Created: 12/1/1985

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Air Defense of the USSR

Interagency Intelligence Meraorandu. Sum mat)



Top Sccrot-


rL J



This Memorandum examines current nnd future Soviet air defense weapon systems, the air defense command structure, the operation of air defense forces, and protects several possible force sizes and rates of modernisation. This MM. however, does not examine the effectiveness ol lhc Soviet air defense system for several reasons. Such judgments arc critically dependent on the characteristics of the offensive forces that the air defenses would have to face, some of which were not available to lhe Intelligence Community for this 1IM. Moreover, such judgments are best obtained from large-scale, force-on-force simulations, which allow examination of the synergistic effects on both the offensive and defensive forces. Such analyses arc carried oul by the Department of Defense. Some general observations about air defense effectiveness ate given in N'lES

This IIM was prepared under the auspices of the National Inielligence Officer for Strategic Programs. Major contributions to the drafting of this IIM were provided by the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Foreign Technology Division of the US Air Force, and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center of thc US Army.


Tlie Sovieti willteadyreplacing or improving many of iheir current air defense weapons and support systems with new or modernized systems by tlie:

The firepower of Soviet air defenses will grow during the nexl decade as more capable systems are fielded.

Soviet ground-based air defenses will become increasinglythus complicating suppression arid avoidance tactics.

Thc complexity of the air defense task, both in the size of the land area to defend and the continually increasing technology of the aerodynamic threal, forces the Soviets to continually expand and modernize their capabilities. The numbers of military personneland weapon systems deployed for air defense are several orders of magnitude greater lhan those of any other nation..

The Soviets havecries of actions intended to enhance their air defense capabilities, including:

eorganizing their air defense command slruelure for the apparent purpose of increasing its flexibility lo maximize the use of all elements of airstrategic and tacticalall phases ofullof the impact of this reorganization is still developing.

Making sigiiificanl upgrades in ihcir control andsystems lo be able to better manage the air battle.

Deploying the new strategicnd tacticalurface-to-air missile (SAM) systems (and soon thehat have improved weapon system characteristics and greaterese systems will provide increased low-altitude capability.

Increasing the low-altiiude capability of their fighter force with continuing deployment of thendnd introduction of the Flanker, all of which have lookdown/shoot-elown capabilities.

Developing and deploying new ground-based equipment and airborne systems, particularly (lie Mainstay Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft for early warning and tracking, wliich will assist these new weapon systems inlow-altitude targets.

These newer, more technologically advanced systems, althoughlo be deployed in fewer numbers lhan older systems, will enhance the Sovicis oveiall capabilities We arc unceilaiu, however, aboul the pace of this modernisation effoit


The Soviet Ait Defense Forces (Voyskane of lite five Soviet military services, is responsible for the air. ballistic missile, and space defenses of the Soviet Union. Air defense is an essential component of the Soviets' wai fighting strategy, which recognizes that war cannot be won solely by offensive operations. The origin of Soviet air defense dates to thc Civil Warhe organization of Soviet air defense has undergone numerous, sometime* (ai-reaehing_ changes over (he years, evolving continually as thc air threat increased, until today lhe Soviets have bv lar thc largesl air defei se system of any country.

Thc extensive aerodynamic threat lo the USSR ranges from tactical air threats posed by Chinese and NATO units near Soviet borders, to strategic nuclear threats posed by US systems The Soviets are highly concerned about the challenge to their air defenses from modernization efforts for existing US bombers, the impending deployment ol new6-IB and eventually the advanced technologyand tbc large numbers of long-range land-attack cruise missiles.

Mission and Doclrine

Tlie wartime mission of the Soviet Air Defense Forces is to substantially limit damage to Soviet territory This mission specifically includes

Piotocling key civilian and military leadership and those support facilities essential to theof military operations.

Protecting USSR-based military forces

.Protecting the population and lhe economy

To accomplish this mission, thc Soviets employ an air defense doctrine, as shown tu figure I. lhat callsefense in depth loi.successive ban insenetration bv enemy aerodynamic threats Tinsdefense includes

Counterforce strikes

Fatly warning ol an attack

Olfthote detection and tracking by earlyaircrafl and ground-based radars, andshipborne radars

Forward defenses by tighter* using AW ACSarid, in somehipborne fighterand by shipborne air defense weapons

Barrier defense by strategic and available tactical SAMi deployed along the Sovicl periphery and anlicipalcd penetration routes.

Area defenses behind lhe liar nets bv fighters and


defenses for key Urged by strategic SAMs and available tactical SAMs and antiair craft artillery (AAA)

This layered defense is supportedon wide ground-based air surveillance and control systemof radars and jammers, air controllers, and hardened zonal command and control cenlers.

A Specific approach for cruise missile defense within this overall air defense rejneept is likely to include attempts to destroy:

Cruise missile platforms before ihey approach lhe Soviet Union.

Cruise missile platforms before ideate of cruise missiles

Cruise missiles after bunch

Improvements in Air

During the past decade, rise Soviels. through their extensive research, development, and deploymenthave Improved their ability to conduct an increasingly efficient air defense ol lhc USSR They have made considerable progress overall

warning of attaeki

Passive defense* for ihc leader ship and key


Mnderon and survivability of command, control, and communications facilities

Figure I

Soviet Layered Defenses Against Bombers nnd Cruise Missiles

lot ground fanes

Erect rootc warfare

Medium- and high-alliludc air defenses overall and low altitude air defense against aircraft1

'ths MM. lo-Hust recur*t*

aaalbased aad mrbwr- ratUn nt c/im TV oprxt r* itu. asajaa. ones mttt mwutM

bul nniM he aitatMl

In ronali

They have made some progresa and have major pr"crams under way in-Air delenw against low-altitude cruise missiles

Ea lend cd-range warning, control, and intercept against aerodynamic system*.

Passive defenses for the general population

Fhev have maior efforts with rMentially high payoffs


on vent tonal weapon systems



lrnp>ovni command and

Iihiiu'.viI (Mfitiuii ami naming M'stein*.

An alternative view holis tl-ii Suvm-iin air defense againsi lowai rrots section larcrti is substantially urnlcr staled inIM In lurliciilar, in this view, tlieAM defenses thai encircle Moscow ami other ciiies provide ootitandinc capability against all classes of largelt. with theof short ranae attack miss*Irs (SRAMs) *

Currcnl Soviel Homeland Air Oclenses Detectionoe king Systems

The Soviets maintain an extensive network for earlyir surveillance, lamely composed of ground-based radars alarly warning sites. At leastercent of these sites abo supportrnuitd tstntrol irgercetst fCCT) facilities for dunlin, figlucrs In theirn figun-he air defense coverage al medium and high altitudes is virtually complete over the USSR and. in some arras, extends hundreds of kilometers beyondThe coverage against low-altitude limited lo high-value target areas andprimarily in the Western USSR.

ower Radars The So-iets are Improving iheir early warning network by deploying new radan

i.i. new raaars

hreean'muth. elevation, andUnlike older radars thai could ae-cuialelv dcteimine only azimuth and range, thc newer radars can abo determine lhe altitudeornequenllv. these new radars are not required to be deployedeight finding radar We expect one of these new radars, the Tin Shield, to be deployed in lame numbers because ol lis simple design

Airborne Air Surcerf'anrc The Moo, inservice wnce lheasically an airborne carlv ivarnineaircraft and nottrue AW ACS aircraft, alllaough iiimited capability to direct intercept operatic*is The Soviets only built nine Moss aircraft,eir operations were tnlre-Quenl until2 Future Soviel plans for the Moss are unclear Twouled inndut recentl. one wasI"5 Moss aiictaft cicicned extensively with ibe N'orlbern Heel

' TU,taw*

OTII ftaraW Voyska PVO operates three large over-the-horizon (OTH) radars withrimary mission ol tletecling ballistic missile fatinchcs, bui secondary ninuom fur tin in an- passulilc.inr aiicrafl early

naming m:it,

Ileal hi lily to detect aid tor ne. largcls. nllhoiigli their iMiiruiy missionrisis situation would remain ballistic missile launch drlrrtwii Tliev cannot he used simultaneously for both Uillistie missile and bombei ih-tecticm The Soviets arerobable new OTH radar, however, that may Ih' mote suitable for aircralt early waining.

1 J

Pasriie Deltttion. Tliealso haveassive deteclinn network designed toand In most cases locale, radar andsniriabupplement to then radar network One of lite most reeenl developments in passive detection has been the deployment of the Caeenodo-vak-designedn the USSR, ll has anrange nl nlm against iiigli-jitiliidc emitters asrd reivrledly can locate and trail Irom I? toargets nmultarteously

Command, Control, ond Communications

Digital data systems are used for airon reporting, ground control intercept, and SAM support. These liriksappear lo have sJosv-to-moderatcrates'"


Air Oelense Fighters

Tliere arcighters capable of air inler-cent millions based al someiifiesdi in theie primaiv problem the Soviets face in using their nirerafi Is thr low-altitude llueat About one-third of

' rial va* kUtxlnd<ii>lc le lhe Miimnnl Ills'.

. minittieillS(l

Figure 2

iM A"adar Detectionacking Coreragc Against Bombers and Cruise Missiles


0 meter i

Ihc operational Soviet mt of older

ave no capability to engage law-altitude targets

; and loxbal li luve maneandver 60

percent of the ctirrent Soviet fighter lotee. The* are constrained. ho-ever, in rear-Item(sphere attacks in lhe same general altitude region as tin' target and are usually no highereterso above lhehe target is not usually detectedeters New lighlris now being deployed, lhe Fog'nd lite Fulcrum A. Iiave cond low-alltlude enubilities but eurrently make up lessercewl of tbe Soviet fighter force.

heeached initial operational capability <IOQ1 Aslie Soviets had deployed abouloxliound As. Its radar is capable ol detecting and tracking targets al altitudes f"

| Trieadar can trackargets simultaneously or attack lour targets simultaneously while tracking Iwo others TheA is equipped with the AA-fl radar-guided missile, whichignificant increase in the Soviels' air interceptal nil low-altitude penctrators, including cruise missiles

Thes expected eventually lo replace lighters such as tlie Firebar, the Fiddler, and ihe FlagonIbe lullol thisespecially low altitudenot bein the field for some time.raining lias progressed much more slowly Ihan that of earlier and simplerbecause of tbeof mastering (his systemJ"^

heeached IOCls relatively smallnd aerodynamic eapabihlir make il suited for high-mancuverablhly air-to-ail combat It has lookdown/shootdown capabilities, but its radar pec nuts ihe engagement of only one targetime, although it may be capable of trackingtargets TheiU prehabl* be oVplos-rd in both homeland air dciense and iheiler roles As such, ild be luitablc lo icplace older Flagons. Fishbcds. and Floggcrs lhat aie hearing ihc etui ot ihcarrinal lives.

Hcxc'uca. Wc have not detected any Sovicl reserve fighter units or any organized program from which reserve fighter pilots could lie drawn In wartime, allhough lhe Soviets have placed many obsolete sir-erall in storage. Thc fighter force could lie augmentedmall scale, however, by aircraft flown by instructors and student pilots from training schools

Stroterjic SAM Systems

Tlie Strategic SAM force committed lo lhe defense ai tk* USSR rwrenlly amounts lot so fireihose operating the infrared (IP) Iaominglo the taclical forces and could be used in defense of lhe USSR *

Thr Outer SAM, The older Hr.testaeSA-I,nddeployed in thendOs. are characterized bysiicnis. mechanically scanned radars, sumt-whal limited electronic counler-countermeaiuie (EG M) capabihtiei ard engaseinenl ranges nothanm All of these systems have been under nixed over lhe yean to improve theirAshere wereiles using these systems deployed in lhe USSR

SAo Theas initially deployed in ihendong-range Intercept capability. Bomber-class targels can be engaged outm nnd small fighter-class targetsouare-rnclct radar cross section) outm The low-altitude capability of this system^

otalomplexes were deployed or under construction in the USSR. Mongolia, and tbe non-Soviet Warsaw Tact nations.

hc SAIO. first deployededium-ran?SAM capable of engaging targets at Iom' in high altitude II has been deployed inversion, lhe SA-IOa.obile version, the. is oca ringof annit Iiave been seenile near Moscow The

enrralliefined aii* levrlmdrtnrl asdanart Thr lirrlo>

sail (arm ti ihraeh ed>swruard1 imctr UU Mri -h*n

liu iIh Ikts tuner. I'm wok Sam nolens.

VII. eai'li mumO'li' ireeti'-In.hitliel, I- can unfair iiidi- .i'i

can engage up to sn largcti limulta-

ncously. Ijiiiilcow-alliludc icauiafioo rati jr. which greatly increases theow-altitude curabilities icbiive in cridciThe SAIO has been deployed nunc slowly than earlier SAM systems As2 SA-IG sites were operational, with an additionalnder

Mi. The SA-I.ndystemsuclear capability We iudge that thelso probablyuclear

SA-II. Tlie SAM. first deployed inai designed to combat high performance aircraft al low-lo-rnrduirri ahitudes An SA-II ball cry can engagelaigcts Mmultaneoiidy and liatfea-lurcs immuredk- older tactical SAMs Theplaced boihnd i'A-Gs. Although (he SA-IIliorter mime lhan tliet has ilic'castd inobililv. multiple simultaneous intercept rapabdily. and capabilities aeainvf cruise misailea.

Infrared SAMi The Soviet!umber of shod-range, heal-scckingman portablendnd the vehicle-mountednd SAWe have recently (dcnlified another man-portable SAM. known as the Igla, which probably incorporates improvements in speed. maneuveraUlity. and poi lability. Man portable infrared SAMstandard issue lor strategic SAM units.

Tlieie eiirrently0 racces afAAA in lhe USSR, much ul which has been organired into SAM/AAA divisions The ptimaiy mission of SAM/AAA divisions appiiicnily is to operate with lhe ground foices, although ihey also could berotect reai echelon assets Some could be used in strategic defense. One of the most effective AAA systems is lhehich has been deployed for abouteplacement system, thes in development; compared with theheas almosi twice lhe range.

NovcJ Forces for Air Defense

Shipborne air defenses are responsible primarily for protecting the snips and. secondarily, for defending naval facilities Military writings indicate that1 .hi :Mensc' largely "1 ased SAMs. AAA. andintegrated (nlo the national air defense network In much the same way as land-based tactical air defense resources We Iudge that (he national air defense authoritict will noi maneuver naval air defense assets to act as gap fillers in ibr overall national air defense picture However, lbc Soviets plan to use stialcgic air defense personnel to control overwater operations from ships in selected geographic areas in defense ol thc Soviet mainland Further. Uiipboinc air defenses are counted on toa rid baaed defenses in those areas.ihc Sovictt intend lo use themorward barrier or an ed> meed eaity warning uelwoil against approacliiiig aircraft or crime mimics

CUc Ironic War tore

Electronic warfareaior role in Soviet slraicgii and tactical air defense opera! torn Thcwarfare resources devoted to air defcrucombination of systems lor jam mini: ol radars, communications, and navreaikm aids

iatcgic air defense ramming units are mlendcd lo protect important military, political, and econ-omic/induMrial targets against air attack and

iail defense lamming units have lhc mission of protecting front and army resources such as key airfields, commandines of communications, and nuclear -capable ground (one units fiom hostile airborne radarbomb/navigation ladatt, and attack radars.

Air Defense Operations Structure and Organization

Thc Soviet air defense mission has two separate, and potentially conflict ing,of lev leadershipilitary facilities, and population and economic targets; and tactical defense of such targets as Iroop formations

reorganization of air and air



defense foreesL

key aspects of lhe structural


Itesubordillation of all tactical air defense SAM. AAA. and air surveillance units from lhe Ground Forces to Voysla PVO.

Hrmboidilution of lighlers located in iheeripheral military districts (Mils: from PVO Sirany (now Voyska PVO) to tbe Soviet Air Forces

Prom lhe informal ion available, we cannothow significant and far reaching the impact of ibis reorganization Mill be on Soviet air defenwr lain-bihties, as we see little change in operations al lhe lower command levels On lhe higher command level, however, the Sovicl* did create new command e'e mentt that could add to iheir capabilities.

Thereumber of advantage* of0 leorganiialion for the Soviets

h leaves intact the command of lhe strategic assets of lhc Independent Air Defense Armies and lhc Moscow Air Defense Districthich defend most of lhe strategically significant targets, located in Ihe interior of lhe USSR

Al Ihe same time, the new Air Defensewill give thc High Commandheater of Military Operation) more direct control over all air defense assets lhat will take part In the air baltle In the theater

Moieover. il gives the commander of aMl) more latitude lo plan and coordinate air defense operations ol all military forces within the MD.

We assume thai Ihe decinons aboul bow air defense assets "ill lie used sejll be made in tbest of plans aupiovtd bv thc Ceneial Stall.

In addillon lo providing cover for military forces and facilities in the immediate area, the Sovietslhe national and Soviet air defense lorces in Eastern Europe as an integral componentorward dcfcnsne barrier againsi latge numbers of bombers and ciulse missiles targeted against the USSR. All of lhe Pad nalional air defense forces are par! of lhe Unified All Defense System enabling Soviet and other Pact force* io gather and eacliange air surveillance data andentralized means to coordinate and due- operations. Moreover, receni organizational changes hove been made thaiie USSH. Thus, the command and control apparatus for lhe employment of non-Soviet Warsaw Pact air defense forces bv the Soviet* for forward defense is in place


deployment of some homeland-based strategic au dvlense assets beyond Soviet borders lo support theater operations Some strategic air defense unils also might be moved forward lo protect territory captured bv Warsaw Pact forces. andT

engage bomber* and cruise missiles targeted acainst Ihe

Opwonons in Various Stage* of Conflict

Aiilxjijgh ii is estimated lhat air defense forces would lake seven toaysully mobilize to Full

Combat Readiness,ercent of lite operational fighter (orcc andercent ol all <adai sites could be fully combat ready al Alert Posture Oneoon.ercent of all operational SAMi could be lolly combat ready at Alert Posture One in lluce hours Thii heightened state ot alert can be achioved withoutigher readiness stage on all Soviet military forces. Although the air defense command andargely ready in peacetime, the Soviets plan to further strengthen it for wartime operation by improving its survivability and cipanding its coverage. The augmentation of command posts and tlieof alternate command posts can bewithinours,ackup net could be established inoours.

As tensioni rose, air defense forces probably would increase their alert posture andercentage of the force at the highest readiness level. We eipect the Soviets to recall reserve personnel, fill under-slrencth units, activate units for dejrlni-ing reserve stocis ol equuiment. and makest initialfor movement nf SAM units andV radars and for the dispersal of fighter units to preselected alternate airfields

Soviet strategic air defense dementi would bein combal if conventional conflict spread to thc USSR or if some strategic air defense forces were deployed to Central Europe or another (heater in suppori ol ihcater operations As serious shortfalls in defense could occur If the Soviets were forced lo use loo modi of their traditional strategic air defense resources outside of thc USSR, they would probably be selective in diawing on these resources so as noi lo seriously weaken the overall air defense network or defense of any one geogiaphic area_

A massive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union would degrade Soviet air defenses and vrould aboostile physical environment lor the operation of both

air defenses and an attacking bomber/cruise missile force Defense dleetlvcnm also would he degraded by operational factors such as the low-altitude, ddense-avoidance, and electronic counter measure (ECM) tactics of the attacking force The Soviets probably would employ ground- and air-based iam mors against navigation radars of bombers and cruiseactic that cnuld foicc bombers io higher aliuudei where lhe Soviel defenses would be more effective Some Soviel SAM units would probably use nucicji warheads

Tbc Si iv mis elcady intend to attempt lo reeunslilute dements of (heir air defense forces ibal have become

inoperable in waitime, either through enemy action or equipment breakdown, thus continuing air defense operationsrotracted conflict Although little is known ol Soviet capabilities to conduct homeland air defense operationsrotracted conflict, Soviet air defense units plan to restore airfields by replacing damaged radar equipment, reestablishingrepairing runways, and dearlng debrb. Fighters would operate from alternate airfields when possible. Slocks probably are available for SAM unib that would enable them to continue operationshort period.

exercises and Training


The vast bulk of Soviet air defense lighter training talcs place at the operational regunenU and involves simple for ward-hemisphere head-on andtail-chase intercepts conducted at about lhe same altitude as tlie large! This is dictated byof most currently deployed fighters and weapon systems and also reflects thc training of minimally slillcd pilots in basic intercept procedures Fighter pilotsigh degree of success with tlie head-onl-chase tactics They are much less successful

during nrff-on approaches, only tke most experienced (ichtci pllols are successful In tliii lactic.

Tlie Soviet! have historically placed'M training for pcrioanel who operate SAM tvslCRM Simulators arc available lo trainndeisonnel When these older SAM units encounter lamming aircraft using ECM. lhe unittem pi to red nee the impucl of thc lanuuim; by using the ECCM features ol IU"

"TJesver SAM systems, such as the SA-IO and SAX Improbably have more sophisticaled ECCM. some of which may be automatic or semiautomatic, requiring less simulation training.

ons of Peacetime Operations for Combal Effectiveness



There base been several events during thisusually precipitated by Western reconnaissanceor off-course airliners as in83 KALwhich the Air Defense Forces have had lo react lo unusual utrjatioos In these situations Ibe air defense system generally perforated poorly, raising questionsits potential combal effective ness

These incidents provideeal ivoild.tests of the Air Defense"

^]and hence have Implicationsinbal effectivencss. Because these IncidenlsIn sepatale geographic areasong period, wc conclude the problems these incidenls revealed are not aberrations, but rather are chai act eristic ol tire Soviet an defense system. As such. Ihey can be eipcvtcd. in tame degree, to suitace in wartime

Although in wartime Soviel air defenses would be at full alert, lhe improved readiness probably would be offset lo some degree by other considerations. In ihe peacetime Incidents, the Sovieti were able toIheir elforis against single unanned targets that sverr not attempting to evade deleclinn. In wartime, targeting irqulicments would be vastly moreTlie Soviets would have to deal with multiple laigels some or all of which would be flying al very low altitudes and employing various evasive measures. Llcetronlc countermrj.sures. cruise missile attacks, and attacks designed to suppress the air defenses would bes well Thesenert her with the performance of Soviet air defenses Mi Ihe observed peacetime Incidents, suggest that, in wartime, (heir ail drlcnsc operations would be considerably degiaded ovei -hai could be expected from assessing theInimical capabilities of ihcir equipment and with nominal operational and command and controlFinally, the actual wartime environment in eluding the actions of iho attacker, malef lhe net result complex, and we have not attempted such an evaluation here.

An a'icrnative view, while agreeing with the main text that actual operational performance of anyforce most likely will not match assessed nominal technical capabilities, holds that lhe main text over-stales ihe implications of these incidenls for wartime Soviet air defense combat effectiveness The failures ascribed to thc Soviet air defense system stemfrom lhe peacetime posture of tho Soviet forces sehen ihey had no reason to believe hostile Intentrisis period or actual hostilities however, lhe Soviets, in addition to being at higher readiness leveb. woulduite different mindset Under these circumstances, the bolder! of thii view believe the Soviet! would be rnore likely lonon routine situations, and iheir reactions to ihem would be markedly improved over those observed during ucatelune 1

rAe Mini el Ihu Mew arc ihe Putt ten. Jfrfrriarrfcr Oreeeror.geneu. "ir Annum!

elhttnf. iXTjiaiimenil.S^ 'Hni iK*

milft* Imillirnvr. Iltneilimii' el tlie Army



Future Soviet Air Defense Forces lor Advanced Soviet Air Detente Systems

Signalamidirect -ill energy arc jmong key lechrMilogii's in tlie develop mr-ist ol advanced military tyUenvi lor Soviet ilr jtnrx air defense Oilieror incut and deploymentmaller number of ail dc lease system options include electr<>optic and radar sensors, comig. and structural material

I hr acquisition of Western techimlnci bv lhe Sonxpected to shorten the lime needed to make en lam technologies available lor application indevelopment The Soviets are becoming more selective rn lhe acquisition of Western military relaled technology than in the past, choosing carefully lhe Western designs, engineering approaches, and equip ment most appropriate to iheir specific technologyev elcmenl in lhe selection prrsccu is lhe use id Wcs.; data basesdcnlift basic research and applications of key lechnologics. The mosl imnorlim; air-defense related technologies targeted for legal and illegal .lion by the Soviets are mKioelectronicv computers signal processing, and improvedcapabilities, such as computer-aided


The Soviets are now deploying and have inradars with the following Improved capabilities over older systems in the operational inventory:

Belter clutter resection

The ability to detect and track small largets with radar cross sections1 square meter or less

Tbe capability to provide range, ahtlude, and anrnuth informationcpaiatc hcight-findinga feature lhal is especially useful for support of ground-controlled intercepts

Deployrrient of radars with these enhancements over lhe nextoears will gradually improve the ctnrenlly limited overall capability of lhe Soviel air defense surveillance and control forces lo detect imalt targets al low altitude.


We expect ihat the Mainstay AWACS airerali, under development since alill achieve IOCt will be assumed the primary mission of defending the national airspace against massed bomb-

er ami cruise missile allacks, while also pcrfoimiug iheaiei and maritime operations ll will provide the Soviets wiih new potential In extend early warninginherentfighter interceptthe range of ground-based radari ond CO. AWACS in format ion on (he low-allttude air li.illh- siluattoii will be parliciiLirly important

Tltr nature of future AWACS oprrations willon Ihc taiget handling capabililv of lhe Mainstay

and on Ihc coveiagc ihat the Soviets hope lo achieve with an AWACS fleet We have little evidence on

Soviet icqiirsii-oti plans for tins complei aircraft. Id ferine views on Soviet plans and requrrerrteats lead

lo estimates of Ihe number of Mainstays requiicd

r ii i'iI rumo CO aircraft. So far. we have

identified 10

In an air-to-air role, tbe Mainstay is rarobably capable of uorLlne with all esiiicrit and pioreetedircraft, ll ssill probably achieve its Itlgliest degree of cffeclivcness when used with the Foxhound The Foihound will be able lo perform as an nlerision of AWACS because il is equipped with aa an loan daia link as well as with ground-to-air and air-to-ground equipment

The Soviets probablyequirementmaller AWaCS or AEW aircraft to support maritime and battlefield operations. Inodified Coaler shorl-ukcoff-and-landing let transport thatotodorne was observed at the Kiev airframe plant. This iirototype intended foractical and naval configuration An aircraft with Ihe capabilities for these missions will probably become operational in lhe.

Otber Airborne Rodors

A potential Soviel response to low-altitude bombers and cruise missileone discussed in the Soviel military encyclopedia-could be theand deployment of aerostat-borne earlyradari Aerostat-borne radars

Are noi constrained by terrain masking as are ground-based radars.

Ale less eipensave than AWACS and are not as

encumbered by fuel and airfield requirements

However, operations of aerostat-borne radars could tie hampered by bad wealher.

I Iff

Advanced uture Soviet figlttcrt are likely lo be more lleiibte and more comhan


cunenily fielded weapons, with fewer typesand iModiiced in smaller quantities than bus been previous Sovicl practice. Ik-cause tlic SovieU have iniegiaird ihetr tactical and strategic fighter forces, most lutoie fightersrtobaUy be capable of airto-ground as well as alr-lo-ali missions.

Soviet uliernptsie neatears to improve the aircraft of tlseir interceptor force are likely to follow ihe sameack approach thai has served Ihem so well over ihe past three decades. Thiswhich involves fielding new. variants of exist-ing aircraft as well as developing completely new designs, allows the Soviets lo cootJooousiv modernize then interceptor force without being totally depen-denl on new designs lhaligher probability of running Into development problems

We eipeel lhe Soviets to develop up lo Ihree new fiehln aircraftthe nrsttears We lave ei-idcnce that thc Sukhoy design bureau is workingew alicrafl. but we are uncertain if ihti new* aircraft willighter.

Surfore-to-Air Missiles

SAS. The Soviet) are probably designing avanani of theystem |

re being made lo ibe seeker and to theSquate Pair radar<_

By lhe, thcystem is likely lo have matured to lhe point where further rnodificalion will not be worthwhile, and anollow-on system will probably be deployed. The mission of theollow-on svoiild be long-iange defense primarily againsi medium- to high-alliludc targets, allhough thc system would possiblyow-altitude capabilitythat of Iken addition, bke lhetheollow on radar would be capable of multiple simullaueoii! intercepts The system'stangc maym or more An alternative view Isolds thai lhe range of theollow on will be limnedilometers '

SAIOb. The Soviels will soonobile version of lhethe SA-lOb) The Soviets have not vclully risuUle strategic SAM. allhough tactical SAMs wiih similarhave been available lor air

JI- IxttiUi ol thu ueurrlirueltall Intrlticnce. Oeiwlnirni al ihr Air Fom

defense of theater forces fo' some time. Conllrmailon of the most likely mission lot (heill have lo awall initial deployment of (he system. The. has ihe iMMenlial to JXwkJc

nrobile adiunet lo older Uratcspc SAMs in pornl and barrier defense oJ straictic facibliet

- An an defense foi mobile offensive strike and command, control, and communication* assets

augmentation of tactical SAMs inof theater strategic forces beyond lhe USSR's borders

The redriiloymen! of large numbers of SA-IOb's lo unprepared field tocalionsrisis wouldUS/NATO defense suppression and avoidance lac-

We aie uncertain whether Ihe low-altitude acouisi-lion radar used by the transportable SA-lOa will be part of an SA-lOb unit. WKlwut this radar, the SA-IOb'sange againsi low altitude targets compared with thai ol lhe SA-lOa would be seriously dimm.tlved

We ridge lhat the Sovieli are currently modifying lheo improve ils peilorrnance against cruise

SA-II. The Soviets areodernized SA-ll system. ^

"J| Use of an electronically

steered array on the SA-Tl could markedly improve the system bv allowing each TELAR to engage more than one target simultaneously

heodem, sophisticated, long-range lactical svstem thai probably willot replace ibend significantly enhance Fronl/Anny defense of Soviet ground operationsumber of US weapon systems Opcraling one on one. lheill provide the following capabilities

- Excellent capability against high performance


ll'ii capability against siandolf or turvcil lance aiicrafl

Goodams! low-altitude pencirators.

Good defense in lhe presence of current-geneUS ECM.

Defense against US tactical ballisticlance, Pershing I, and Pershingthose of other countries

Diree led -Energy Air Defense Woo pons

Air defense laser weapons will complement rather rlran replace fighters and SAMs Initial cround-bascd air de-lense laser weapon systems would probably haverangesoarrier defense role for ihese laser weapons seems impractical because of lhe large number ol units lhal would beoint defense role for hich-value targets appears moreThe laser weapon has an inherent capability to handle multiple engagementshortesirable quality for point defense ivhen high large!-arrival rates are expected.

The Soviet* appear lo be developing twoueanon sviieim wiih potential strategic airand naval pointweapons could be used lo damaged lo cause physical damage al shoi!

Wc estimate that, with high priority

and program successes, deployment of such weapons could occur within the nextean

In addition lo ihese systems, the Soviets probably have olher high-energy laser air defense programs underOne'bese programs probably involves the developmentedicated tactical mobile User vehicle al Colovino

Novol Forces for Air Defense

Improvements to naval air defense forcesumber of:

data processing is eipecied for air search radars to facilitate shipboard-controlled

air intercepts

long-range follow-on to theavalould be pari of an integrated surface-to-air ivcapon system similar lo Ihe Western Aegis.

apons will improve short-range air flee ironic Wo'fo'e Proo/oms



Figure i

Projected Soviet Homeland-Based Fighter Aircraft

Sire Downumber of sir craft


umber of aircraft

Lniiiuinty io rate of



We haveeries of projections for the major elements that will constitute the ait defenses deployed fn (he USSR through the. The proiections represent broad trends basedody of evidence on Soviet weapons development programs and data on Sovietroduction, and deploymenl practices. Tbe elements projected are

Ground-based radars

Fighters -Strategic SAMs.

Tactical SAMs. (s)

Moreover, thc Soviets have thc potenlial tothetr newer air defense systems Into the forces at different rales. To demonstrate this range, we have assumed thai new systems will constitute one of two different percentages of the5 force for each force elcmenl. The choice of the percentageincludes consideration of Ihe overall size of the force element and historical modernization (rends for that element. (s)

We have protected

The number of ground-based radon will be less- -wc cslimatef the ability of newir Ihree-dimensjonal radars In perform the functions of both early warning and height-find ing radars We estimate therale will beow radars

The/fj?nler/ore* willoercent smaller, continuing the downward trend in force size. Wc cslimate the modernization rate will beew fighters (see figure 3J

Thc strategic SAM force willoercent fewer SAM battalions-lhough It has remained constant over theecause theystem, wild betterthan thendill replace Ihem at lessne-for-one rate. We cslimate the modernization rate will beew battalions (seehe firepower of these unils. however, will be much greater, resulting in an increase infor lhe forceoercent higher than lhat of thc current force, also shown in figure 4

The tactical SAM force will grow in Hie.the trend of replacing AAA with SAMs in

Figure 4

Projected Soviet Strategic Surface-to-Air Missile Forces

Sir*umber tit ballal ions

VirciMwfi fnunrbc ofraili) lO.Ouft "


Forcen S%

of balrilicoi


1 " -Iti iii [ii Ii j


i, i

. i 1 rr



around forces units. The overall forceowever, will not grow as dramatically as in the past; weoercent more SAM batteries We estimate lhe nuxfeini/ation rate at0ew batteries. Theof lhe fulure tactical SAM force will beoercent higher lhan that of the cuncnl force (si

Projection nfother air defense elements Ismore uncertain

0irecred-cncri?i/ weapons are vet lo reach IOC! and. therefore, have no deployment history Moreover, all such weapons would be considered new. Wc proicct that Ihere could be someactical and slrnlegic direeled-energydeployed5

vet deployed or are deployed in small numbershai historical lorce sire trends are notWe proiecl someoainstay AWACS aircraftankill b* deployedsi

Certain trends in Soviet air defense forces are clcai:

Soviets willteadyreplacing or improving many of theirair defense weapons and support system! with new or modernised systems by thc

llrepoiver of Soviet air defense! will grow during lite next decade as more capable systems air> ii-dded

Original document.

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