod and then increased on average nearlyercent per yearhe rise in US inveslmeni reflected an across-Ihe-board modernization of mililary forces that emphasized Ihe procurement of technologically sophisticated weapons ll alsoecision in theo improve the combat readiness and susiainability of US forces by building up war reserve slocks of ammunition and major spare paris.|
Although the cumulative dollar value of Soviet pro-curcmeni was aboutercent greater lhanUS outlays during the, the USSR, as already nntcd. produced subslantially morethan the United States in almost every major category. This apparent paradox is explained by the differences in (he quality and the mix of weapons that the two countries bought, as well as industrial factors alTeciing production of weapon systems, j'
Soviet equipment is generally less technologically and operationally advanced than comparable US weapons and thereforemaller dollar value. For instance, the majority of Soviet tactical combatre single-mission aircraft that lack many of the capabilities of US combai aircraft, such as the ability to conduct lookdown/ihootdown operations against mulliplc targets. In an effortarrow the US technological lead, the Soviets are now producing aircraft ihai incorporate many of theof advanced US models, including pulsc-Doppter radars and turbofan engines, and are using composite materials in airframes. Our estimates of the dollar values of ihc.se more complex sysicms arc approaching
Ihe cosis of their US counterparts. These moreweapons, however, generally made upmall percentage of ihe current Soviet inventory |
Another reason for Ihe apparent "procurementis that, sincehe United Stales has been investing heavily in procurement categoriesthan new weapons. Comparisons of production of major weapons do not capture the value of product improvement programs undertaken by ihe United States such as retrofitting older aircraft wilhavionics and weapon systems. Although such improvement programs are costly and canimprove the operational capabilities of the aircraft, they are not counted as newly acquired sysicms. In contrast, the Soviets generally have not retrofitted older aircraft with new equipment but rather have chosen to begin series produclionodifiedwhich is counted as new scries production. In addition, (he United Stales hasajor effort to improve the combai readiness and susiainability of its taclical forces by significantly increasing its war reserve stocks of munitions and major spare pans.
US companies engaged in the produclion of weapons and supporting subsystems have found thai the cost ofroduct may be systematicallyover time becausehenomenon known as "product specific-learning "Asa product continues lo be manufactured in the same facility, the managers and workers of ihe facility become more proficient in its production and often find cheaper ways io produce the product. This learning is achievedide variety of mechanisms such as better organization of the assembly process, belter handling or supplies, and minor design changes lo speed assembly. Thus, even if Ihe prices of material and labor inputs arc held constant, fewer inpuls arc required as learning takes place. The degree of cost rcduclion experiencedroduction tun continue* Islearning curve."
o o no wo joe son roo o coaoo mo too oow eoo
Soviet approach to weapons acquisition, whichby long production runs andto weapon systems that disruplgreatly from producl-specific learning.however, has some drawbacks. Byproduction rates, the Soviets may delay theof new weapon technologies that result in
The high level and slow growth in Soviet military investment3 were apparent in each of the three major militarygeneraland support (seeovietineach of these missions grew more rapidly because of the need to bothdapidly expandingestablishment.2 the sire of most
military forces stabilized, and investment growth in each of the major missions slowed. Even so.remained at high levels as the USSR continued lo modernize its weapons inventories with the addition of newer, more capable systems.
US investment in the three major military missionsifferent pattern, with outlays declining through thend then beginning to increase sharplyS investment in general purpose and support forces declined after the VietnamThe downturn in US investment in strategic program* reflected the completion of the Pofarn SSBN andCDM programs. Since the, however, the Unilcd States has invested heavily in each mission in an effort to both modernize its foiccs and rebuild its stockpiles of war reserve |
This mission includes all nuclear weapons and forces assigned to intercontinental attack, strategic defense, and strategic control and surveillance. It also includes Soviet forces for peripheral attack, for which there arc no US counterparts.
he estimated dollar value of Soviet investment in sfategic forces'excluding RDT&E) was5 billion, exceeding corresponding US outlays by aboutercent. Soviet militaryin strategic forces measured in dollars, however, increased lessercent per year on average, while US strategic investment outlays increased at an averageear.3 the dollar value of Soviet strategic investment was more than twice as large as comparable US outlays, but7 the two were about equal, ij |
The estimated dollar cost of Soviet investment in intercontinental auack farttsSLBMs. SSBNs. and heavycomparable US outlays by mare thanercent. During the period,umber of Soviet modernization programs that had been started before theound down and the pace of follow-on programs was slow. The United Stales, on ihe other hand, initialed several programs that resulted in a
significant rise in investment outlays (sec figure 7j.esult, these oullays, which had been much lower lhan the estimated dollar cost of Soviet invcslmcnlxceeded the dollar value of Soviet investment by almostercent
The decline in the estimated dollar costs of Soviet investment reflects the completion of thendCBM modernization programslowdown in SSBNrom five7 lo fewer than two per year in thend.
US outlays grew on averagecrceni per year. Growth during the middle part of the period wasesult of the ALCM and Trident SLBM programs.0 outlays grew because ofB bomber and Peacekeeper ICBM
Wc estimate thaihe cumulative dollar cosl of Soviet strategic investment forattack forces wasillion. These forces, which we believe arc primarily dedicated to strategic targets along the periphery of the Soviet Union, mainly in Western Europe and China, include thentermediate-range ballastic missilehe Backfire medium bomber, and aboutercent of the Fencer light bomber force. The Unilcd Stales has no direct counterpart to this mission, although certain US missiles, tactical aircraft, and submarines could perform similar functions. | |
, ihe cumulative dollar value of Soviet investment in strategic defenseaircraft, strategic SAMs. ballistic missile defense, and warning and controlmoreillion This total represents one-fourth of thecumulative dollar value of Soviet strategicIn contrast. US investment outlays for strategic defenses over the same period were less thanillion, orercent of total strategic
It re I
disparity in levels of investmenl activity reflects significant difTcrcns.es in tbe two countries' approach-es to strategic weapons. Since ibe, US strategic doctrine has emphasized the use of offensive forces to deter an enemy attack rather than (he deployment of defensive forces aimed at limiting the damage from an enemy strike. Moreover, afterin2 antiballistic-missile (ABM) treaty nol toationwide defense against the relatively
large Soviet ICBM and SLBM threats, ihe United Slates decided not to modernize its air defenses against Ihe somewhat limited Soviet heavy bomber threat. In contrast, the Soviets historically havemore balance between offensive and defensive forces. Although the Soviets also agreed not toationwide ABM system, they have continued to
commit substantial resources to the modernization of their defenses against bombers.mphasis was influenced by llic threats posed by the US strategic bomberforce much larger than its Soviet counterpart -and by the threat from potentiallyaircraft in the European and Pacific theaters and in China. In ^ddilion. the Soviets have continued toheir ABM defenses around Moscowtreaty limits | J
Central Purpose Forces
This mission includes at) land, tactical air, general purpose naval, and mobility (airlift and scalifl) forces., the cumulative dollar value of Soviet investment in general purpose forces was0 percent more than comparable US outlays The margin was considerably larger. when the dollar value of Soviet investment was more than one and one-half times US outlays. Overycar period, Soviet investment in generalforces measured in US dollars grew atear, as the USSR continued to modernize and expand its forces along the Sino-Sovict border and opposite NATO. Meanwhile. USercent perreflection of growth in all categories of general purpose forces, particularly in land arms and tactical air forces (sec figurehus,S investment in general purpose forces surpassed our estimates for the USSR. and.S outlays were almostercent greater than the dollar value of Soviet investment, f *|
he cumulative dollar value of Soviet investment in landfor ground forces combat divisions, ground attack helicopters, and certain elements of the Bordertwice the US investment outlays for land forces. Estimated Soviet investment in this category was more than four times US investment outlaysut the margin of difference declined nearlynd7 it was about
Soviet cumulative investment costs, measured inwere larger than US investment outlays mainly because the Soviets coniinued to expand andland forces thai in theere already
significantly larger than those of Ihc United Stales. During the last decade, (he USSR increased the size of ils ground forces byaneuver divisions,two other divisions for two new army corps, and increased equipment holdings in each of its combat divisions.6 ihc USSR hadercent moreercentCs and IFVs. andercent more artillery pieces than it had at the start of the period. Al the same time, the Soviets replaced large quantities of older equipment with newer, more capable systems.or example, almostercent of ihc Soviet lank force consisted of0 models compared with less thanercenihis modernizationteady pace and, when measured in dollars, required an average growth in investment costs oferceni per ycar.| "]
US investment outlays for land forces climbedthroughout the period, averaging aboutercent per year.S outlays for land forces were nearly five times as high as at the start of the period. The United Slates, however, did notincrease the size of its land forces or produce as much new equipment as the USSR The United States procured over the period, for example, only aboutercent as many tanks as the Soviet Union. The United States, however, procuredasank andwere more costly per unit than their closest Soviet counterparts (seehe United Stales alsooncerted effort in theo improve both the combat effectiveness and sustainabiliiy of its land forces by acccleraiing ils purchases of ommunition and major spare parts. [ 1
Both countries added sophisticated new fighterto the inventories of their tactical air forces Oand- and sea-based fiicd-wing aircraft that are usedactical role, as well as multipurpose aircraft carriers). US cumulative investment costs were aboul twice as high as estimated Soviet investment measured in dollars, even though the
So>iv( and IS Investment in General Purpose
1 I 1
procured almostercent more aircraft over the period. Moreover, the disparity widened;S investment outlays for tactical aircraft were more than two and one-half times our estimate Tor Soviet out lays. I )
In part, the higher US figures reflect the costs associated with the construction of three Nimiu-class
carriers and efTorts to increase stockpiles ofand major spare pans during the last decade. The disparity in investment cosis. however, resultedfrom the US purchase of aircraft, such as5 and. thai are more sophisticated and considerably more expensive than comparable Soviet aircraft (see appendix Dll I
meni in tactical aircraft during thefollowed an erratic but downward trend as the Floggcr and Fitter production program* ncarcdIn the, tbe Soviets began series prodiKtion ofewRanker and the Fulcrum- which wc believe have capabilitiesihusc of current US fighters. Production of these aircraft, however, has proceededlower pace than past aircraft programs Wc believe lhat production has actually been below the level the Sosicts intended, perhapsesult of manufacturing dillicullies Partly because of these factors,7 the dollar value of Soviel investment in tactical aviation was aboutercent greater lhan it had been at the siari of the period. | |
he estimated cumulative dollar value of Soviet investment in general purpose navals more lhanercent larger than comparable US outlays. The difference in costs reflects themodcrnizat'on and expansion accomplished by thever the2 major surface(shipsisplacementorn) andubmarines were built, f
The difference in investment was greatesthen the dollar value of annualwas about twice as high ashe disparity narrowedinvestment in the US Navy grew ai an annualnearlyercent. This spending growthacceleration in the pace of ship andto achieve the goalhip. On ihe other hand, the growthnaval investment, measured in dollars,during thehan at ihecriou.esult. US outlaysestimates for the USSR by about IS percent
Overeriod cumulative Sovietin mobility forces (airlift and sealifl activities and military porteasured in dollar*.
' liKfudV>iixl mm* .urfjsr (wtttuuaK Jlml,.ir.Mfl jnduuphibti'v* -jrfjit0 iwviti jusilbiictilirnil)
was more thanercent higher than comparable US investment outlays. The Soviet costs reflect theof the transport fleet with the newandid mcdium-rsnge aircraft Most US iransport aircraft were procurednd investment was directed toward the modification of existing aircraft, primarilyA jet iransporis.
The support mission inJades those activities thai are required to support US and Soviet combai forces. Because of the diverse nature of each country's support establishment, ihe dollar value is auseful way lo compare these activities in ihe aggregate. Some of the major elements of this mission arc:
operation and maintenance of all military installations.
Training conducted ai other than the unit level, primarily recruil or conscript, ofliccr, and skills training.
Administrative activities, including those oflocated command personnel: recruitment,and personnel management services: and the administrative costs of US participation in NATO and the USSR's administration of thePaci alliance.
Many other support services, such as satellitehospitals and medical clinics, data-processing support, security, investigative andactivities, and the maintenance of emergency command posts
In addition, ihe defense-tela ted activities of ihe US Coast Guard and ihe ad mi nisi rat ion of Soviel KGB borderrc included.'
ie periodhole, estimated Sovietin support forces measured in dollars was almost
erceni greater than comparable US outlays. The Soviet margin reflects, in large part, the cost ofuch larger military establishment.
Comparison of Operating Activities
Operating activities are divided into two categories:
operation and maintenance of military equipment and facilities and the services provided by civilian personnel.
goods and services provided toand reserve military personnel, including pay, food, clothing, travel, retirement, and other
The dollar value of Soviet operating activities was aboutercent greater than US outlays for such activities during the period (seeoth the dollar value of Soviet activities and comparable US outlays increased over the period, primarily because of the maintenance required by increasingly large numbers of more complex weapons.0 the trends in Soviet operating activities in dollar terms increased aboul two percent per year, while US activities declined slightly.owever, the groivih in US operating expenditures accelerated to an average raleercent per year, while Soviet dollar operating cosls showed continued steady growth at aboul the average rate of the previous five
Operations and Maintenance
IS outlays for operations and maintenance)xceeded the estimated dollar value ofctivities by aboulercent, even though the weapons inventories of most US force components were smaller than iheir Soviet(sec. This is mainly because the United Slates emphasizes high levels of operational training andore technologically complex inventory of weapons to maintain. (
9 Soviet ai
The dollar valuef Soviet strategic forces grewercent per year duringperiod of considerable force modernization. Although the newer systems arc more technologically sophisticated than Ihe ones they replaced, in some cases they are not as difficult to operate and mainiain. For example, theolid-fueled IRBM is considerably easier to operate and maintain thun the older, liquid-fueledndissiles.|
The estimated dollar cosls of Soviet general purposerew steadily over the periodear. In each component of these forces.
inventories were expanded and more advancedwas introduced:
rise in the dollar value of Soviet landercent annually on average-was the result of an increase in most major land arms, particularly tanks and armored vehicles. The technological sophistication of the equipmentby the forces also increased as0 tanks, late-model BMPs. andartillery accounted for growing shares of inventories.
. The estimatedosts of Soviet tactical air forces increased an averageercentduring the period, as third-generation aircraft (Flogger and Fencer) were deployed and the total number of tactical aircraftostsin dollars stayed fairly level later in the period, as fourth-generation Flankers and Fulcrums began to be deployed, butelatively slow pace.
- The estimatedosts of Soviet general purpose naval forces increased an average ofercent annually with the increase in major surface combatants and general purpose submarines. Theosts also reflect the growingsophistication or the forces.
The dollar value ofor support forces grew on averageear, reflecting the additional requirements to support the expanding Soviet military establishment.osts accelerated as Soviet military space programs began touch larger support role, particularly in the areas of communications and intelligence collection.
The growth inequirements affected each of Ihc major missions.osts for.
strategic mission increased on averageear during the period and grew even faster, atear,
esult of maintaining the2 bombers.here was negative growth as the number2 bombers declined.
General purpose forces rose by an averageear duringeriod, mainly reflecting increases in the weapon inventories of each of the major components. The growth also reflects the increasing complexity or US weapon systems such as8 aircraft, and Aegis-class cruiser, which make up an increasing share or the inventory.
- Support forces, accuui.ting for aboutercent ofutlays,ear during the period.0 outlays began to increaseateercent, primarily because of higher pay and benefits to civilian personnel who operate bases and logistic establishments and serve incapacities. | |
For the Soviet Union, military personnel costsforercent of the estimated dollarcosts foreriod (sechey were aboutercent greater than US outlays for military personnel. The USSR has more than twice as many personnel,igher percentage of them arc at the lower end of the pay scale, j |
nnual US costs have been increasing more lhan iwicc as fast as Soviet personnel costs. In part, the acceleration in US personnel costs9 reflects increases in manpower levels. Primarily,it reflects increases in the rale of rccnlistment amonE US servicemen. As the number of recnlist-mcnts increased, so did the number of officers and enlisted men at the higher end of the pay scales.
Estimating Soviet Personnel Costs in Dollars
The dollar values of pay for Soviet personnel are based on the pay of personnel the United States would assign to carry out similar functions. The concept is to match pay to positions or Jobs, not ranks. Our estimates of the dollar pay for Soviet conscripts Is based on the pay of US enlistedwith the same average lime in service. To account for ihe fact that the United States uses enlisted men for many positions for which the Soviets use officers, dollar pay for some Soviel officers is an average of US noncommissioned officer and commissionedpay. Separate estimates are made for food and travel costs. (
Unlike estimates of the dollar cost of weapons and military equipment, which take account of differences in technical and performance characteristics, the estimated dollar costs of military personnel assume that all personnel performing the same functions are of equal Quality. This assumption is unlikely to be true eveningle country's military force, but in the absence of generally agreed upon "quality adjustment"factors there is no alternative to making this simplifying assumption. [ |
Critics argue that this approach makes the disparity between the two defense establishments look greater than it is, because the Soviel military consists of numerous conscripts who are poorly paid, even when compared with the average ruble wage in ihe USSR. If. however, the dollar value methodology is to provide consistent comparisons that have validity and precision. US cost factors must be applied equally to all Soviet activities. Thus the same number of men doing the same activities should have the same dollar valuation, j |
Development. Testing, and Evaluation
During thec did not delect any change in the Soviets' longstanding commitmentd growing militarystablishment. We estimate, for example, that during Ihe period
Itounpacc dcvoied to Soviet military RDT&Eat an average annual rateercent.6 floorspacc dedicated to this task totaled aboulillion square mclen. and the Soviets employedillion people to support their military RDT&E. Total manpower increased over the period al an average rate ol"ercent per year, somewhat faster than. r
Studies of floorspacc atacilities show that growth in the allocation of military RDT& I- resources has been greatest in newer technological areas, such as advanced electronics and lasers. The trend toward developing weapon systems that incorporate higher levels of technology is apparently requiring increasing support from the nondefense segment of the Soviet RDT&F. establishment. We estimate that, together, the Acaoemy of Sciences, ihe nondefense industrial minisiries. and the higher educational institutes now supply about one-half of all the manpower supporting militaryctivities. || '[
Resources committed to USrew rapidly beginning in the. This growth reflected:
Efforis to improve strategic nuclear forces,enhancements to associated command, control, and communications systems: development of the Peacekeeper ICBM andB bomber; and researchmall ICBM. the AdvancedBombern aniisateilite system, and theLBM for the Trident submarine.
Development of precision-guidedonventional initiatives program, both of which rely on advanced microelectronics tcchnol ogv.
The Strategic Defenseresearchto assess the potential for an effective defense against strategic ballistic missiles. |
he eWlar value of Soviet militaryrew steadilyercent per year and in cumulative terms exceeded comparable US outlays by aboutercent. The disparity was considerably larger. when Soviet costs grew while the rate of US uutlays declined fscc. Since
owever, USxpenditures havesharply, increasing by an average annual rale of aboutercent per year.esult, thebetween ihe dollar value of So* ict military RDT&F. and comparable US outlays decreased, and7 ihc value of Sovietas only aboutercent greater lhan US outlays.
We have greater confidence in our new estimate of Soviet spending for militaryased oncosts than we bad in our past estimates. First, this new estimate is basedast body of detailed information about Soviet military RDT&Eand programs. Second, the resource-cost method
Methodology for Estimating the Cou of Soviet RDT&E
6 we developed andew method of estimating the Soviet commitment of human,and financial resources lo military research,testing, and evaluatione had low confidence in our previous methods because they were basedmall number of intelligence reports on aggregate levels ofpending and the share devoted to the military. Our new method, the resource cost method, identifies, tracks, ond costs specificctivities that support the Soviet military, encompassing the kinds of activitiesin the definition of US militarypending. The new method employs internal and external consistency checks ond develops measures of uncertainty [" ']
Tkr estimate is calculated in three stages. First, weile of all Soviet facilities identified as being involved in militarynd use the dataon these facilities to estimate the aggregate commitment of floor space and manpower to military RDT& E. Second, these estimates are used with all-source data on resource costs to calculate total expenditures for resource inputs such as the wage bill, purchases of materials and equipment, training, travel expenditures, and other operating costs: capital repair: and new construction. The sum of the inputs
ovki Military RUT At Pipe ml itn these categories represents our ruble estimate of total militaryxpenditures. To account for uncertainties in our data and con factors, wea best estimateorifidence interval. We firstange and probability distribution for each cost factor and then use an estimating technique known as Monte Carlo simulation. We believe it unlikely that this ruble estimate is in error by more than plus or minus IS toercent Finally, we transform this ruble-based estimate into dollars. In estimating the value of Soviet militaryn dollars, we are estimating what it would cost the United States to replicate, assuming US efficiencies, Sovietervices for researching andmilitary technologies and weapons. We want the ruble-dollar ratio to reflect the comparativeImplicit in moving from the Soviet resource commitment too the dollar cost of the services produced. Thisuld then be used to convert the estimates from one currency to the other In actuality, we use the average of the ruble-dollar ratios for military procurement of major Soviel weapon systems; this ratio reflects relative Soviet and US efficiencies in producing Soviel weapon systems. We believe this ratio is the best availableof relative US and Soviet efficiencies in the later stages cf weapon engineering development andproduclion. which, together, are the most costly stages of RDT&E. | ]
us io identify and quantify our uncertainties in each component of the new estimate and compute an overall confidence interval. Previous methods did not allow for an objective measure of uncertainty. Third, our new estimates meet several tests ofincluding both ihe internal consistency ofcategories and ihe trends in related economic
and military' data. Finally, wc believe that the new methodology provides the basis for improving and extending our estimates by incorporating additional information on militaryrograms and cost factors. < I
Table<w, us s
Estimated Cosls of Sf lected Soviet and US National Security6
IWcign military and
resource method has limitations. It is based on observable indicators such as manpower and and it is retrospective and cannot be used to forecast Soviet militaryxpendituresfewer collection opportunities and delays inund processing make it less likely thai we will detect recent changes in the level of militaryork. Wnhout new information, we assume that organizations engaged in military RDTAE workthe trend in the level ot* these activities. Finally, the crude measure used for converting our estimates from rubles to dollars imparts additional uncertainly.
In addition to the traditional defense activitiesabove, both the Soviet Union and the United States engage in other activities thai arc intendeddvance their national security objcciivcs. This scc-lion examines lite dollar costsider scl of
national security-related aciiviiics lhal are notin the baseline definition of defense (seeCescription of thesee have estimated these costsingle6 the most recent year for which we have reasonablyinformation (sec tablender the expanded definition, the dollar value of Sonet defense and national security activities exceeded comparable US costsarginerceni, comparedercent when only traditional defense aciiviiics arc measured, f
The additional activities included here arc presented in three functionally related sets. The first set includes activities that bolster mobilization or wartimesuch as civil defense and nationalcapacity. The second scl includes activitiesloation's global position, such as forcien aid and the administrationoreign policy
establishment. The final scl includes the cost of veterans*hich also are not usually included in baseline defense comparisons because they do not directly contribute to war-fighting potential, i
On the other hand, Soviet dollar costs of supporting foreign information and exchange activities were over twice as high as comparable US outlays.
of this nalure arc somewhat arbitrary and. because of the disparity between the twosystems, cannot capture all defense-related activity. Readers are therefore cautioned that these activities probably do notompleteof all national security endeavors, j j
Mobil'zation and Wartime Preparedness
The dollar value of Soviet activities sustainingpreparedness6 was roughly twice as great as comparable US outlays:
Civil defense activities are more extensive in the USSR than in the United States.
The number of personnel assigned to internalduties is far greater in the USSR.
Activities in support of national mobilizationarc more extensive in the USSR; this istrue of those activities sustaining industrial and strategic reserves and industrial surge capacity, for which the dollar valuations were several times greater than comparable US outlays]^ |
Knh artef Global Position
The dollar values of Soviel and US activities6 intended to enhance the respective global positions of the two countries were roughly equal:
greatest costs for both countries were incurred for economic and military aid. the combined dollar values of which were roughly equal, as were the respective dollar costs of conducting foreign affairs.
Header*hai theIrmm thai ot nrcwax jHcvunrau Severalfitun iIk encoded cow rut mm and takenhe
ftsBM mm bee" delcredfrrd outline* ihe twin (or oui 'ntt'cgi-in*.
The dollar costs of Soviet veterans' benefits were less than US com. Stricter Soviet eligibility rules and higher mortality rates limit the numberevel below that in the United States We estimate lhat Ibe dollar value of Soviet veterans' benefits6 was aboul four-fifths that ofUS out lays, j'
The Soviet Union
Our estimale of future Soviet military spending is formulated largely from an analysis of ongoingactivities. This analysis suggests that recent trends in the dollar cosis of Sosnet defense activities are likely io continue through the remainder of the current five-year. withear. Any such forecast, however, is valid only to Ihe extent that established patterns are nol disrupted by major policy changes. The Soviets are talking about major changes in Iheir military policy, but to date we have seen no indication that their professed adoptionoctrine ofsufficiency" is affecting weapons development, procurement, or the size or structure of Sovietforces. Given the difficulty of translating what wc judge toi ill-ill-defined concept inlo specific prescriptions for equipping, manning, and operating military forces, we believe that, even if the Soviets arc serious about their commitmentew military doctrine, substantial changes in their defensewould not be evident until. Similarly, although they may be able to realize some resource savings from the INF Treaty and the withdrawal of iheir forces from Afghanistan, wc do not anticipate thai these measures will translate into big reductions in the overall level of Soviet defense activities in the nextears. I
As Tar as fulurc (rends in Soviet military procurement arc concerned, ihc military is likely to face increasing competition for resources in the years ahead. The Soviet leadership's ongoing efforts to modernizeindustrial plant and equipment, for example, will require the allocation of scarce high-qualitythe near-exclusive preserve of the defensecivilian economic uses. The overall modernization of the defense industries carried out during thendhould allow the Soviets to manufacture most of Ihe weapons we arc projecting for the next few years without having to build new facilities or recquip existing factories.for bask materials, intermediate goods, com* portents, and skilled labor could cause production of some of these new systems to be somewhat slower and the date of introduction somewhat later thanbut even reduced levels of procurement would permit substantial continuing military modernization.
While General Secretary Gorbachev appears to be encouraging the hope that arms control agreements will result in resource savings, ihc INF cuts probably will haveimited impact on the level of defense spending measured in either dollars or rubles in the near term. More substantial savings could, however, accrue lo the Soviets by the0esult of ihc cancellation of follow-on programs eliminated by the INF Treaty. The direct savingsTART agreement that would reduce the number of warheads rs much less certain and would depend heavily on the rate at which the Soviets modernize their forces both in ihc absence of an agreement and under such an accord T
In the strategic forces, new generations of modernized weapons, such as land- and sea-based ballistic and cruise missiles, already have entered or soon will enteromprehensive modernization of the USSR's strategic offensive forces should beby the. This will include further deployment of road-mobilend ihc rail-mobileCBMs, the Blackjackbomber, and initial deployment of the silo-basedodtrategic defense forcealthough less substantial, also will permit sustained improvements in capabilities. The Soviets will improve their ability to defend against cruise missiles and low-altitude bombers with such systems as theissile and Ihend
Conventional forces willimilar upgrade The Ground Forces will be equippedew tank. Existing tanks will be upgraded with advanced armor and better fire-control systems. Modernized versions of infantry righting vehicles and armored personnel carriers will be fielded. The USSR is expanding the number of artillery pieces in units and will be placing more emphasis on self-propelled systems. New-surface-to-air missiles, such as theill give the Ground Forces much greater capabilities to engage enemy aircraft and cruise missiles. [" *]
The Air Forces are starting to receive two late-gencration fighters, ihcrd thehese aircraft, carrying advanced air-to-air missiles, arc much more maneuverable than their predecessors and have improved fire-control systems. Two new combat helicoplers. the Havoc and the Hokum.be fielded by the end of
withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan will provide some savings The direct additional cost of Soviet military involvement in Afghanistan rose steadily0 because of the gradual buildup of personnel, increased expenditure of ammunition, andxpenditures in Afghanistan amounted toercent of total Soviet defense outlaysin dollar terms We believe, however, that the Soviet decision lo withdraw probably was basedon politico-military considerations rather than on economic factors.! I
The Navy will receive more new attack submarines of the Akula and Sierra classes. These submarines arc quiet, have improved sonar systems, and carryweapon systems. New surface combatants, including Ihc Soviet Union's first full-sized aircraft carrier, will join the fleet. These ships have enhanced capabilities to participaterotracted conventional conflict. Q
Soviet defense activiiies other than theof weapons and military equipment, the pros* pects for growth arc mixed. Soviet militaryand hence (he estimated constant dollar cost of military pay and allowances, has not grownduring the lastears and is unlikely to grow in the near future. As far as operating activities are concerned, the Soviet armed forces apparently are under intense leadership pressure to increase the efficiency of their operations. Still, with Sovietoperating rales already lower lhan those of the United States, there is not much room for cutbacks in the operating sphere in the absence of forceAlso, the growing Soviet emphasis on procuring more advanced weapons and equipment, which for the most part require more complex maintenance than older, simpler systems, will make it difficult to reduce maintenance costs. Continued growth inctivities is crucial to Soviet efforts to narrow the US lead in weapons technology. On balance, wc believe Soviet overall defense activities, as measured inprobably will grow at or near the recent slow rates for at least the next few yean
The United Stales is involvedajor program to modernize its forces, yet in the current fiscal climate has decidedcale back plans, reduce force levels,
and eliminate some programs. Programs outlined in the Secretary ofnnual Report to the Congress. Fiscalor furtherin all three services. The Army will reduce the size of its forces, but will continue to modernize themI Abrams tanks and additional Bradley armored fighting vehicles. Substantial numbers of the newpache attack helicopter will beinto the force. In the next several years the Navy plans to acquire two additional Nimiiz-class aircraft carriers and complete the reactivation of four Iowa-class battleships. It will also introduce new cruisers, destroyers, and attack submarines. Navy air assets will be expanded with substantial numbersSs, AV-SBs. andDs. The Navy's strategic capabilities will be improved with the deployment of the Tridentissile The Air Force will continue to receive, and its strategic nuclear forces will bewith further deploymentse Peacekeeper missile andb bomber.P
Costing Methodologies for Soviet and US Military Programs
Estimates of Soviet defense activities expressed in dollars measure the cost, using prevailing US prices and wages,roduce andilitary force of the same sire, armed wilh the same weapons, andin the same manner as that of the Soviet Union.
In this paper, defense activities arc defined lo include the following US activities and their counterparts in the Soviet Union:
National security activities funded by theof Defense.
Defense-related nuclear programs funded by the Department of Energy.
Selective Service activities.
- Defense-related activities of the Coast Guard.
Also included are border security forces thatartime mission of border defense, prcmilitaryperformed by civilian schools, and pay forfunded by civilian enterprises, j
Civil space activities that in the United States would be performed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Military assistance to foreign nations (except for the costs of uniformed personnel) and military sales.
Civil defense programs.
Internal security or uniformed labor troops who do not have wartime defense missions.
The cost of increasing and mainlaining stockpiles of reserves such as fuel, spare parts, and raw materials.
Industrial mob.lization preparations.
Dual-use infrastructure (including communications lines, reinforced bridges, and wider roads)
Soviet Military Programs
We begin to develop the estimate of the dollar value of Soviet defense aciivities by identifying and listing Soviet forces and their support organizations. Our modelescription ofX) distinct defenseexample, individual classes of surface ships; ground forces divisions, divided into categories on the basis of type and readiness level; and air regiments, categorized by aircraft type for each service. Our listing also contains for each component the latest estimate of the order of batllc. manning levels, cquipmcnl inventories, and new equipment purchases. | |
To these detailed estimates of physical resources, we apply appropriate US prices and wage rales:
For procurement, we estimate the cost lo build the Soviet weapons and equipment at prevailing dollar prices for materials and labor (including overhead andsing US production technology. It is assumed the necessary manufacturing capacity,and labor would be available.
For operations and maintenance, we apply dollar prices to estimates of ihc labor, materials, spare parts, overhead, and utilities required to operate and maintain cquipmcnl the way the Soviets do.
For military personnel, wc estimate the military rank of the person in the United States who would be assigned iHc duties of each Soviet billet. Wc (hen apply Ihc appropriate US nay and allowance rates to that billet.
The results arc then aggregated by military mission and by resource category.
To estimate the dollar value of Sovietresource cost" method which assigns ruble expenditure values to the resources used in Soviet militaryctivities These include wages, materials, equipment, capital repair, capital construction, travel, training, and other operating costs. To obtain dollar values, the ruble estimate is converted by using an average of our militarydollar*ruble ratios. The purpose of using this ratio is to reflect the different productivitiesesources in Ihe two countries. In efTcet, wc arc assuming that the ratio of the dollar value ofork performed in the Soviet Union to the ruble cost of these resources equals the ratio of the dollar value of military hardware produced in Soviet defense plants to theil of the resources employed in those plants.^ ]
The resource-cost methodology defines military RDTAE according to the definiiion used by the US Department of Defense in its reporting of US outlays Tor military RDT&E.onsists of all phases of programs and activities from research through full-scale testing, both for new weapon systems and the improvement or modification of operational systems.
US Military Programs
US data in this paper arc expressed in terms of outlays derived from the Five-Year Defease Program tFYDP) of the Department of Defense as of' and from the US budget Outlays for defense-related activities of the Depariment of Energy, the Coast Guard, and the Selective Service have been added to improve the comparison with SovietThe data have been converted from fiscal to Calendar year terms and indexed6 dollars using detailed price indexes for each type of militaryThe US figures in this report, therefore, do not match actual budget authorizations andI
The physical-Quanlity data for weapon systemsin this paper arc of two types: delivery dala. which refer to the quantities of sclccied weapon sysicms acquiredalendar year; and yrder-of-battle dala. which refer lo the existing inventory of weapon sysicms in active unitsiven time (the
middle of the calendar year for the Soviet Union and the end of the fiscal year for the UnitedS order-of-battle data were derived from ihe FVDP; US production data were provided by the Department of Defense. (P
Confidrnce in the Dollar Cost Estimates Every year we revise the esiimaie of the dollar value of Soviet defense activities using updated data on cosis. produclion quantities, order of battle, andrates. Presumably, our estimates for any one year |forould improve as time passes, because we should know more about ihe quantities and characteristics of the weapon sysicms and facilities produced in lhat year.
The annual revisions lo incorporate new information alsoethod of assessing how well we estimate Ihe dollar costs of major portions of Soviet defense activities. If estimatesiven year changed sharply with everythat different analysis, improved data, and newproduce very differentwould have little confidence thai we had an accurate estimate of military activities in that year. On the other hand, if the estimates fluctuated bymall amount and no bias were detected, we could have greaterthat the estimates were substantially correct.
On the basis of past experience, wc arc reasonably confident of the accuracy of our estimates. Indeed, monitoring our annual revisions and other slatisiical techniques lead us to believe thai our dollar cosi estimate for total defense activiiies is unlikely lo be in error by more lhan plus or minuscrceni for any year3he margin of error can be much wider for some individual items and categories lhan for the lotal because of ihe tendency of errors ai lower levels of aggregation to be partially offsetting Wc generally have more confidence in data thai represent trends than in data for absolute levels, especially the levels for individual years, r-
' In till'ifti IikijI jc.wclunkeduli-lunc lo an Ociubci'Scpicmbei imwip.in. Therefore, in* cud ol ihc ii'c.il'0 Junend SO September ihcreatic Q
US dollars arc not the only currency thai can be used lo compare US and Soviet defense activities. We have also estimated the ruble costs of US and Soviet defense activities for comparison with the dollarBecause the price structures for .cods and services differ for the United States and the Soviet Union, the relationship of US to Soviet defense activities measured in dollars differs somewhat from the rela..onship measured in rubles. The overall trends in defense activities, however, are about the same whether measured in rubles or dollars (sec. Our confidence in the ruble cost comparison is much lower than our confidence in tbe dollar cost comparison because our access to ruble prices is not as extensive as our access to dollar]
Our ruble estimate of US defense activities measures the cost, in2 rubles, for ihe Soviets to produce andi'iiary force of the same sire and with the same weapons as thaithe United States and to operate that fore asountry docs. To maintain lar estimates, we use ihc same definition of natusecurity activities in the ruble-based comparisons as in the dollar-based comparisons.
Ruble costs for US defense activities were calculated by major resourceO&M. personnel, procurement, and RDT&E. Personnel costs were derivedirect costing methodology because Soviet pay and allowance data were available. Ruble costs for the other four categories were derived by multiplying the US dollar resource accounts (called resourceeat ion codes by Ihc Department of Defense! by appropriate ruble-dollar
Ruble-dollar ratios (developed originally to convert the value of Soviet defense activities from dollars to rubles in those cases svherc wc do not derive ruble values directly) were used to convert US dollar outlays to rubles. The original ratios applied lo specific Soviet productelectronics, andthat did not necessarily correspond to the US resource accounts. To mitigate this problem wc constructed new composite ruble-dollar ratios. These arc weighted
averages of the basic product group, the weights representing the share of total costs of each product group in the particular resource account.
The ruble cost estimate of Soviet defense activities for thexceeded that for similar US activities byercent. Measured in dollars, ihe cost of Soviet defense activities was aboulerceni greater. The estimates differ because of dissimilarities in US and Soviet price structures, primarily those for personnel and procurement, and the changingof US defense programs. Whereas personnel costs for the US military, with an all-volunteer force, are relatively high, personnel costs for the USSR with
iiM universal conscription policy arc relativelyThus, military personnel are relatively more expensive *hcn measured in dollars lhan in rubles. Similarly, capital roods are relatively expensive in the Soviet Union. For this reason. US militaryis relatively more expensive when measured in rubles than in dollars As procurement has become an increasingly large share of US defense programs sincet has had an even greater impact on the ruble valuation of US programs.|*
Table19S6 US 1
Estimated Dollar Value of Sotiet Defense Activities and US Defense Outlays by Resource
Tl nil1 IT IT f
i , JJ
definition of "defense" used in our traditional comparisons of US and Soviet defense activitiesactivities of the US Department of Defense and related activitiesew other Federal agencies as well as their Soviet counterparts (seeore completeecause bothengageroader set of activities to advance iheir national security interests, we have established an expanded definition of defense including three broad tiers of functionally related activities:
The cosu of activities lhatation's mobilization and wartime preparedness capabilities.
The costs of activities thatation's global position.
The continuing costs of veterans' benefits. |
Wc have changed the format in which wc previously presented extended dollar cost comparisons. Forfigures for US and Soviet military and civilian pensions now appear in ihe baseline estimate The cosi of supporting government-funded foreign students is now included in the "Foreign Information andcategory. Wc have also reaggregated five previous categories into one "Mobilization Capacity" category. Finally, wc have deleted the "Cash Flow" and "Defense-Related Lawsuit" categories from the comparison. The former was deleted on ihe basis of our reassessment that debt servicing docs nota national security activity: we deleted the latter because both the US and Soviel figures were deemed negligible. | |
Mobilization and Wartime Preparedness
This category consists of measures thai enhance national war-fightine capability or contribute losecurity but are nol included in our baseline activiiies. Soviet dollar cosis for Ihcsc activities6 were about twite as high as comparable US outlays (secn. | |
Internal Security Troops. Soviel Internal Security Troops (MVD) arc not intended lo fight enemyforces, so they are nol included in the baseline comparison. They do, however, assist in controlling Soviet borders andartime role of maintaining order in rear areas and occupied territory. Wetheir cost65he United States does nol have an exact counterpart, but wc have included the costs of US border patrol and stale cosis for ihe National Guard and reserves as (he nearest |
Construction and Railroad Troops. Wc include ihe Sovici construciion and railroad iroops because iheir wanimc mission is to build fortifications, repair battle damage, and maintain exisiine structures and rail lines, although in peacetime ihcy also work on civilian projects. Wc count only the costs of those personnel who worked on civilian projects because labor on military projects is already pari of the baseline csii-malc. The large number of personnel with civilian (asks accounted for the largeutlays for the closest US counterpart, ihe civilian Corps of Engineers,8 billion1
Ciril Defense. Civil defense activities are morein the USSR than in (he United Stales and includeull-time personnel (military andrban and exurban blast shelters, and civil defense installatioris run by the military. Other programs, the details of which are largely unknown, include underground industrial plants, hospitals,plants, and food and fuel storage, as well as individual protective gear and equipment and materiel reserves. Our estimate of Soviet civil defense costs4 billion.
*he eitinuicd IsO.UfHi iiuvn.il troop* whii fu.srd prisons iindmpt beeimrMiion.irote
Chit Space. While (he prestige civilian spac; aclrvi-tics confer may to some degree enhance the USSR's global position, wc have moved this account to the wartime preparedness category because of theutility of the Soviet civil space infrastructure. We estimate that the dollar cost of the Soviet civil space programillion)6 was slightly less than outlays for NASA |
Mobilization Capacity. This category includesthai sustain the capacity to move the Soviet and US economiesar footing and comprises the following categories listed individually in previous comparisons: industrial and strategic reserves, defense highways, industrial surge capacity, synthetic fuels, and merchant fleet operating and maintenance) costs Because wc have little information on the exact size and disposition of Soviet industrial and strategic reserves, our cost estimate forange7 billion; corresponding US outlays6 billione estimate that the Soviets spent the equivalent4 billion on the construction and maintenance of their defensenetwork; corresponding US outlays were judged to be zero because civil needs have been suflicicnt to justify funding ol major US highways. Our estimate of Soviet industrial surge capacity is based ondata and is expressedangeerccn; of the machine-building sector'sillionomparable US costs were negligible Wc estimate (hat the Soviets spent the equivalent ofillion on synthetic fuel development programs; US costsf Energy outlays for alternative fuels(less1 billion) Finally, we estimate that merchantosts for both the United States and the USSR6 were roughly equal
Enhancement of Global Position
This category covers activities that serve foreign policy goals. The cost of these activities for the USSR and live United Slates were roughly equal
foreign Military and Economic Aid. We haveestimates of military and economic aidesult of definitional problems associated withwhere certain US programs should be included. For example. Economic Support Fund (ESF) outlays (which67 billion) may be construed as cither military or economic aid. inasmuch as they are economic grants for nations of strategicto US interests (for example. Israel and Egypt) and,ew cases, are intended to subsidize defense expenditures. Combined estimates for military and economic aid were roughly equal for the two countrieseaders arc cautioned that economic aid figures reflect gross numbers, since wc lackon repayments to (he USSR. The Sovietaid figure also includes the costs of price subsidies in trade with Eastern Europe and other Communist countries. Overall, we estimate that the USSR has provided the equivalent4n economic aid grants5 billion in military aid grantsorresponding US outlaysillion in economic aid5 billion (figure includes ESF outlays) in military aid. t| |
Conduct of Foreign Affairs. This category includes the costs of administering foreign policy and reflects annual outlays to the US Department of Slate and the dollar value of estimated outlays to ihe Sovietof Foreign Affairs. We estimate (ha( (hese were roughly equal
Foreign Information and Exchange Activities. This category represents the cost of official efforts toational image abroad. The US figure reflects annual outlays to the US Informationihe Voice ofFree Europe, and Radio Liberty; the Soviet figure reflects the dollar costs of corresponding Soviet activiiies. which are performed by various agencies andAlso included in this category arc the dollar costs or supporting government-funded foreign(citedeparate category in previousWe estimate that the dollar value of Soviet foreign information and exchange activiiies was over Iwicc thai of corresponding US outlays, | |
' Includes S4 billion iti price subsidies. Because Western countries ou not couni subsidies in ihe-ir jid iix.ils. ihii mm mutt be removed io make the So'ici ale* number comi"irable to ibe US daia I I
of Ihc Characteristics and Costs of Selected Soviet and US Weapon Systems
This appendix presents comparisons of theand dollar costs of selected Soviet and US tanks and tactical aircraft, identifying the key features contributing to the differences or similarities between the estimated dollar costs of the Soviet systems and US weapons costs These comparisons illustrate that, in general, current US weapon systems arc more complex and more costly than their most commonly procured Soviet counterparts. The estimated dollar cost of the Soviet weapons discussed arc derived by the building-block methods discussed in appendix B. The costs of US weapons were obtained from US Department of Defense Selected Acquisition Reportsc adjusted the SAR data lo make them comparable in coverage to our estimates of the dollar value of the Soviet weapons. In the case of aircraft, for example, wc adjusted the SAR cost lo reflect only the flyaway cost plus initial spare parts and to exclude any support equipment.
Readers should be aware that our confidence in estimates of the costs of an individual Soviet weapon system is lower than our confidence in cost estimatesigher level of aggregation. The margin of error can be wider for some individual iicms lhan for ihe total because of the tendency of errors at high levels of aggregation to be partially offsetting, j
Readers should also note that these comparisons do not by themselves indicate which weapon systembetteror do theyomplete measure of weapon system capabilities. Suchwouldet technical assessmentthe scope of this paper. We invite comments from our readership on how to improve theseand how to make them more useful.Original document.