Created: 11/26/1984

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National InidiigeiKc Estimate

Potential for the Transfer of US Space Technology to the Soviet Union

Key Judgments



ft* full teat ol ant Estimate ii betm publitM separately

iffulii dlitrlbvtiixi



The following intelligence organizations participated in tho preparation of the Estimate:

The Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, lhe National Security Agency, ond lhe intelligence orgoni tot ions ot the Department! of Stole ond the Treasury.

Also Participating:

The Assistant Chief ol Sloff lor Intelligence. Department of the Army The Director ol Novo! Intelligence, Departmenl ol Ihe Navy TheChief of Staff, lm*tgence. Department of (he Air Force The Director of Intelligence. Headquarters, Marine Corps


I*Ik- evolving plans for greater cnoperalioii IkHwivii the US Civilrogram and lltose of US allies in Western Europe nnd Japan have given rise lo concerns tbuul postihle lecltnologicnl leakage In the USSR Tlit*oint programs roukl involve the sharing of research and development information, advanced mnnul act on nr, leeli-niqties, nnd operational support in programs such as the space station.

This Estimate assesses the possible military--elated benefits that the USSR could derive from Ihe transfer ol specific US space technologies and idenlifies whal we perceive tof key Soviet needs related to space technology. It also describes ihe Soviel prop.iarn Io acquire Western technology. lhe methods used, and lhe contributions lhat Western space technology have made lo cprtain Soviel militaryand military-related space programs.

The Estimate also assesses lhe competence .nul vulnerabilities of the Soviel acquisition program, the prospects for the loss of US technology by means of the joint space programs, and counter measures to reduce these prospective losses. There are also assessments of the intelligence gaps and the limitations thai affect this Estimate.

Our conclusions are general and arc intended lo support the development of overall policies and guidelines concerning ct>operative space efforts with US allies. Specific cases will have io be reviewed for technology transfer potential as tliey arise and lhe terms of cooperation and details of control agreements are determined

Thb Estimate docs not address the impaci ol nol havingspace programs wilh US allies

Our findings and analysis for this Estimate ate in two volumes.Volume I: Key Judgments and Summaryhe Estimate.



We IkIicvc thai toinl space programs between the United States and iti allies will, under current conditions, serve as conduits (or tlieleakage of sensitive US technology to the Soviets. These technologies would be applied directly to future Soviet military space nnd iionspace military systems developments. To beast amount of valuable since-related technology already has been and continues to be obtained directly from US sources and used by the Soviets in application! ranging from iheir satellite data relay system to Iheir developmental space transportation system. We expect lhat Western technology not controlled for national security, foreign policy, or competitive reasons will continue to be acquired by the Soviets. Our primary concern with respect to cooperative space progiams wilh US allies is lhat the transfer to allies of controlled' US Technology substantially increases its vulnerability lo Soviet collectors [_

^ihe Soviet technology acquisition program is large, well organized, well funded, and has in place the means to collect both controlled and uncontrolledmeans including espionage, trade diversions, and scientific exchange

Our expectation Tor continued Soviel acquisition and use of US space technology is based, in part, on the record of Soviet activity in thisthat has already greatly benefited Soviet space and military space system developments:

There arc several instances where certain Soviel spaccctaft systems and subsystems are so similar to US spacecrafl systems or subsystems that we can confidenlly assess lhat they have al leasl benefited greally from, if not actually copied. Western technology or systems


COCOM puke, .Wi

lW-Ki- >nwn M* ircUokaKi ill PMiralUi ..

Wc believe (be Soviels acquired considerable infoini.ilion on llie US shuttle orbit cr's thermal protection system (rom lhe surface licating data obtained from the second and third shuttle flights. These dala were released lo the public inASA estimates thai lhe data could save the Soviets the equivalent0 million inost and considerably reduce development time.

We eslimate ihal Soviel attempls lo acquire space technology will be in areas needed to support development of future systems or follow-ons to existing space and nonspace military systems rather than for systems in current production oi in an, advanced stale of development. Current assessments of Soviel technological capability identifyechnology areas thai are critical lo possible Soviel space programs. Thesespace technology" areas affect somepace systems or system options tor which we believe there are Soviet military needs and corresponding intelligence collection requirements The Sovietswill not be able lo satisfy all of these requirements through access to US-allied cooperative space programs.

A number of counternieasures arc available, some of which are being applied by the United Slates andesser exlenl by the allies to protect sensitive technologies. With respect to the unclassified and uncontrolled technology, the most effective counter measure is an awareness program coupled with security and distribution procedures to introduce uncertainly and time lags in the Soviet and East European technology acquisition process. As for trade, most key space-related hardware is already controlled, and efforts of COCOM members currently under way to reduce diversions will enhance COCOMs effectiveness, even if the measures are only partially successful.efforts by the WesI over the past two years have reduced, to some extent, lhe effectiveness of Moscow's clandestine technology acquisition operations.

The Soviets regard all acquisition of Western equipment and scientific and technical information in support of requirements seteir Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) as an intelligence operalion. regardless of who collects il or how il is collected. These operations focus on technology that enhances Soviet military efforts, including space programs. Open-source publications (particularly NASAand NASA-Iunded contracted studies) constitute the Soviels" largest and most important source of US space technology. Soviet collection requirements ihal cannol be satisfied by open sources, exchanges, or legal purchases become clandestine targets to be reached by cither illegal purchases or by traditional espionage methods.

I'need wilh lhe iiiteiiMh'rntion of llie Mulilury-lrchimhit'.icnl eompe-lit foil wilt) (In* Unites! Slates, anil llie fliowint* importanceie spacei* Soviets will continue1 I" Increase iheir collection efforts to overcome Western controls covering space-related teclmolotcvtlie inulili'ijiioii of oiriHiiini.il space capabilities anionic the Western allies and lhe establishment of cooperative space programs with them will widen the available targets for Soviet access. It is possible that, as lhe Western allies develop and apply technokxtv in iheir own space programs, they will become nioie cautious in their exchanges wilh the Soviets and more security conscious. Il is likely, however, thai the Soviel nnd Eastollectors will continue to find llie allies lo be iuvitiiiK latgels.

Original document.

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