Soviet Forces and Capabilities for Strategic Nuclear Conflict Through the
National Intelligence Estimate
Key Judgments and Kxicutin Summary
this estimate is issued by the director of central intelligence.
the national foreign intelligence board concurs, except as noted in the text.
The lottowing intelligenceorficipoted in the preparation of the
The Ccn-rul Intelligence Agency, Ihe Delenie Intelligence Agency, Ihe Notional Security Ag^nty. ond 'he intelligence orgonirotioro ot the Doporlmenli ot Stole orvd Energy.
a iiijlne' of Sloff for Intelligence. Department of the Atmy 'he Director ol Novol Intelligence, Deportment ol the Novy Ihe Aiwiani Chief ol Slofl. Intelligence. Deportment ol the Air Force Ihc Director ol Intelligence. Headquarters. Marine Corpt
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soviet forces and capabilities for strategic nuclear conflict through the
key judgments and executive summary
the rcciuration nf the Eflinuic. which wji approved bv Ihr Xatlnrul Furrvii InlrlllGrnn-hal dilr
By the, neatly all of the Soviets' curtenlly deployed intercontinental nuclear attackand sea-based ballistic missiles and heavybe replaced by new and improved systems. Most oi these are already in production or in flight-testing. Improved Soviet heavy ICBMs will increase the already formidable Soviet counterforee capabilities; mobile ICBMs and quieter SSBNs with long-range missiles will enhance force survivability and endurance; new bombers and cruise missiles-will add diversity to the aerodynamic threat. An increasing proportion of Soviet intercontinental attack warheads will be deployed on SSBNs and mobile ICBMs.ower proportion in fixed silos. The number of deployed intercontinental nuclear warheads will increaseouple of thousandith the potential for greater expansion ine are especially concerned about the Soviets* longstanding commitment to strategic defense, including their extensive program to protect the leadership, their potential to deploy widespread defenses against ballistic missiles, and their extensive efforts in directed-energy weapons technologies, particularly high-energy lasers. The vigorous Soviet effort in strategic force research, development, and deployment is not new, but is the result of an unswerving commitment for the past two decades to build up and improve strategic capabilities.| |
The Soviets do not endorse mutualfor that matter, mutuala desirable basis for establishing or preserving strategic stability The USSR, no less than the United States, appreciates the tremendoustrategic nuclear war would entail and thus strongly seeks to avoidonflict. The Soviets want to deter their adversaries from attacking the USSR, and from interfering with Soviei political and military initiatives. They are convinced that the best means to do this, and to provide for the contingency that strategic nuclear conflict could nevertheless occur, is to build forces that offer the greatest prospect of limiting damage to their society and prevailing over their adversariesuclear war. The Soviets have persistently tried to alter the strategic balance in their favor.| "|
The Soviets' appreciation of the persistent risk of all-out nuclear warommitment to meet requirements for effectively fighling it. Theyober view of their prospective adversaries' capabilities and programs, but do not simply try to tailor iheir programs closely to specific future threats that may be variable and uncertain. They seek to deploy, as technology and resourceside array
of systems to meet broad, standing requirements ilial llicyprudent for the complex task of waging nuclear war. Thus,past decade they have expended much effort to improveof their offensive forces, especiallyand the survivability and endurance of their forces,command and control
We believe the Soviets are determined to increase theirto the Uniied States or.inimum, to preventerosion of the military gains the USSH has made overdecade. They recognize tbat new US strategic systemsor under development will increase the vulnerability ofICBM force, complicate their antisubmarine warfareand present their air defense forces with increasinglyBy their actions and propaganda, the Soviets havethat they are very concerned about the US Strategic(SDU Soviet leaders view arms control policy as anin preserving past strategic gains and achieving furtherThev will try to use the arms control arenaeansor undercutting the US SDI program and slowing other
We have considered the question of whether their economic and technological difficulties may force the Soviets to slacken their strategic force efforts and reduce their long-term competitiveness in this 6eld-Despite serious economic problems since the, the Soviets have continued to procure large quantities of new strategic weapons-Strategic forces, more than any other single element of power, are the foundation of Soviet superpower status. While the Soviets area major restructuring of their industrial production capability, we do not believe thai economic considerations alone would lead them to abandon major strategic weapon programs, to forsake force moderniza-tion goals, or to make substantial concessions in arms |
The evidence shows clearly that Soviet leaders are preparing their military forces for the iMNisibility that they will actually have touclear war. We Judge that the Soviets would plan Inilitary campaign that would seek touclear war on theirneutralizing the ability of L'S intercontinental and theater nuclear forces to interfere with Soviet capabilities to defeat adversary forces in Eurasia and dominate tlut area, while preserving the ability of tbe Soviet state to survive and recover.|
The Soviets place demanding requirements on the capabilities of their strategic forces to wage war effectively They are likely to rate ibeir capabilities .is lower in some areas than we would assess them lo
be, and ihey ate probably pessimistic aboul the implications of ongoing US strategic modernization programs. For example, significantin US strategic offensive forces and in command, control, and communications capabilities will occur over the nextears, and sizable US, as well as Soviet, forces would survive large-scale nuclear strikes. Although we do not have specific evidence on how the Soviets assess their prospectslobal nuclear conflict, wc judge that they would not have high confidence in the capability of their strategic offensive and defensive forces to accomplish their wartime missions, particularly limiting the extent of damage to the Soviet homeland. |
The Soviets' lack of high confidence and their appreciation of the dcslructivcncss inlierent in nuclear conflict would probably inhibit them in peacetime from deliberatelyirect clash with the United States or its NATO Allies. Avoiding further escalation, however, would nol be their sole concern, should they get involvedajor conventional war with the United States and its Allies. In thesethey would expect the risks of nuclear war lo beSoviets would also consider lhat, by failing to seize the initiative should all-out nuclear war appear imminent and unavoidable, the USSR could suffer both greater damageeduction in its chances for eventual combat success. The likelihood of the Soviets' iniliation of nuclear strikes would increase if theyajor strategic reversal on the battleGcld. If they possessed convincing evidence lhat NATO or the United States was about toarge-scale nuclear strike, they would attempt to preempt. For reasons such as lack of convincing evidence, ihey might notreemptive attack. They are improving their capabilities for riding out an attack and retaliating, and they have the capability to launch forces quickly, upon receipt of warning lhat an ICBM attack is under way.| |
I. All elements ol Soviei strategic offensive forces will be extensively modernized by the. While the Soviets will continue to rely oo fixed, silo-based ICBMs, mobile ICBMs will be deployed in large numbers (seend major improvements will be made lo ihe sea-bawd and bomber lorces. The maior changes in the force will include
An improved capability against hardened targets through further improvements lo the heavy ICBM force.
Significantly better survivability fromin ihe submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM)quieler submarines and longer rangedeployment ofICBMs Mobile ICBMs will aba improve the Sovieis" capabilities lo use reserve missiles for reload and refire.1
An increase in the number of deliverablefor the bomber force and in its diversity,esull ol Ihe deployment of new bombers with long-range, land-attack cruise mixules.
Deploymentariety of new Ions-range, land-attack cruise missiles
he ICBM force, as shown in figureill have been almost entirely replaced with new systems by the:
The Sovieis are preparing to deploy iheail-mobile modevidencea follow-on, similar in size and payload but probably wilh greater range, is likely lo begin testing ine expectlass ICBMs equipped withultiple independently iareetablc reentry vehicles (MIRVs) to replace the MIBVed SS-I7 and SS-I9 silo-based ICBMs. which carry fewer warheads. An alternative view holds that the future of therogram is
' for dii niWiidiiitf rMtto ol ihtu-eoi ol InlrfiUiem' andHtAtarrA lhm>imtni alSiait. iff vewavh nclear, and thai anollow-on will begin night-testing in about
Within the last year, the Soviets deployedaunchers at eight bases for the road-mobilee have detected several other bases under construction, andexpectaunchers by theollow-on, which we judge will have single- and lhree-BV payload options, will probably be flight-tested7 Soviei commitment to mobile ICBMsa maior resource decision; such systems require substantially mote support infrastructure lhan do silo-based systems, and thus arc much more costly to operate and maintain.
Soviets have retired oklei silo-based single-RV SS-ll* as they have deployed the singlc-RV road-mobile
A new silo-based heavy ICBM. to replace theith improved capabilities againstlaigets, is beginning its flight test program
3 An extensive modernisation program will result in replacement of the entire MIRVed Soviet SLBM force and deployment of much better nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarineshe major changes, as shown in figurenclude:
Deployment of additional SSBNs Wc havelhat five to seven new SSBNs of the Typhoon and Delta lypcs are under construction.
Ongoing deployment ol tht- newl.BM on Delta-IVs and probably future deployments on Delia-Ills. The increased range of Iheelative to that of theissile currently on Delta-Ills, will makequipped SSBNs nwre survivable.
A replacement for then Typhoon SSBNs will probably be deployed8
The holderhi,he (hrtffJvV. Butcm oi
and Hatt/ich. PtiKiiment ol Stair I I
Soviei Intercontinental Attack Forces, Warhead Mix
ew missile in thelass will probably be lested bier in.
With long-ranee missiles, Typhoon and Delta SSBNs can operate under ihe Arctic ice ot close lo Sovicl shores, where ihe Soviet Navy can better protect them. Sovicl capabilities (or more extensive operations in the Arctic are increasing.
he Soviet heavy bomber force it undergoing its first major modernization since; bv tbe, as shown in 6gureost of ihr older bombers will have been replaced. The heavy bomber force willomewhat greater role in Intercontinental attack and greater diversity will have been added:
Production continues forircraft andir-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs).
Wc project the Blackjack will be operationalarrying both ALCMs and bombs. This aircraft will soon enter serial production.!
Size of Intercontinental Attack Forces
he projected growth in the number of deployed warheads on Soviet inleiconlmenial attack lorces is shown in figure
The force currently consists of0 warheads oneployed ballisticlaunchers and heavy bumbeis. Moslare in the ICBM force.
Warheads are Increasing. Systems now beingTyphoon and Della-lVBear II bombers, and, soon,any more warheads than the systems they are replacing.
Force diversity isowingof Soviet intercontinental allack warheads will be deployed on SSBNs and mobile ICBMs,ower proportion in fixed silos.
II the Soviets continue to havemissile launchers and heavy bombers and remain within the yuanlilallve sublimits of SALT II.0 tbc deployed warheads will grow to5 probably
While in the absence of an arms control process, the Soviets would not necessarily expand their intercontinental attack forces beyond these SALT II figures, ihey clearly have the capability for significant further expansion, to00 deployed warheadshe projection is lowerew thousand war-beads than last year's, and reflects further analy-
87 8W u(
Estimates of the number of warheads on various Soviet ballistic ine) ate beeomiiiK more uncertain
While there areyassru that the Soviets have deployed, and will continue to deploy, some mimics with more reentry vehicles (BVs)ie maomum number released in flight tests, and even more than the total of BVs actually released plus ihose umiilntcd.
in tbe numlier ol weapons be>oad thai figure is possible, prlmanlvesult of some reductions in projected tactical nuclearor supple-menial production of nuclear materials from oilier than ousting military production facilities.
Both the US and Soviet proposals al (he strategic aims ieduction talks (START) would resultignificant reduction from ibe current force stn* andajor effect on the current and planned programs These proposals, however, differ in major ways. Wc fudge ihal the Soviets would be slow to drastically reduce Ihe numbei of their heavy ICBMs given the Importance they attach lo them and the unique counlerforcc Capabilities of these weapunv Any willingness lo make such reductions would depend on major L'S rnnuiiiuril. Including concession* on IheDefense Initiative (SOILargein US win based ICBMs
he Soviets will face important decisions In the neat few years as they proceed with illghl'testing for ballistic missiles scheduled for deployment beginning in ihend. Specifically, they will have to decide whether to lest new ICBMs and SLBMs inay as to corJotrn. or appeal dose to conforming, with limitations on char act eaist set and improvementi from tbe unratified SALT II Treaty They appear lo have technical options for some of their new systems lhat will allow them to go either way.[
9 Over Ihe nextears.eipect Ihe Soviets to deploy Lane numbers ot nuclear-armed ALCMs. sea-la unched cruise missiles (SLCMsX and ground-launched cruise missiles (CLCMsX some of these will be supersonic The deployment ol cruise missiles rxovides ihe Soviets wilh new muhidirectionaL low-and lush-ahttude capabilities against US and Allied largess Estimated numbers ate highly uncertain, but we project an aggregate total ol.
a new mobile veislon. are deploying new aircraft with much better capabilities against low-lb mg targets, and will begin deploying the Mainstay airborne warning and control system (AWaCS) aircraft
The mobileS system, lo be deployed in the neat tew years, can engage rtxnen*tonal aircraft. cru.ivnd tactical ballistic missiles. We are uncertain about Us potential capabilities Against strategic liallulie missiles On the basiset of assumptions [
n the absence of negotiated reductions,the number of deployed ss-2fl-class missilesonly slightly, if al all. from thehe Soviets completedewbut they also deactivated olheis, mostlyloCBM bites Wc have notnew bases under construction Anwith improved accuracy, is Inis expected lo begin replacingn7
Strategic Defensive Forces
IL The Soviets -ill ugmbeanllr improve tbe capa-bditie* of iheu active and passive strategic defenses over the neatears,umber of new type* of weapons are introduced and many of ihe cWer systems retired Significant development* In active strategic defenses include the following
The new Moscow antiballlstic missile (ABM)which will be fully operationalillilo-based interceplors, providing an improved intercept capability against small-scale attacks on key targets around Moscow.
The new Urge ph-sed-array radar network, when fully operational al (he end ol the decade, willuch unproved capability for ballistic missile early warning, attack assessment, and accurate target tracking. These radars will be technically capable of providing battlesupportidespread ABM system, but there are uncertainties and diHerenco of view about their suitability for battle nunageencnl and whether the Soviet* would rely on these radars loa widespread ABM deploy men!
Deplcnmenl of itew lem-altitude-capableair defense svstenvt will increase The Soviets are continuing to deploy thell altitude surface-to-air missile (sam i. base begun fielding
Boltstk Miss-le Defense
he Sovietsoceioplng all the mamrfor an ABM system that could hr used for widespread ABM defenses well in eicesa of ABM Treaty limits The system consists of radars, an above-ground launcher, andie missile that will be deployed at Moscow The potential eiitts for the production lines associated with the upgrade of Ihe Moscow ABM system to be used lo support adeployment We iudge the Soviets are capable of undertaking rapidly paced ABM deployments to strengtlien tbe defenses at Moscow and cover key targets in the western USSB, and lo extend protection to key targets east of the Urab by ther, assuming Ihey have already begun mak-ing some ol the neceasaiy preparations.
e have reexamined our estimates of thethat tbc Soviets would conduct such aABM deployment beginning in. aod we now corscluoV (bat tl is unlikely that they wiDpereeot chance, as compared with a
- TV rkUn of :kua ilw UnMil CJMe/ oi Stetf. Owneml of too Aw
previouslyper cent chance.)probably perceive the near-term militaryas outweighed bv the long-lerm implications ofAllied responses, particularly the prospects ofeommilrnent to SDI. If the Soviets choosea widespread ABM system, we judge it isthat Ihey will deploy, beginning in, defenses basedew generationequipment, than that they will soon begindefenses based on their current equipment.view holds that the probability ofmay be understated According toSoviet doctrinal requirements forcapability have alwaysotivationABMs both at Moscow and elsewhere.also holds lhat the likelihood of deploymentcontingent on the developmentew
he Sovieis still tack effective means to locate US SSBNs at sea. We expect them to continue to pursue vigorously all ASW technologies as potential solutions lo the problems of countering US SSBNs and defending their own SSBNs against US attackThey have an energetic effort toapability to remotely sense submarine-generated ef-fecls Although we have improved our understanding of the nature of tire Soviets' overall effort
important uncertainties about thy full extentof their
e do not believe thereealisticthe Soviets will be able Iu deploy inthat could reliably monitor US SSBNsin Ihe open ocean. There is athat the Soviets could deploy in thean ASW remote detection system lhatwilh some effectiveness if enemyattack submarines (SSNs) approachednear Soviei SSBN bastions
here is strong evidence of Soviet efforts to develop high-energy laser weapons, although there are large uncertainties about ihe size and scope of the Soviets' research efforts in key technologies, as well as about the status and goals of their weaponprograms
Tht holdtt ofhtDtftntt latelUeeatt
We estimate the high-energy laser efforts we have been able to observe would cost roughly
illion per year if carried out in the United States.
facilities at the Saryshagan test range are assessed to have high-energy lasers with the potential to (unction as antisatellite (ASAT) weapons.
Therearge Soviet program lo develop ground-based laser weapons for terminal defense against reentry vehicles. Tlicre are majorhowever, concerning the feasibility and practicality of using ground-based lasers formissile defense and aboul when the Soviets might have such systems operalional Wc expect them to test the feasibility ofystem during, probably using one of the high-energy User facilities at Saryshagan. Ansystem could not be deployed until many years Later, probably not unlil after theew such systems couldbe operational in.
The Sovieis appear to be developing two high-energy laser weapons with potential stralegic air defenseand naval point defense.
The Soviets are continuing to develop anlaser.
Soviet researchroicct to develop high-energy laser weapons for use in space. We estimate there is an even chancerototype high-energy, space-based laser ASAT weapon will be tested in low orbit in the. Even if testing were successful,ystem probably could not be operational belorc the. An alternative view holds there isow probability of such tests by the early
he Sovieis are aho conducting research under mililary sponsorship for (he purpose of acquiring the ability to develop particle beam weaponsut the size and scope of this effort are unknown. We believe the Soviets will eventually attempt towcc-based PBW. but wc estimate there isow probabilitylrototype before the year
IS Wc have no recent information on any Soviet program to develop radiofrequency (RF) weapons lo destroy the electronicsarget. The Soviets are strong in Ihe appropriate techrrologics, however, and
' Tht holdtrrht Avwont Chief oflo, Xnltihsfaoe. Dtpattmtni of iht Aram, ft.ftfor. Bureau ol laitlll-gem* ami Betttmh. Dtpo,im*ni ol Stair: and ihtf Euarga
we judge they are capable of developing RF weapon system.I
1 the Soviets have been large facility on topountain near Dushanbe in the southernmost area of the USSR. I
diiecied-erirrny weuix>na laser nradiofrequency ASATmost consistent with the availableomewhat less likely, but still plausible, function is deep space surveillance and/'or space object identification
Resources and Arms Control
hile the Soviets areajorof their industrial production capability, we do not believe that economic considerations alone would lead litem to abandon major strategic weapon programs, to forsake force modernization goals, or to make substantial concessions in aims control. In recent years ihey made major resource commitments to emerging new systems, particularly cosily mobilesystems. Soviei force decisions and arms control decisions are likely to continue to be driven primarily by calculations of polilical-strategic benefits and tbe dynamism ol weapons technology. We believe,that,esull of ibe Sark economic realities, decisions Involving the rate of strategic forceprobably will be influenced by economicmore now than in Ibe past and some deployment programs could be stretched out. Ma)or new initiatives would involve difficult trade-offs; In particular, If the Soviets decided to expand their ABM defenses far beyondauncher treaty limit, they might be compelled to alter some of their other nonstrategic military modernization efforts, or to stretch out the ABM deployments somewhat. We judge, however, that strategic forces will continue to command ihe highest resource priorities and therefore would be affected less by economic problems than any other element of the Soviet military, although there are indications of an increased Soviet emphasis on convert-Itonal forces, using more advanced techtioJogv.
leaders view arms control policy asfactor In preserving past strategic gainsfurther strategic advantages Moscowbelieved that arms control must first andihe capabilities of Soviet military forcesto their opponents The Soviets seek to limitmodernization through both the armsand any resulting agreements They will trythe arms control arenaeans ofUS strategic programs and delaying orthe US SDI program. In their view, SDIthem to redirect their offensive ballisticprograms to reduceostly, open-endedin which, they apparently believe,States could outpace their own ongoing efforts.
Soviet Scenarios for Nuclear War
military planning Is guided bywartime objectives: to decisively defeatand nuclear forces, occupy enemyin the theater, and defend the homelandattack. To meet these objectives, thetheir forceslobal nuclear conflict.has diversified In scope and becomecomplex in the operational factors with which
he Soviets apparently believeajor nuclear conflict, if it occurred, would be likely lo arise outATO-Warsaw Pact conventional conflict precededolitical crisis period that could last several weeks or longer. Theyonventional phase as lastingew days to as long as several weeks. The Soviets see little likelihood that the United States wouldurprise nuclear attackormal peacetime posture; we judge il is unlikely that ihey would mount such an attack themselves. Their key objectives In the conventional phase would be to weaken the enemy's theater-based and sea-basedforces with attacks by conventional weapons, while protecting their own nuclear forces. Wcthereigh likelihood that the Soviets would attempt to interfere with selected US space systems that provide important wartime support, using both destructive and nondestructive means. (However, the Soviets* growing reliance on space assets for theof military operations is likely toilemma if better US antisatellite capabilities emerge) Tbey believe elements of their strategic forces would suffer losses during conventional conflict, j
he Soviets aie unlikely lo initiale nucleara theater conflict unless they perceived thatabout to use nuclear weapons, because thevsee il as heinst to their advantage insteadthe conflict at the conventional leveL Theprobably see an initial localized use ofas still leaving an opportunity to avoidnuclear war. However, once large-scale useweapons in the theater occurred,escalation to intercontinental nuclearbe
s the likelihood of large-scale nuclear conflict increased. Soviet leaders would face the difficult decision of whether to seize the initiative and strike, as would be consistent with their general militaryor to be more cautious in Ihe hnpe of averting large-scale nuclear strikes on the Soviet homeland. There are no easy prescriptions for what Ihe Soviets would actually doarticular set ofdespite the apparent doctrinal imperative to mount large-scale preemptive nuclear attacks. | |
n intercontinental strikes the Sovietsto neutralize US and Allied mililarydestroy USbascd nucleardisrupt and destroy the supportingcontrol systems for these forces as well asCommand Authority, and to attemptthe United Stales from the theater campaignits power protection capabilities. Theywould also attempt to reduce US militarythe long term bv attacking other nonnuclcarmilitary-industrial capacity, andfacilities, although the extent of Ihe attacktargets in the Initial strikes could vary,on the circumstances. It is highly unlikely thatwould limit initial intercontinental strikesa "decapitation" attack against command,communications targets, or onlyortion offorces, such as ICBM silos.
he Soviets, following the initial large-scale nuclear strikes, plan to reconstitute some surviving general purpose and strategic forces and to occupy substantial areas of Wesiern Europe, whilethe ability of US and Allied nuclear forces to interfere with these objectives. The Sovieis would clearly prefer to accomplish iheir objectives quickly, but recognize that the later phases could be protracted, given ihe size and power of the contending coalitions, as well as the difficulty and complexity of conducting operations following large-scale nuclear strikes. Thev prepare for combat operations lhat could extend weeks beyond an initial nuclear phase!
As force modernization proceeds, the Soviets will continue lo rely primarily on silo-based ICBMs (or use in initial strikes, while withholding many of Iheir SLBMs and presumably most of their dispersed mobile ICBMs for subsequent strikes during later phases of nuclear conflict. They also would attempt to reload and retire some ICBMs. many, and probably some SLBMs, using reserve missiles and equipment Taking into account Ihe problems the Soviets are likely to faceostattack environment and the apparently limited extent of preparallons thev have undertaken to cope with these difficulties, we estimate they probably would be able to reload and refire from siloseriod of weeks or monthsmall portion of the reserve ICBMs they maintain in peacetime. Theof mobile ICBMs will lead to improved capabilities for ICBM reload. | |
There is an alternative view that the main text overstates the difficulties the Soviets would have in reconstituting their current silo-based ICBM force in nuclear conflict, given the extensive preparations this view holds they have made, and that consequently they would be able toarge portion of their reserve ICBMs" According to another alternative view, the Soviets do not include ICBM. SLBM, andeload and refire in their war plans. However, the Soviets probably would, in this view, attempt toew launchersontingency basis, if anv reserve missile* not required to maintain the online force were available. According to thisoviet requirement (or additional warheads would be better met bv deployment of additional missiles onFurthermore, in this view, it is by no means clear that reload and refire operations during nuclear war would be less problematic for mobile launchers than for
Capabilities of Strategic Forces
lte Soviets have enough hard-targct-capable ICBM BVs today to attack all US missile silos and launch control centers with at least two warheads each. Our estimate of the expected damageS Minutcman silo from two Sovieiarheads is aboutoercent. (There is some additional uncertainly because we cannot precisely estimate the accuracy and yield of Soviethe projected accuracy improvements for Ihe new heavy ICBM we expect ihe Soviets to deploy in theould
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r*JraiL> ol ihnhe Direder. Buitev of laltllirenee uhj* Htttiich.of Suit Q
ubstantial increase in damage capability,est estimate aroundoercent. Our analysis suggests that the Soviets, although they have views different Irom those o( the United States about the pertinent nuclear cflects and best attack modes against silos, probablyimilar perception of (heir effectiveness ininutcman silo.
Over the nextears, Soviet offensive force* will not be able to reliably target and destroy patroling US SSRNs, alert aircraft, aircraft in flight, or dispersed land-mobile missiles, particularly those beyond the range of tactical reconnaissance systems We believe thai,risis or conflict, the Soviets would credit undegraded US warning and control systems wilh the ability to bunch ICBMs on tactical warning. [ |
Dispersed Soviet mobile missiles, many SSBNs patrolling In waters near the USSR,arge part of the silo-based ICBM force would survive an attack by current US forces. The Soviets, however, probably perceive their ICBM silos to be somewhat more vulnerableS attack than we would assess, given their differing views of nuclear eSccts and likely attack modes, I
increasing vulnerability o( Soviet ICBM silos during the period of this Estimate if more accurate US missiles are deployed, the Soviets will be faced with more difficult problems in assuring adequatecapabilities in their critical planning scenario in which they arc struck first The Soviets will continue to rely on silo-based ICBMs for (he bulk of their preemptive attack capabilities. We have seenrogram to significantly increase the hardness of their missileur analysis suggests the Soviets are unlikely to see much advantage In super-hardening. They will increasingly depend on their mobile ICBM and SLBM forces for their retaliatory capabilities. We also Judge that the Soviets can launch ICBMs on tactical warning, assuming their warning and command and control systems were undegraded.
urrent Soviet ASAT capabilities could not deny enemy use of space in lime of war, bui Soviet ASAT systems couldumber of key US satellites. In addition to the dedicated rionnuclear orbital interceptor, othernuclear Galosh ABM intereeplor and two ground-based high-energythe potential to destroy or interfere with some satellites in near-Earth orbit: these capabilities, however, would notuclear attack.warfare currently represents the only potential
threat lo unprotected satellites in higher orbits.
ecause of recent analysis, weomewhat different picture of Soviet leadership protection than was shown in last year's Estimate We now estimate the total number of exurban facilities supporting the Soviet wartime leadership to be. somewhat lower than last year's figure. Of thb number, wc assesss being vital lo supporting Soviet war-fighting operations; |
he Soviets' commitment to their deepprogram is greater than we previotislyWe nowetter understanding of tlte fact that, over the lastears, they have constructed an enormous system of deep underground facilities,several hundred meters beneath the Moscow urban area, interconnected both by the public metro system and dedicated VIP metro lines leading to the Vnukovo Airfield VIP terminal, the Chekhov and Sharapovo deep underground complexes, andthe Chernoye air defense complex. Access to tbe Moscow underground complex is available from each of the major state and party institutional headquarters, including the Kremlin. KCB Headquarters, and the facilities of the Central Committee. Similar subway-related deep underground facilities have been con* firmed in Leningrad. Kiev, and Baku. |
j These deep underground tacilitiesittlcuil targeting problem for US planners.|
SulBcicnt warning to implement relocation plans would allow survivalarge percentage of the Soviet leadership, mostly at lower territorial levels. However, the Soviet wartime management system would be seriously disrupted, with major degradation or denial of many national-level leadership functions associated with the Moscow area- Damage would also be pronounced at the in termedevel, affecting military districts (and regional military highas well as the leadership of the Soviet repub* lies.
Any judgment about the overall effectiveness of the future Soviet air defenses against au attack by bombers and cruise missiles is subject to considerable uncertainty. Penetration of improved Soviet airby currently deployed bombers would be more difficult These defenses, however, would be consider-
ably less effective against US crude missiles and future bombers. Our Judgment is that,ombined attack of penctratirig-bombers, short-range attack mis-tiles (SHAMsX and cruise missiles. Soviet air defense, during the nestears probably would not be capable of mBicring sufficient losses to prevent coosid-eiablr penetration of Soviet air defenses. Thesehowever, are highly dependent on theof US electronic countrrrneasures and Ihe prnrtution altitudes of US bombers and crube mu-
here is an alternative view that this Estimate subrtantudly understates the capability of the Soviet all defense system to defend key lareet areas against low-altitude penetiators. The holder of this view lie-lieves that Ihe eHectiveness in such areas would be significantly higherombined attack of penotrating bombers. SUA Ms. and cruise missiles than the Estimate |
significant improvements In thenf both Soviet and US strategic offensiveoccur throughout the neatears, sizableboth sides would survive large-scale nuclearseems highly likely that the Soviets couldcnnlinuity of command and control,would probably be degraded The SovietsdiHkully in maintaining endurancefor weeks of continuing operations,if subjected to US strikes Sovietcapabilities could be paiticulailyWe believe the Soviets would bunchattacks on US and Allied strategicund communications to prevent or impairof retaliatory strikes, thereby easingon Soviet strategic defenses, and impairingAllied abilities to marshal military andto reconstitute forces.
evidence shows clearly that Sovietpreparing their military forces for thethey will actually have touclearhave seriously addressed many of the problems
conducting militaryucieai -ar. and are training for increasingly com pin conflicthereby improving Ibeir abtbty to deal with the many contingencies ofontact We fudge that the Soviets would plan toilitary campaign that would seek touclear war on
- Tkraw raoc i> AnWwnr (hr/ of SM/of iht 4mv [ neutralizing the ability of USand theater nuclear forces to interfere with Soviet capabilities to defeat advemrv forces in Eurasia and dominate that area, while preserving the ability of the Soviei stale to survive and recover. We do not have specific evidence on howoviets would aueas iheir prospects for prevailinglobal nuclear conflict, but. because theirifferent from curs, their conclusions ai to compara-live advantage may also be very different from our own
Their persistence in enhancing their strategic offensive and defensive capabilities is pursued riot with the expectation that they would avert widespread disaster in all circuinstanm. hut ratherelief that, if nuclear strikes look place, sizable forces would be likely In survive on both sides, the war might well continue, and they should be prepared lo pursue an outcome as favorable as possible
The Soviet view of nuclear strategy holds lhat challenges to Soviet interests become less likely as the Soviet Union is better prepared to fight in various contingencies- This approach is designed to realize Soviet geopolitical obrecttves through coercion, if possible, and to emerge ashould waroccur
While the Soviets emphasize the miliury value of preemptioneans of reducing damage, they also evaluate the capabilities of strategic forces to accomplish missions under unfavorable conditions, such as having to bunch from under attack or after absorbing an attack Sovietalso has emphasized the adequacy of tfrate-gic forces lo fulfill missionshav of nonnuclear theater war during which strategic avsets might have suffered
oviet pbnner's judgments are likely to lie ilinrtgly shaped both by his appreciation of thepossibility of nuclear war and by his sensitivity lo lhc stringent requirements for waging Itby Limiting damage to the homeland and pursuing wide-ranging combat objectives against tlie United States and in continental theaters on the periphery of the USSR Thus he operatesbnning environment which typically hasigh priority on such CapaUlllin as
defenses, as well as active defenses and massive initial Strikes on enemy ICIiMs to limit damage.
Highly redundant command, control,and intelligence capabilities andleadership protection measures lo assure continuity of control of Ihe war effort.
Various command, control, communications, and intelligence capabilities and other measures to assure the integration and coordination of the disparate strategic and oilier force elements that would prosecute the war both at thelevel and in Eurasian theaters.
In general, preparations for more eilcndedbeyond the initial nuclear strikes!,
esult of such different and. in some ways, more demanding requirements, as compared wilh traditional US requirements, the Soviets are likely to rate their capabilities us lnwerome areas than we would assess them to be. They clearly are concerned about:
The vulnerability of their submarines In US ASW. particularly In view of the reserve mission they assignart of Iheir SSBN force.
The impact uf ongoing and potential L'S strategic programs.
The increased probability that US improvements In command, control, communications, andwill enable the United States to retaliate more effectively and In manage forces more efficiently in at least the initial stageuclear war.
Their own ability to maintain effectivecontrol, communications, and intelligence connectivity throughout key phases of crisis or war.
Their inability to prevent the United States fromounterstTike. We fudge that the Soviets would anticipateaige force of US and Alliedbombers, patrolling SSBNs. and atmall number ofcouldajor massed strike. Moreover, the Soviets could riot be confident that tlte United States would not be capable of launching the ICBM force on tactical warning or under attack. The Soviets are also well aware of their inability lo prevent massive damage to the USSR, wilh (heir strategic defenses even wilh tltetaking place in these forces. Thev abo recognize thai US strategic defeases cannot prevent massive
We conclude that the Soviets' calculations of their chances for success in any nuclear conflict would occurackdrop of fundamental uncertainty. They recognize the uncertainties inherent in many of tlte factors upon which their success in nuclear war would depend. Thev do not know some factors with precision and others are unknowable in advance of wai itself. We judge, therefore, that the Soviets would not have high confidence in the capability of their strategic offensive and defensive forces lo accomplish their wartime missions, particularly limiting the extent of damage to the Soviet homeland. The Soviets' lack nf high confidence and their appreciation of the destruc-tiveness Inherent in nuclear conflict would piobably inhibit them in peacetime fioin deliberatelyiiecl clash with the United States or its NATO Allies. Avoiding further escalation, however, would not be their sole concern should they get Involvedajor conventional war with the United Stales and its Allies. In thesethey would expect the risks of nuclear war to bewould also consider that, by failing to seize Ihe initiative should all-out nuclear war appear imminent and unavoidable, il-t- Soviets could suffer both greater damageeduction in their chances foi eventual combat success. The likelihood of their initiation of nuclear strikes would increase il Oievaior strategic reversal on the battlefield If the Soviets possessed convincing evidence- that NATO or the United States was about toarge-scale nuclear strike, thev would attempt to preempt. | |
We cannot fully determine the operationaltrial would sway the Soviets' judgments on whether to risk nuclear war In the variouswhere they might faceecision over Ihe next decade We note, in general, that, despitedeployments of mobile ICBMs and othermeasures to enhance the survivability of Iheir forces, we expect them to deploy new silo-based heavy ICBMs lhat probably will be both mote capable against US hard targets and moreS countersilo attack inhe Soviets' strategic programs suggest that, whiletheir prospects for riding oul an attack, they still will have Incentives lo rely on the employment options of preemptnd launching on tacticaloptions that arc consistent with Iheir lungslanding strategic tiullook. Then willingness to rely on these options, in short, attests to their continued concern to ma>imize their combatat leasithose nf the Unitedthe event of nuclear
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