Created: 7/19/1983

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The Soviet Spate Program




Niooflilimil--Volume"!Jud^Ei-iiU und Suiint: if)



In'onnilkmu ef3 WU uwt in theol ihii EsUittii*.

WABNINCj The material in thb doeumearf it sensitive. Distribution of this Nl^noM be strictly limited to trveeejrfficUis who icquite access tu the suljjaefrnatter for the performance of thcu^tutle* For this reason Ihe publicatioii^rfa wlwle ii classified Top Secret beearfJse compromise of IU contentsrav* threat In national ae^urity.



The toMowtng inteffigence organiioliom participated in the preparation of the Sttimote:

Tho Central InUUigenot Agency, tho Dotfnie Intolligonce Agency, ihe Notional Secuiiiy Agency, and the intelligence orgonlioflon of theof Slot*.

Also Participating!

TN Awlilool Chief ol Staff far Ir-tri: eportment of the Army Thm Director of No-ol fcrteJipenot, Deportment of the Novy The Auntonl QWI of Staff.eporlmenl of the Air Force the Director ol IrrteJiflence. Heodo<iort*ri. Marine Corps



This Estimate describes current Soviet space capabilities, identifies elements of the space program in various stages of development, andhow these will affect future Soviet capabilities in space throughnd inton the absence of space-related arms control agreements.resents the Key Judgmentsummary of how expected Soviet space developments will affect political, military, and economic competition as well as Soviet prestige. Volume IIore detailed discussion of the missions and capabilities of the Soviet space program.

For purposes of this Estimate, we have judged the likelihood of various Soviet space developments as ranging from very low to very high. These judgments, stated in terms of probability of occurrence, would be:

Veryess thanercent

0 toercent0 toercent

0 toercent Veryore thanercent.


We believe the principal goals of the Soviet space program are to:

Provide global support to Soviet military forces.

Enhance the worldwide influence and prestige .of the Soviet Union.

,, Deny enemies the use of space in wartime.

to the Soviet economy.

Military activities account for more thanercent of the current Soviet space program in terms of annual launches and the estimated total cost of the program. Moreover, from the Soviet militaryspace is viewed as an extension of theaters of operations rather thaneparate arena of conflict

The current Soviet space program includesctive satellites that provide communications, intelligence, targeting, warning, navigation, mapping, weather, research, and other functions. Inresearch and reconnaissance are conductedanned space complex. Current Soviet antisatellite (ASAT) capabilities are limited and fall short of meeting the apparent requirement to be able lo deny enemy use of space in time of war. The USSR has an operational ASAT orbital interceptor, ground-based lest lasers with probable ASATand the technological capability lo conduct electronic warfare (EW) against space systems

Although their current space program lacks some of the capabilities found in the technologically sophisticated US space program, the Soviets' space systems adequately satisfy most of their currentThe space program, moreover, has several unique features, including ocean reconnaissance satellites for naval targeling, orbital interceptors for the destruction of satellites in low orbit, and long-duration manned space missions lhat have increasingly emphasized military research and applications

The Soviet space program isdollar cost equivalent is moreillion. Currently this amounts to more

percent of the Soviet gross national product (GNPj. Part of this high cost is due to the higherfor llie Soviets to maintain iheir systems in orbit. Average lifetimes of Soviel satellites are quite short, and many have experienced reliabilityMoreover, Soviet satellites are concentrated primarily in low-allitude orbils thai generally require more frequent replenishment.

Soviet space expenditures will continue at high levels during the nextears, and the rate of growth in military space investment will continue to outpace the rate of growth of the Soviet economy and overall military spending:

Seventeen new Soviet space systems that have been identified in various stages of development are likely to undergo testing in the nextears (Seeost of them are expected to be deployed by the. This will result mainly into current capabilities

Maior new capabilities in the nextears'will result from the successful introductioneusable space transportaliona spaceilitary space plane,cavy-lifl launch vehicle. Any delay in development of the heavy-lift launch vehicle will seriously affect several other Soviet space systems.

The reliability of Soviet space systems also will improve, but some reliability problems will remain because of poor product engineering, limitations in technology, and inadequate quality control. Newer satellites should achieve an average lifetime of three yean, nearly doubling the average lifetime of older systems.

The most significant result of the increased effort in space will be the extension of the Soviet military reach by providing global support to military operations;

Command and control communications will be availablelobal basis, providing an expanding number of military users with continuous, secure, and reliable communications.

InteUigence collection, targeling, global navigation, and weather data will be more accurate and timely,

As satellite data relay systems become available, intelligence and target information will be increasingly available to tactical commanders

Figure 1

Major New Soviel Space Systems in Development






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launch deietiioi


space nation


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For the rest of this century. Soviet space-related weapon systems will probably be limited to ASAT roles:

Wc do not expect significant improvements in the capabilities

of the nonnuclcar orbital ASAT interceptors. We do notthe developmentigh-altitude conventional orbital ASAT capability.

the most serious threat to US space systems is active EW. especially against high-altitude satellites. An additional view holdsoviel active EW capability against satellites does exist, brute force jamming would be the most likely EW technique. On the basis of available evidence, it is

difficult to judge with any confidenceovietcapability would include mote complex forms of jamming.1

Although potentially capable, we believe that Sovietballistic missiles and direct-ascent anliballistic missiles (ABMs) are unlikely lo be used in ASAT roles. Nevertheless, unprotected satellites will remain vulnerable to the long-range and persistent effects of nuclear detonations in space.

We believe thereigh probabilityrototype high-energy laser ASAT weapon will be tested in low orbit bv tlieigh-altitude version may be tested by the end of thepace-based laser ofegawatt class could

e tested in thet the earliest, but prototype testing is more likely to occur in the. If testing proves successful, an initial operational low-altitude system consistingew satellite weapons, having an ASAT range of hundreds of kilometers, could be available by the. Theimpact of the first testpace-based lasereapon-related mode would be greater than the actual military significance ofeapon in its initial applications.

Space-based weapons for ballistic missile defense (HMD) will require greater technological advances than those needed for an ASAT mission. Thus, the Soviets arc unlikely torototype space-based laser BMP system until at least ther an operational system until after the0

ransition to war. we believe the Soviets would expand theof naval targeting and photoreconriaissanee systems to reach full operational potential. Short of direct US-Soviet conflict, it seems unlikely that the Soviet leadership would risk physical destruction of US satellites, whereas It could perceive nondestructive interferenceomewhat less risky option. Should war occur, the use of active electronic warfare against space systems would probably be Ihc Initial ASAT activity. We do not believe that any ASAT activity would bemerely for warning or demonstration purposes. The likelihood of their launching orbital ASAT interceptors against selected US satellites probably would be highATO-Warsaw Pact conflict. Inonflict, the Soviets may perceive an operational advantage if both sides experience significant satellite losses. Inthe USSR's quick-launch capabilities provide an advantage over the United States in restoring satellite capabilities, assuming its launch-pads remain intact

Tht holder nl ikuhe IX-eetot.MMff neenty.


Tap Sdj.oi-

udear war. Soviet space systems would have keyTheir launch and control sites are not hardened, and their satellites probably have limited protection. In tbe future, key satellite systems could be replaced either by using reserves stored in orbit or by launching satellites from mobile facilities. However, the development of smaller communications and photoreconnalssance satellites would be required for useobile launch capability.

Manned space activities are receiving increased emphasis in the Soviet space program:

6 manned space activities, which are predornananUy miliury in nature, will account for more than one-fourth of Soviet space expenditures.

The Soviet leadership has announced the national objective ofontinuously manned space station, which we believe will be achieved by

Beyond research and development, the military purposes of manned space stations remain unclear, but reconnaissance, to include ocean surveillance, is likely to be the main military mission. Inilitary space plane Is underTlie space plane mission also is unclear, but is likely toreconnaissance.

Increased Soviet space activities will offer potential economic benefits:

The USSR will be able toariety of space services at competitive prices. These services, particularlyand space launches, could provide sources of hardearnings.

Manufacturing and materials processing in space is another area of potential economic benefit to the USSR. Soviet experiments are sufficiently advanced to begin production in space within the next few years. Tbe Soviet space shuttle will enable regular harvesting of products manufactured in space

Increased Soviet space activities will also enhance Soviet prestige:

A visible, highly publicized, continuously manned Soviet space station will receive frequent worldwide attention.

A manned Muis mission or the establishmentanned lunar base could be undertaken in tlie. If actually undertaken and successful, such activities would demonstrate Soviel scientific and technical prowrss.


-*iy MOW-

lunar and planetary exploration, such as the comingalley's Comet mission, will enhance the USSR's desired imageeaceful and technologically advanced nation.

Our ability to anticipate developments in the Soviet space program is becoming increasingly difficult^


Therefore, unanticipated developments will be increasing-lix perception of the Soviet space threat would increaseif breakthroughs occur In:


ubmarine detection.



Use of Space

The Soviel space programariety of requirements, bul ihc broado increase worldwide political Influence by enhancing military capabilities, prestige, and economic development. The Soviets gauge this objective mainly In the context of East-West competition, and they focus thbin the military arena Military activities account for mote tlianercent of the current Soviet space program in terms ol annual launches and thetotal cost of the program (See

Prom the Soviet military perspective,iewed as an eitenslon of theaters of operations rather thaneparate arena of conflict. In time of war, satellites would be subject to military action as would the forces they support. Therefore, according to Soviet military writers, space systems arc to be maintained at lhe same stage of combat readiness as the forces they support In addition, there are provisions for sustaining military operations by having capabilities to replace key space systems cllhei Irom reserves stored near ground launch facilities or from inactive satellites stored in oibit. However, should general war occur, sjrouisd-support elements of Soviet spaoe systems are vulnerable. Neither launch nor control lacilities are hardened against nuclear altack, and there are no indications of mobile Launch lacilities Althoughoobile emergency launch capabiUty for small communications satellites could be available, possibly as early as the, using solid-propcl-lant intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that will be deployed beginning in theimilar capability with near-real-time photoreconnaissancc satellites could be achieved by the. We also believe that within the next lew years ihe Soviets willobile command capability formililary space systems using ships or ground-bascd mobile terminals.

3 Current Soviel antlsatellite (ASAT) capabilities arc limited and fall short ol meeting the apparent requirement to be able to deny enemy use of space in

time of war. The ASAT orbitalapable of destroying satellites In low orbil. We believe the USSR currently has the technological capability to attempt to interfere with foreign satellite systems, using active electronic warfare (EW)n addition, direct-ascent anUbaUlstic missile (ABM)and ground-based tost lasers have potential ASAT capabilities Also, Soviet space boasters or ICBMs with nuclear warheads could be modified for ASAT purposes, however, we believe the KkcJihood of such modifications to be low.

A. Short of direct US-Soviet conflict, it seemsthe Soviet leadership would risk physicalof US satellites, whereas they could perceive nondestructive interferenceomewhat less risky option We do not believe that any ASAT activities would be undertaken merely for warning orpurposes. Wc believe thereigh likelihood that,ATO-Warsaw Pact conventionalthe Soviets would attempt to Interfere with selected US space systems thai provide Important support, using both nondestructive and destructive-means Inonflict Soviet leaders may perceive an operational advantage ll both sides experience significant satellite losses because of greater US dependence on space systems In addition, Soviet satellites can be more Quickly replaced il space launch facilities remain Intact. The decision to launch ASAT interceptors against satellites during the early partonventional NATO-Warsaw pact conflict would be affected by Soviet uncertainties with regard to US responses, including the likelihood of Bttsyeks against cabling Soviet space launch sites.eneral war were under way in which the massive use of nuclear weapons appeared imminent, the likelihood ofinterference with all US space systems is very high, using all available means.

Priority and Crowth of Space Program

S. Soviet space expenditures will continue at hitch ke.veb during the nextears, and the rate of growth

SeeI lor an tllrmalU* eirw ftprturd bv (AcNational Smiriiy Aerncv

Figure 2

Soviel Spacecraft Categories

Anion if tenure uie lid it Amateuratellite* Protnoj Kieaufic satellite* 8riMlliiri (lifter iciemific satellites Lunar mil plincury ipicioD

military space investment will conlinue lo outpace the rate of growth nf llie Soviet economy anil Soviet military spending. (Seehe dollar cent equivalent of the Soviet space program3 isillion, as compared withillion for US Government space expenditures plus several billion dollars in additional US commercialin si>ace. (Seen) The European Space Agencyrance, and Japan have developed modest space programs, but they are nol competitivecale wilh the USSR, each program amounts lo less thanillion annually Estimated total Soviet space costs have doubledillion8 to tlseillion3

for an average annual increase ofesult of the large number of programs in development. (Seeuch of the large jump in Soviel space openditures noted03 relleds costly manned space activities. inciudinK the shuttle orbiter. heavy-lift launch vehicle, and space stations.6 manned space activities, which aremilitary, will account for one-fourth of Soviet investments in space.rowth in space expenditures Is expected to be less rapid, perhaps averagins;ear

$ The expanding Soviet space! program has been supported by steady growth in design bureaus,facilities, launch complexes, control sites, rosmo-

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naut training facilities, and tbe fleet of space support ships. This impressive infrastructure supportsaunches per year and controlsctive satellites in orbit at any time. By contrast, the United States maintains about the same number of active satellites while conducting only aboutaunches pei year. The difference lies in the much shorter average operational life of Soviet satellites and in Sovietprimarily on networks of low-altituderesulting in the need to maintain these networksigh launch rate. Product engineering appears toasic problem with Soviet spacecraft, better quality control in production and improved reliability in electronic components should extend thelife ot most Soviel satellites. By the, newer satellites should have lifetimes averagingonths, about double the current average. Even with missions of longer duration, we espeel tlse launch rate

Table I

Major New Soviet Space Systesns Likely To Be Tested in


Date of Prototype Testing

of Confidence-

and Oill

ASAT (migi win class, low orbit)



second testation


data relay system




cml comsatsolna. Statsionar)


al satellite (GOMS)

oanniim system (GLONASSl

eosyncbreoooj la unefc detection system

second generation


spaee nation

space plane

lianiportation system


polar orbiter

Tar lidc soil sample

soil sample lelura


.ada. mapping

Coewt flyby


Our informatioa oa ipodllcsysteoisyaries considerably. This estimate of confidence indicates Iheiolatneleeetaof our under-Handing of tbedeielopcneeia. not (be likelihood of idling, as in tabic 3.

eteale it that of minion,rototype test.

Figure 4

Dollar Com of theSpire Program'

US i


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be sustained at nearly lhe same level for the neat several years as new space systems arecries of new space launch vehicles will account for an increasing number of these launches.

f Soviet investment In space continuesow military and civil space systems which have been identified in various stages of development are likely to undergo testing in the nextears Most ol these are expected to be deployed bv the. (See tablehis nearly doubles the rate al which new systems were introduced in. In addition to these new space systems,lunar and planetary projects have been identified and probably will be pursuedill be more like.

when several new systems were Introduced.ere char act eriied by lhe introduction of improvements and the establishment of fullynetworks ol satellites.

8 By US standards, the Soviet space program is relatively unsophisticated and einontivc costing the equivalentercent of Ihe Soviet gross national product fCNP) during the pastears and mote thanercent today. However, we Iselleve thai the space program adequately saiislim most cunent SovietThe introduction ol new Soviet space systems in the nextean will make more timely and more accurate information available to Soviet political leaders and mibtaiy commanders Also.


Pioyed communication* will be available lo Soviel leaders,pace-based laser will probably be tested. Ambitious manned space activities willSoviet prestige.escribes whatcurrently are derived from Ihe Soviet spaceand how ihey will change if all of Ihe anticipated systems inblerogress according to our estimates Major new capabilities in the nextears will result from the successful introductioneusable space transportationpace tug, and especially Ihe heavy-lilt launch vehicle whichritical component of other space systems. Including Ihe shuttle and the large space station. Moieover, any delay inn- heavy-lift launch vehicle also will seriously alfect Soviet plans for placing large payloads in geosynchronous orbit.

Military Use of Space

the, space systems haveintegral part of Soviet military capabililies,intelligence col led ion. command and control,of strategic and conventional weapons,and warning of ICBM launch Subsequently,ASAT interceptor was introduced Also,methods were developed to afford somefor Soviet satellites The main consequenceintroduction of* new space systems during theyears will be tnc extension of the USSR'sby providing global support to its

Command and control communications will be availablelobal basts, providing annumber of military users with continuous, secure, and reliable coinmunlcalions.

Intelligence collection, targeting, globaland weather dala will be more accurate and timely

As satellite data relay systems become available, intelligence and target information will beavailable to tactical commanders

believe that, despite their large andspace program, Sovset leaden perceiveUS leadership in space could continueSovset diplomat* Initiatives andto space have the objective of slowingUS space piogram They also are intended to

isolate Ihc United Stales In International political forums. Soviet leaders have consistently shown awith potential US space threats. They argue that the United States is preparing for space war. Tbey poini to substantial increases in USfor military spaceresidentialon national space policy that Ihey claim directs the Pentagon to be prepared to conduct military operations in space, the establishmentew US Air Force Space Command, the military potential of tbe US shuttle, and the development of the air-launched miniature vehicle (ALMV) ASAT weapon. They- haveajor arms control campaign to ban all weapons from space and to attempt to resume talks with the United States on limiting ASAT weapons Recently, Ceneral Secretary Andropov reiterated1 Soviet proposalnited Nations treaty banning all weapons In space The treaty would prohibit ads thai destioy, damage, disturb, or change the tralectory ol any satellite belongingreaty member who was In compliance with the trealy's ban on weapons. Moniloringan would be difficult, especially il the USSR uses space stations for weapons development. Soviet Initiatives have been somewhat successful in stimulating worldwide concern about an arms race in space.

ntelligence collection was the first military application of the Soviet space program and currently accounts for the largest share of space launches Aboutilitary phot or rconna Usance satellites are launched annually. Hist-generation photorrcoorvaissanc*averaged aboutays In orbit, and second-generation photosatelliles with solar pinch havemissions of up toajor improvement willew electro-opticaland surveillance system The system probably will be deploredetwork of imaging satellites supportederies of data icJay salellria to provide photography to the Soviet General Stafl in near-real


s espeel the Soviets to test genceINT) syslem by the, but we are uncertain whether it would be lor communications intelligence (COMINT) or for electronic intelligenceo date, the USSR has notpace-based COMINT eolleclion sys-

ruble 2

Main Capabililics of Soiiel Space Systems

taxation dataOare provided to Soviet naval and commercialow ayaicm. OLONASS. will aid ship) and otheruteri In determining their positions iimubly withineters.

Mapping. Charring.Data are ceneratcd for accurately locating pout* oa the Earth's eurfacc and lor producing; accurate modcla of the Barlb'aeaballutic miuil; (ICBM) lartctiAf aad ether ttaev New gcncrttiOAi of geodetic aad geaphvueal utclLtoprovide more aocarate data for targeting bv ballnlic aad crutie missilea.


CalMntloav Tesiina and deYrioprrientT

by calibration Miclntcl.

Weather. Data ara provided for global weather forecaulng and naayed to improve ellectivcneat of uucc-bucdcollection. The new geatynchronoas Oilcan (OOMSI will provide better cover-age and more timely data.

( oceulotr at. Secure aad redna-daat cotneravaacatanaii aad data relay arc rode available to major Soviet mzhtaryri as well aa military advisory groupa New lysiema will provide higher capacity, more sees re. global eomraunicatiana.

(ctf Commwni tattoos. Neatr gcosyiKbro-nom laiellllea will male domesticand uiCMiion servicea available lo abooiercent of tbe Soviet poputtUon.

Militaryhedttptoymcni and tirrcixa of noil major NATO aad Chi-near ground, aaiaL and ail uaita ara monitored by apace ivuemi presiding cvi-

icbibuorouuoa. warring

ef poniibk atiact. aad aaaauonag ef treaty ctaaapliaaca aad enm amt-jru. ImprovedT andal taiellita will [iiUnproved coverage and more timely indication aod warning informs-lion aa well ai tacticalew latrflitc dala rdiy lyitem win past rccooaii nance data dom tow-altitude saiellnca directly lo Molcow ia neai rea: USne.

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battlt group* and otterlaraaaaaata and Iranian! the derived ii/gii laforma-(ioneal time bain lo lelected Soviet naval utelhteaaol in coieiagrf"

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bide, dehver aboutiV^iimaof carta Newer rewppaj veaacaaa havecapacity aad iB be able to recover ma tana Ii produced is apace, retarn coarno-naaU la emergencies and return equipment.

Earth Resources. Data on do mad foreign natural resources and crop surveys areusingrecoverable filmevelop-Denial electro-opticalmilr to US landsal win provide more timely iriNitiratian and attain Sanger miuioa


ASAT.Orbital loierceptoncanaiel-IHea in to" Fan! orbit oneune. aad up lo eight* bom period The opera mc-ai irtiean has daatrcyarget iaof Iheeata udall I'utatt ASAT unpraniEerU arc eipectcd lopace-bated Urn. which we behave will be tested by the. We do notigbaliiiutie convent tonal otbiial interceptor lo be devctonod

Unar aa4 PWetary EaaaaaattaoT Unmanned captation of the lull far sidearsaa triple remra minion ara likely nhua ihe Beat decade Vcnau probes wilt ooamaae So be frequent in tbe near term

Space station Soviet space itatioiu have been cninnodaboaiaOpercooi of the tiannhave oundacied military ei port menu, rcconntiiiiace, matoialaproctaauig. andresearch Byaadutir apace

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provide peroa neatly maaoea piaUaBU for ainilai Belinda aod weapoca eomponen*


Space Transportation System. Thia lyitem. aimilar totbe US space shuttle, will be able toiranipon bulk cargo io and from spice nations- Ii also will enable delivery,refueling, and repair of satellites. It alio mayest bed for laserpace tug. it'perfected, woold assist the space nation and shuttle and transfer tatellilc* between high and low oetaiis for servicing.

A Military Spacepacecraft is being developedission we cannot yet determine, but is likely to includeand satellite irapcciMn (da.

Heaiy-Iitl lacnch VehicleV>.Current Sovie( space bunch vehicla are limited to placing0 kg io low orbit. The newass HLLV booster will be capable of lifting ti leaitg into low orbit.


tern, but wc believeystem li within Soviet technicalording to one view, thereow probabilitypace-basedT system will be deployed because tbe information can be collected by other means; therefore, the SIG1NTexpected to be tested in theould probably be fornother view holds that thereoderate likelihood the Soviets willrototype spaceborne COMINT collection system by the

space systems directly supportsystems by providing more accurateThe EORSAT (ELINT oceansatellite) and fiOHSAT (radar oceansatellite) systems provide naval targetingto selected Soviet surface combatantsHowever, these systems have serious

^ RORSATs are adversely affected bv poor weather. In peacetime neither of these systems is deployed with what we believe wouldull wartime complement of satellites, but theaunch vehicle could place additional satellites In orbit quickly.

Some other space systems, such as ELINTave been developed to identify and locate land- and sea-based radars, but do not report such detections in real time. Ncw-gcncration ELINT systems areto improve frequency coverage.ew ELINT system, if developed, couldigher orbit to provide greater geographic coverage. Other space systems have been used to provide accurate geodetic and giavitational models for targeting Soviel ICBMs and SLBMs. The accuracy of this information will be improved by the introduction of new geodetic (CEO-SATnd photographic-geophysical (PHOTOCEOatellites

Several Soviet military command and control networks use satellites to provide high-speed, secure communications between widely separated elements. All of lhe new communications and data relay systems

1 Thr. hMi' ol ihU Wui li (lie Deput* Oittttot tur InJeWtgen/e. C'li'al Inttlltgeaeo Atenev

' Thf holdtil of thnarr thr Dcerter. Otfttur talilhgentt

AE'rtty. and lhe teniot In'eWigeiwef the milium tetu-


being developed probably will involve military users. These new systems probably will use wide bandwidths and spreadsignals. Many mobile ground terminals also have been introduced to supportforces. (Seeuch developments and other Improvements w'" result In greater capacity, higher speed, and more secure communications for Soviet military commands lo operate virtuallyin the world. As satellite data relay systems become available, intelligence and target information should become Increasingly available to tactical

avigation information is provided by twosatellite systems to Soviet naval andships and fishing vessels The new navigational system GLONASS probably will be operationalG with about nine satellites providing location data to both ships and aircraft, accurate to possiblyelers, worldwide. However, unlike the US Global Positioning SystemLONASS is not believed to have the capability to provide altitude data to aircraft. Expansion tosatelllte system would enable CLONASS to provide this information. Even when CLONASS becomes fully operational, Soviet ships and aircraft are likely lo continue to carry receivers thai will enable them to use US space-based navigation systems.

boutinutes' warning of US ICBM attack is provided by the Soviet launch detection satellite (LDS) network. Eight satellites of the projected nine-satellite network have been placed In orbit andcoverage of US ICBM fields and the spaee launch facilities at Cape Canaveral. SLBM patrol areas are not covered,ew geosynchronous system is expected to overcome this limitation

esearch io space-based submarine detection has been conducted from Soviet space stations^*

^Wc cannot Judge whether the Soviets willechnological breakthrough In remote sensing of submarine-generated effects during the nextears. Eveu ifreakthrough occurs, we do not believe, in view of ihe operational considerations and Ihe length of time needed for full-system deployment, that thereealistic possibility thai the Soviets, during the notears, willystem that could

Figure S

Soviel Mobile Communications Satellite Terminal*

ubstantial fraction of tin US force of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarinei (SSBNs) We are more uncertain, and hence more concerned, about tbe capabilities that could potential ly be realited and deployed in the mid-to late IWOs An alternative vscw is thatf^

the Soviets have not had significant success in techniques.^

rotection of Soviet space systems couldide range of measures, but we are uncertain which methods are being adopted The launch lacilities and the ground control sites are the most vulnerableoviet space systems, and there is no evidence of hardening lor any ofobile commandfor unmanned military systems could be achieved within tbe neat lew years Satellites in orbit could be allocded some protection by maneuvering.

il tkt tXitaar al*

hudenlng against lasct im electronic radiation, and tlie use o( decoys. Inhe USSR probably will be able lo reconstitute essential space systems bv react! -valine; and reposilicming saielhies sloted in orbit and by quickly launching satellites (torn mobile launchers

urrent Soviet capabilities for destroying or otherwise Interfering with US satellites include an operational non nuclear orbital ASAT interceptor, which has demonstrated satellite intercepts at altitudes upilometers Many US satellites operate below tins altitude. Nine out of IS tests8 have been successful, the last success having occurred inhe most iccenl test, inas the first failure of the operational interceptoruring the. the Sovietsfive testsevelopmental versionrobable passive electro-optical sensor, all five were failures. We do not expect significant improvements in the reliability of either the operational orASAT orbital interceplori Furthermore, we do not anticipate the developmenligh-altitudeASAT orbital interceptor because

Evidence ofacking.

Appropriate quick-reaction launch vehicles are lacking and have not been identified in development.

The long flight time to intercept reduceseffectiveness

Other emerging technologies, especially directed energy, offer more promising prospects

"jwc believe that the Soviets intend to use active EWagainst both satellites and ground-based users of space systemswe consider EW to be the most likely type of initial Soviet ASAT activity.apabilityposes the most serious threat to US space systems Against high-altitude satellites, this currently may be Use only ASAT capability. We believe the USSR currently has the technological capability using active EW to attempt to interfere with foreign space systems.

Compared with other ASAT techniques, an active ASAT RW program would have relatively low cost and low rbk of escalation Further,onsistent with ambitious EW programs existing throughout the Soviel military forces. Potential Soviet active EW platforms include many fixed,and mobile transmitters However, we have no evidence of Soviet equipment or organisations with an ASAT EW mission.

n alternative view contends lhat there isevidence at thb time to support the iudgmcntSoviet intent to use active EW against satellites.

Moreover, the

holder ol thb view concludes that,oviet active EW capability against satellites does exist brute force jamming would be the most likely EW technique. On the basis of available evidence,ifficult to nidge with any confidenceoviet technologicalwould Include more complex forms of Jamming.*

irect-ascent ABM interceptors, armed with nudear or nonnudear warheads, also have theto attack low-orbit satellites; however, we do not believe that ABM interceptors would be used in an ASAT rose- Space launch vehicles, such as thendould be modified with nuclear warheads lor ASAT purposes, but relatively low launch rates make them unlikely candidates.

a believe ICBMs are unlikely to be used in an ASAT rose, although ICBMs are available in larger numbers and can reach higher altitudes than ABMs. Abo. ICBMs are protected by hardened silos and control facilities Wc believe the Soviets are unlikely to tisfe collaret a! damage to their own satellites by using ICBMs with nuclear warheads, and thev would be wary of the risks and uncertainues about US responsesonflict were otherwise still at the conventional force level. We do note, however, ihc Soviets' potential advantage in reconstituting their space systems il their btmchpads remain intact Current ICBMs probably would require some modificationshort period

Thr haUi' ol ihuht Onretoi. ftdlionaf Security Agnsrts

ofto be ASAT capable If high-altitude tareels are lo be attacked, modification to existing gwdance system) would be tequned. and new upper states would be needed We would eipect to observe testing of the new upper stages. In any event, urtprotected satellites will lemain vulnerable to the long-range and persistent effects of nuclear detonations in space.

oviel research related to directedweapons. Including lasers, particle beams (both chanted andnd radio! icqucncy (RF)energy, has been under way for many years. These weapons have potential application in anllsatellite, air defense, and ballistic missile defense loirs Among the possible ditectedencrgy weapons, our evWence is strongest concerning Soviet laser weapons developments. Two facilities at Saryshagan arc assessed to have high-energy lasers and associated opilcal equipment with the potential lo function as ground-based ASATr

oviet research also hasrosed topace-based laser weapon, probably for ASAT applications Initially.ystem would have advantages, suchultishot capability,onventional orbital ASAT interceptor. We believe Iheteigh probabilityrototype high-energy laser ASAT weapon will be tested In low orbit by Ihe early IfcrOs. However, developmentpace-based laser is technologically difficult and couldin several directions One approach^

aser ofegawatt class which could attack satellites at ranges of hundreds ofrototype ofeapon probably could be tested In thet tbe earliest, but more Likely in thef testing proves successful, an initial operational system in low orbit consistingew satellite weapons could be available by theIf tested in the late tSSOsX but such an operational system is more likely to appear in the Another possibility.r

aser of lower

(hundreds of kilowatts) in an unmanned, low-orbit satellite with an ASAT range in the tens of kilometers Ifrototype could be tested earliersrgawatt-class laser and, rf early tests proved successful, possibly reach an operational capability by theutystem with its short-range capabilities would have severe operational limitations In any event, theeffect of Ihe first lestpace-based lasereapon-relaled mode would be greater than the actual military significance oteapon in its initial applications

esearch lo date has indicatedpace-based particle beam weapon (PRW) will be more difficult to achieveser system. Nevertheless, we continue to see evidence of Soviet research related Io space-based PDWs. We believe that prototype testing of an ASAT PBW is unlikely to occur5 An alternative view holdspace-based PBW system intended to disrupt satellite electronic systems and requiring significantly leu powerestructive PBW could be developed and deployed ;everal years earlier.*

nother threat involve* lhe use of high-power RF signals to damage satellites The effectiveness of this threat it dependent on detailed technicalof the target No lacilities designed for RF attack against satellites have been identified in the USSR, but there is evidence ol Soviel Interest in high-power eleclronics that could be applied to RF weapons Wc beticvo it is highly unlikelyoviet space-based RP-damage ASAT weapon will be tested before thehereoderate likelihood the USSR willround-based RF ASAT weapon capable of physically da maul rig satellites.

2ft The USSR is clearly committed lo manned space stations, but the military purposes of these stations remain unclear Experiments by mililarysuggest reconnaissance as (he primaryWe eipect to see laser .eapon components tested on manned spacecraft. However, unmanned satellites seem better suited as platforms for operational direct-cd-energy weapons.

TV loMe* al il* Me* i,thfTXt aavwee

Economic Competition

uringhe USSR couldompetitor inide range of space services. Telecommunications and space launch services offer potential sources of hard currency earnings for the USSR and. maybe more important, world prestige The Soviet-sponsored INTEBSPUTNIK organization for example, has offered lo lease communications satellite voice circuit* at prices a* much asercent below those charged by INTELSAT. Soviet space launch services also may be offered at prices well below those of the US shuttle and PSA's Artane. We believe, on the basis of the expected launch rates, that Ihe demand for gommercLal space launchers may exceed the protected capacity of tbe shuttle and Ariane launch vehicles. Theroton would .be Ihe vehicle meal likely to be launched for Soviet-offered commercial seivices. The Proton is the world's largest expendable space booster and has proved topercent reliable during the pastears We believe about five Protons per year could be available for commercial purposes by the. The USSR also may provide Eaith resources datatherIn competition with the US Landsat and French SPOT systems. In addition to gaining hard currency, the USSR could provide navigational andservices to other countries as gestures of good will for political purposes

anufacturing and processing of materials In

space Is another area of potential economic benefit to the USSR For example, oninvolved the manufacture of semiconductors, su pet conductors, and special alloys that wereadvanced to permit production of materials to begin In the near future The most likely nexl step would be topecial materials processing module as partpace station. In addition, the availability of an operational space shuttle withinears will enable regular harvesting of productsIn space


ince opening the space frontier with Sputnikhe USSR hasong hat of space 'firstsnontinuously manned Soviel Spaceons will provide the opportunity lo gain international recognitioneader in space Recent-

ly, for example, Soviet cosmonautsew endurance recordays in space.6 Ihe USSR hopes toermanently mannedspace stationrew of six tohese and other manned space activities demonstrate the high value Soviet leaders continuo to place on man in space

he USSR has offered other countries theto participate in lb space activities7 it established the 1NTERC0SMOS program lo provide satellites, launch vehicles, and launch facilities for other member countries to conduct scientificTo date,oviet Bloc countries have mined Ihe INTERCOSMOS program, and there areagreements with countries such as France and Sweden In addition, nine foreign cosmonauts have participated in Soviet space activities. These efforts have streiigthened scientific and technical ties and provided opportunities lor technology transfer

XI Interplanetary exploration in the next several years also will enhance the USSR's desired imageeaceful and tech no logically advanced nationroject VEGA spacecraft are scheduled to be launched and fly by Venus and Halley's Comet as partoviet-led international scientific space exploration effort. The resumption of Sovietlunar exploration it expected in the. This wouldunar polar orbiterunar lander that could return toll samples from the far side of the moon The manned lunar exploration protect was canceledut. If ll were reinstltul-ed. which wenlikely, It probably would be for the purpose ofoviet lunar base and could occur in theore likelyanned mission to Mars by the, discussed in Soviel open literature.

USSR also has gamed recognition fromof Soviet satellites to help locate shipsatellite equipped withradio transponder* for relaying distressships and aircraft was oibited2 as part ofSoviet, Canadian, and French system (COSlo provide emergency assistance Theseactivities will continue to keep the Sovietbefore the International public

Other Possible Developments in

addition to the developments thus (arIn'iihere are seveial otlserin the Soviet space, program that could occur in the

nextoears, bul flic evidence is ireufficient lo make firm judgments. In some eases, on the basis ol limited information on the general nature of Soviet research, we are Inferring possible significant future developments. In other cases we are assuming logical Soviet choices based on the expeeled availability of key technologies On these limited bases, this section describes possibly significant Soviet spaceduring the nextoears, (Seee do not expect these systems la be operational beforeecause the typical Soviet space system lakeso IS years to develop. Because of the hish cost of these projects, formidable technological challenges, and limitations on research, design, and production facilities, we do not expeel all of them to be pursued to the system testing phase. We do, however, consider them important targets for US intelligence collection and analysis

3G. Radar Imaging. Developmentpace-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) could provide imagery in all types of weather and lighting conditions.of specialized signal- and data-processing techniques would be necessary before conductingflight tests. Such tests may be possible by the.AR is tested on the current Soviet Venus radar mapping mission, it could significantly further the developmentadar-imagingsatellite.

Ijorge Aircraftoviet spacefor detecting large aircralt would employeal aperture radar or infrared (IR) sensors. Soviet experience with space-based real aperture radarshack to the first RORSATevelopmentadar system for aircraft detection wouldarge dcployablc antenna as well as high-data-rate signal-processing capabilities. We believe thereow-to-moderate chance the Soviets will conductflight testspace-based radar system in the,oderate chance bv thec believe an IR aircraft detection system is less likely to be developedadar system and is unlikely to be tested before theystem would require the development of suitable IR sensors and associated data-processing systems.

Submarine Detection. Fxleruive research in nonacoustic sensing of submarines has been conducted by the USSR during the past two decades, and for the

Table 3

Possible New Soriel Space-Related Developments in

of Inline

by ihe

i.-niibj Moderate-high

a.iec.fl detection



communications satellite

power station


space sUtkta


apace nation

lunar base

orbital Mars nussnn

laser ASAT

laser BMD


ladiofrcq-ency ASAT weapon

radiofroqiaeacy ASAT -capon


coerieraticauJ oibi til interceptor


ipaoe-to-tjace missile*

(pace-lo-space missiles on manned platforms

pankae beam ASAT weapon

iiact -capon

We ha it considerable uncertainly in many of these jad| Among (he criteria considered in making these judgments were: (I) the availability of necessary lechnoloiirs elsewhere that could be acquired by the USSR; (I) demons!ration of simitarby theoncepts observed in Soviet researchroject identified or associatedesignomponent testing reported;erceivedThese estimates do nol prejudge the effectiveness of the systems should Ihey complete Ihe developmental process and be


* Likelihood of full'Scaleikelihood of mission.


last five years this research has involved spaceThis research could have utility in protecting Soviet submarines as well as detecting US submarines Radar. photographic, inflated, and microwave sensors could potentially detect small changes in temperatures or subtle variations in the patterns of waves generated by submarines. One possibilitypace-based radar,AR. However, we cannot assess wilh confidence the submarine detection potential ofadar '

laterneSoviel program involves development of aa blue green laser to communicate withsubmarines

T space tests of such components could take place in theowever, we do notIn see an operalional network for laser satellite-to-submarine communications before the.

Communication! Satellite. Wcan advanced Soviet com mun real sonswill be orbited in tlie early-to-middlesatellites will operate at high frequencies, upand will have Increased capacitiessystems

pace Feweroviet concept lo provide solar power to Eartharge solar power station,ilometer In diameter. This idea may have been batedS concept discussed intation would requireoayloads using the heavy-lift launch vehicle now underemonstration of the po**er-station technology could be conducted in tpace bv the, but the chances aie very lowull-scale syslem could be opeiaiing before the next centu-rv

roiyncfcfOnoui Space Station. The amis tsous Sovset manned space station program could includepace station in geosynchronous orbittation could provide continuousof certain geographic areas and mold be less vulnerable lo attack than low-or biting space stations The new heavy-lift launch vehicle could place a

' MiapapAbmaua twvfcr

Outrunrparfhe Htam.

Salyut-class space stalion or module in geosynchronous orbil. Similarly, an upgraded Protonpace bunch vehicle couldransport telm.lV of thelass in geosynchrrsnous orbit- Space nations in these high orbits could serve as research platforms, intelligence collection stations, satellite repair bases, weapons teal beds, or staging areas for furtherol the Moon or for planetary expeditions

arge Space Station. The modular Soviet space station, designed lor crews of six toer ions, will probably be followedarge space station capable ol accommodatingome Soviet scientists have discussed the developmenlery large space base inith provisions for as manyersons.

anned Lunar and Planetary Exploration. Soviet statements frequently discuss mannedol Mais and occasionally mention lunarAlto. Soviet studies in theddressed lite establishmentunar base, but the concept seems to have been dropped in the, Recent comments by Soviet scientists and officials suggestanned mission to Mars is planned for theanned Mars mission would require fewer icsourcesunar base and would bring greater prestige lo the Sovietsission would be limited to aa orbital reconnaissance of Man and return It may be technically feasible by that time-First, however, we would expect to see Sovietofission In Earth orbit lor alioutonlhx. verifying that both people and equipment could sustain such long flights

pace Weapom.oderate-to rush likelihood that the development of low-orbit space-based lasers, coupledeavy-lift launchwill result in testing of laser ASAT weapons in geosynehionous orbit by the, although wcow probability to operational deployment by then alternative view holds that, while deploymenteosynchronous space based laser would probably take place after deploymentow-altitude syslem, thereoderate chance ol deploy-menleosynchronous spiced-based later by the' Although space-bated lasers will probably

' TV kttdtri wt taa) mtm art ikt Ouaatw.Af*ty.(he AaUWM Cfcie/ at Su/I. InuUittrui. Om-imtnt

kt At< Force.

be restricted to the ASAT mission (or the remainder of this century,akthroughs conceivably could lead to capabilities to destroy ballistic missiles, aircraft, cruise missiles, and ground targets from space in ther beyond. Among the wide range of possible weapon systems, wc believe the following space-based possibilities deserve continued closeby the Intelligence Community:

User HMD satellite

Space-based jammers.

Space-based RF ASAT weapon.

High-altitude conventional orbital interceptor.

Space-to-space misslles.

Space mines.

Particle beam ASAT weapon

Satellite for delivering ground-impact weapons.


opments will be increasingly possible. Our perception of the Soviet space threat would increase significantly if breakthroughs occurred in:

Space-related weapons

Submarine detection.


Gops and Uncertainties

here arc several aspects of the Soviet space program that we do not fully understand. J



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