CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
Soviet Potential To Respond
to US Strategic Force Improvements,
and Foreign Reactions
Special National Ioteluf.etice Estimate
THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE.
THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS, EXCEPT AS NOTED IN THE TEXT.
The following intdHgerKe organizations portkipoted in Iho preporotior. of Ihe Estimate:
Thentetaaence Agency,Mclgenct Agency. rha Notional Security Acamcy. ond the mteftgence orgonixol^ otcrfnwnl ot S'ote
Ihe Aiu'ilonl Chief ol Stent lor Inieftge-Ke. DcpoMntt/il ol the Kim, Tht Director ol Novel Intelligence,i o! lhe Novy Tha Attiitant Chief ol Stall, Intelligence. Department ol Iht Air rorca lha OiVtctar ofiligence,arine Corpi
SOVIET POTENTIAL TO RESPOND TO US STRATEGIC FORCE IMPROVEMENTS, AND FOREIGN REACTIONS
Informuuxn1ol in (ha preparation of thu Ekllmatc.
SOVIET POTENTIAL TO RESPOND TO NEW US
Present Deployment snd Develop men I
Potential in Key Aieai ol
II. SOVIET MILITARY CAPABILITIES TO COUNTER US
Neutralization of US Nuclear Delivery
US ICBMs in Silos and
US Strategic Aircraft (Prior to or 'immediately After
The Trident Submarine Carrying the D5
US CLCMs and
Maintairiing Survivability of the Soviet
Limiting Damage to the
III FOREIGN PERCEPTIONS OF US STRATECIC FORCE
Perceptions of Other
APPROVED FOR RELEASE CIAPROGRAM
ThU Estimate projects foreign reactions lo modernization of US strategic nuclear offensive forces. We have also estimated possible programmatic, technical, and operational changes the Soviels mighl make in their forces and have analyzed how US strategic force .movements would affect their capabilities to perform some of ihe strategic missions called for by Soviethe Estimate does not assess how the Soviets would perceive the effect of US strategic force improvements on US war-fightmgmilitary manpower, mobilization capability, and ability of the United States toong war. Furthermore, it should be noted tha. thisssumes the0 arms control constraints on strategic force developments afterr
Ourabout US force improvements may not accord exactly with final US planning, but ,be force mix and system character-.st.es oWriUd below and the dates given for initial operational capability (IOC) are sufficiently representative of the US options under consideration lo permit us lo forecast thc nature of foreign political and Sovicl military responses:
options: ii detain Minuteman;
Xs in new. long-endurance aircralt > Retain Minuteman;
ewJCBMj in supcrhard silos
(.omrnon missile (assumed to be theI Retain Minulernan;
iuu common missiles (assumed to)
Missiles-Deploy ABMs Id defend
in silos or shelters
n Trident submarines
more long-range strategic
missiles than currently programed on:
APPROVED FOR RELEASE CIA HISTORICAL-REVIEW PROGRAM
Recent trends in most of the measures of stralegic nuclear-power have favored lhe Soviets and have improved their capabilities to carry out the strategic missions envisioned by theirontinuation of these trends would give the Soviets greater confidence in the war-fighting potential of their forces. Nevertheless, they would still be unable to prevent massive damage to the USSRarge-scale US relalialorv nuclear attack. Modernization of US strategic forces will further increase the Soviets' uncertainties about their ability to carry out some of thc missions of ihcir strategic forces.
Soviet Potential for Strategic Force Improvement
The Sovieis have anticipated new US strategic systems for moreecade, and have almost certainly considered them in their current programs for improving all elements of their strategic forces. Consequently, any reaction to US strategic force improvements that would affect Soviet forces duringrobably would involve adjustments ralher than major changes in existing programs. They have at leasttrategic and space sysiems under development, and someilitary design bureaus with the capacity to developystemsyear period.
The Soviets alsorowing number of military technologies to drawguidance and navigation, microelecironics. computers, signal processing, and space technologies. New weapons and command and conlrol and surveillance systems lhat could be deployed in theould improve Soviel capabilities for attacking mobile land, sea. and airborne weapon carriers, and could overcome some weaknesses in Soviet low-altilude air defenses, ballistic missile defenses, and defenses against submarines.
Implications for Soviel Capabilities
Primary Soviet concerns about any US strategic force improve-menls will be theo which Ihey could impede or prevent the forces of the USSR from performing their missions during lhephaseuclear war.
To launch Counterforce Strikes:
Soviet forces would retain the potential, through technical improvements in their ICBMs, to destroy most US missiles in silos and shelters under any of the assumed US deployment' options, although the Soviets would not be confident ofthis result. The number of weapons they would require to attack US ICBMs would vary greatly depending on the US basing option assumed. By deployment of more MIRVs on their ICBMs thc Soviets could keep pace with US construction of shelters for Ihe MX.*
ABM defenses of US ICBMs would increase Soviet uncertainties about the successounterforce attack, bul could be overcome by Soviet deploymenl of more ICBM weapons or maneuvering reentry vehicles.
Destroying ICBMs on long-endurance aircraft would present maior difficulties for the Soviets, but appears technicallyin.
Neutralizing ballistic missile submarines on patrol will remain beyond Soviet capabilities for the foreseeable future.
Thc great difficulty of destroying new US bombers and cruise missiles in flight would give the Soviets more incentive to attack US strategic aircraft on the ground. However, they could notounterforce attack by SLBMs against US bomber bases and by ICBMs against US missile silos, because of the difference in flight times of Soviet ICBMs and SLBMs.
In sum, the deployment of ICBMs will complicate and make lessoviet nttempl lo eliminate US strategic forcesounterforce first strike. It is the combined effect of US deployment of ICBMs, SLBMs. bombers, and cruise missiles that makes Soviet prospectsuccessful altack very unpromising.
Toarge-Scale Nuclear Attach Any of thc assumed US ICBM deployment options will have improved capabilities against Soviei silo-based ICBMs. We believe that the Soviets have anticipated this threat and, to improve the survivability of their offensive forces, they have programs that would enable them to:
harden their silo-based ICBM launchers This isto be the sole measure they would take.
* fmtlit^mlle* wc el iht Dvntot. Dtftmstetmat. out iht Sowet Iht -Wtu<* utumni emtlmm
lUWrntii. m* miratrtph 14
Deploy land-mobile ICBMs in lhc.
Deploy new aerodynamicaircraft and cruise missiles.
Increase deployment of SLBMs.
Deploy ABMs for defense of their ICBM complexes by-the-
Improve their capabilities toubstantial portion of their ICBM force on tactical warning.
To Substantially Limit Damage to the USSK- Soviet air defenses willualitatively different threat, increasing in size andin potential attack routes as US modernization proceeds with deploymenl of ALCMs, GLCMs, SLCMs, andomber.
Improvements in Soviet low-altilude air defenses will make low-altitude penetration of the USSR by today's bombers more difficult by thc.
The overall capabilities of Soviel low-altitude defensesombined attack bv cruise missiles and penetrating bombers armed with short-range attack missiles will remain limited during thc nextears and possibly in.
The Soviets already have under way costly research, developmenl, and deployment programs for slrategic systems. Even if the Soviets accelerated ihese programs during, the impact on their overall military spending would probably be muted because the USSR's defense effort is so large. Operating and investment costs for strategic forces account for only about one-fifth of total Soviel military expenditures. Moreover, the short-term impact on the economy would probably not be significant, since resources for strategic programs are. for the most part, highly specialized and not readily transferable to areas of thc USSR's most serious economic weaknesses.
Arms Conirol Implications
Mosl US strategic force improvements were probably anticipated by the Soviets at the time the SALT II Treaty was signed. They may not have expected deployment of ICBMs in long-end"ranee aircraft or the
prospect of US programs requiring revision or abrogation of the ABM Treaty. Thc Soviets would regard thc US stralegic force improvements as requiring some adjustments in their forces but they would note that lhc US programs would not necessarily contravene the fundamental provisions of SALT II and the Interim Agreement As we concluded in previous estimates, the Sovicls wilt seek lo slow or halt US and NATO force' modernizationombination of threats, inducements, and arms negotialions. while trying to maximize prospectsontinuation of strategic trends favorable lo them. The new US strategic programs could give the Soviets more incentive to achieve an arms limitation agreement.
US strategic programs'to modernize bomber and missile forces along the lines we have assumed will:
Enhance world perceplions of American power andto thwart aggressive Soviet ambitions, but produce concern about successive new rounds of weapons development by the USSR and the United Stales.
Cause Soviet leaders lo view the United Stalesore determined adversary.
Be welcomed by most Wesl European leaders as indicating US resolve to meet the Soviet challenge. The Europeans will want assurances, however, of continued US commitment to European security and of US willingness to negotiate strategic arms limitation agreements. There is an alternative view lhat, while some segments of West European opinion may consider thai US slrategic force imprnvemenls should be accompanied bystrategic arms control efforts, most US Allies will welcome improvements in US land-based strategic forces as reinforcing the US nuclear guarantee to NATO Europe andS efforl not to divorce nuclear force improvements in lhe Uniled States from those in Europe. Additionally, the holders of this view note that most European leaders are primarilywiih TNFand related negoliations, not SALT*
These reactions are generally independent of the specific deploymenl options chosen by the Uniled States. However, boih the Wesl Europeans and lhe Chinese would be sensitive lo US policy changes lhal wouldIheir stralegic nuclear capabilities againsi the USSR,evision or abrogation of lhe ABM Treaty.
'elen*ihe Sent* JMcfltfrnor
OlUcen of ihe mtltiaiu teiuiiej
SOVIET POTENTIAL TO RESPOND TO NEW US PROGRAMS
he Soviets evaluate US strategic (oteea* part ol the larger question of how lhe overall US defense poslure and force developments will affect lhe USSR's potential lo catty out its global foreign policy objectives. In this conical, modernization of US strategic forces will Increase the Soviets' uncertainties about their ability lo carry oul some of lhe mlssiorts o( strategic lorces called for by their strategy. However, thc US strategic force Improvements will be subject to counter measures and, for Ihc most part, will not he surprising to the Soviets Any reaction by the Soviets affecting their forces duringrobably would Involve udjuslments rather than major changes In ciislirut programs. For the longer lerm. we believe lhe Soviets have the technological potential io develop new systems that would give them greater confidence* in carrying out the missions of their strategic forces
2 Most of thc US strategic force improvements were probably anticipated by the Soviets at the time the SALT II Treaty was signed Potential US piograms lhat may not have figured prominently tn Soviet defense planning include ABM deployments requiring revision or abrogation ofIM Treaty, deployment of additional silo launchers for ICBMs. andof Ihe MX ICBMong-endurance aircraft Potential US programs which the Soviets should have anticipated include deployment of the MX ICBM andLBM. modernization of the US bombei force, and deployment of more long-range cruise missiles on fued and mobile platforms
3 Whatever thc nature of US slrategic lorcctheir primary concern will be the extent to which US foice modernization could interfere with or prevent Ihr USSR from carrying out strategic missions during the intercontinental phaseuclear war Wc thcrcfote conclude thai, rcgurdlcM of the
changes in US programs, the Soviets will coniinue their ctlorts lo acquire and maintain strategic forces that would have the capability to:
Launch crippling counterforce strikes.
Survive large-scale nuclear attack.
Be employed flexiblyide range of
Substantially limit damage to the USSR.
he Soviets have made considerable progress toward achieving these capabilities, but recognize that lhc current US-Soviet strategic relationship remains one of mutual vulnerability. They wouldituation in which US nuclear potential could be neutralized by Soviet possession of capabilities to flghl anduclear war with lhe United States.inimum, they probablv expect to maintain strategic nuclear cupabilllies that would permit Ihem vigorously to pursue thetr foreign policy objectives by other means without riskS nuclear response
Present Dec'oyment and Development Progroms
he Soviets have already achieved strategiccapabilities that arc widely perceived to be al least equal to those of the Uniied Slates Over ihe pastears the estimated cumulative dollar costs of Soviet fotces lor intercontinental attack (lessevelopmenl, test, and evaluation) exceededUS outlays byercent Dollar costs of Soviet strategic defense over thc same period wereimes comparable UShev have deployment and research and development programs lo improve all
' Soviet ilnllir coui irores*nl will HUStBg prentlkaa
oo-Kt sad needlemalefic lorces In the United Stales All eofli are meowed In umlav tcrmt and In coolant IM0 ijoOan Research, arwraspnsrru sen. iad mluatxn
if Imiiacl cd defense oil live eeunomt. o> the SovieS perception ol defense activities These nana are more >BoroprtMel> analvred ruble rinendehaie Wmmtm Detlaire taw* H> commie the iiugnidxle et US and So-lol defense It"
Spaceor space-based weapons and military support systems
ists selected Soviet technologiesto future systems, the strategic missions to which such systems would contribiite, and when lheapplicable to given systems could.be available. In sum. the table indicates lhat ihere are fewimitations on Soviel potential to develop sysiems lhat would improve the USSR's capability to carry out the missions of its strategic forces. New weapons and command and conlrol and surveillance systems that could be deployed in theould improve Soviet eapabililies for attacking mobile land, sea. and airborne weapon carriers, and couldsome weaknesses in Soviet low-altitude airballistic missile defenses, and defenses against submarines The Soviets' ability lo develop andoperationally reliable systems based on advanced technologies is another matter They will probablyottservalive approach, making incremental impiovcmcnts in most new or modified systems, avoiding high technological risks However, if facederious threat or the prospects ofignificant gain over the United States, the USSR would vigorously pursue developments lhat press the state of the an in advanced technologies
9 Completion by lhe Soviets of lhc reseatch.and deployment programs on which we have evidence will Ise costly. If the Soviets increased Iheir efforts in the strategic area durings implied by this Estimate, additional spending, if any, would occui mainly alter Ihe. Opportunities lor neai-term production increases could well be limited By initiating expansion of production capacity at key facilities in llie near term, Ihey could begin producing during tbehe impact of added develop merl and production fo* proiected strategic systems on overall Soviet military spending would piobably be muted because operating and investment spending for stralegic forces accounts lor only about one-fifth of total miliiary expenditures Moreover, the short-term impact on the economy would probably not beparticularly because icsoiircci for strategicare foe lhe most part highly specialized and not readily tramferable lo aieas of the USSR's inosi serious economic weaknesses
elements oi iheii strategic forces. VVe estimate lhal (he someoviet military design bureaus have the capacity to develou wellew or modernized military and space systemsyear period Ofevelopment program* on which we have evidence, somere space systems and aboutre for strategic weapons and other supporting systems. Additionally, thc Soviets have several laserprograms under wayepicts the development schedules for selected new orsysiems. some of which are almost certainly applicable to possible US force improvements
n addition to conveying thc magnitude ofesearch and development programs,hows the long leadlimcs between the design decision and deployment of weapon systems However, most of the new systems under consideration by the United States would not begin to enter thc operational force until the latter half of, giving the Soviets some timediust bcfoie US systems could be fielded
Potential in Key Areas of Technology
he Soviets' research efforts have provided them with an increasing number of military technologies oo which to draw for new stiatcgic weapons andsystems based on innovative applications oftechnology or on advanced technologies Tlie most Important technological applications in newthat could be deployed in tbere in the following areas:
Guidance and Navigation: For improvedof ICBMs, SLBMs. and cruise missiles, evader MaRVs, and long-range antiaircraftmissiles
Microelectronics and Comouteri: Forcommand, control and communications (particularly for air defense) lor ASW, and for computers for MaRVs and terminal homing systems
oce nine: For looldowri/shooidown-capablc listerceptnrs, airborne warning andsystems, airborne and ipaccborno icconnais-sancc and allacli warning and trackingubmanne detection systems, and data fusion systems for global surveillance.
Selected New and Modernized Soviet Strategic and Support Systems
Ptojccied -Sy*,cmi imaietJ vctoprocnt
(Noi All iy$um will nccesianly reach 1 * ' 1 I 1 1 1 1 | 1 1 1 I
Snul Solid ICGM
Ne* Wcdum Sir*C6M
improved SS IS
Imp/Ortrf SS iy
SS NX 30
Improvedifl Improved SS NX*?D
Long-RjriQa Bomber and/or Wde Bodyrt<*
B illi ilic Mi wil* Drffnj*
Nov/ Largorray Radaru<f
SA tO SAMAM SM-tl SAA*
A^bor*and Co*u'o* a
Srort * ' 1HivNJ
(ffiproved iCQM LfriuAcli frtflfctign
Nvv# EUNT Syvtoms-Mighs Networks
Experimental SaieiLiie Armed With Short Range Missile*
nur MiiyTi-Ffmrfj, Ivanr-Spicc BasAiJ
here It an alternative view (linl lhe display of US lorces. Ihe computer simulation of Soviet attacks to destroy US stratcspc Duciear forces, and lhe caJcuUtion of US eapabililies Io destroy Soviel strategic nuclear forceset assessment and should not appearational intelligence estimate Assessment of the eifectivenea of planned US developments in the fare of potential Soviel force Improvementsunction intelligence should not undertake In isolation. The holders of this view believe thai such net aueis-ments of forces should be producedollaborative offort of thc Intelligence Community ond theof Defensend should be published under the auspices of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence, with very limited distribution. Such net assessments should include an accounting ol substantially more operational factors and uncertainties such as the effect of defensive weapons, connectivity ofnseal sons, attack as sumptions, force status assumptions, and operational objectives and tactics'
IS.ists improvements the Soviets could make in their present forces and supporting sysiems. many of which wc have already projected as likely, to counter new US strategic programs
Newtroiiiotion of US Nutleor Delivery Meons
US ICBMs in Silos and Shelters
he Soviets already have weapon programs and deployment options that could make prospective land-based USorces highly vulnerable If ihey arc to ride out an attack. Our calculations indicale that Soviet forces will retain the potential to destroy most of thc land based US ICBM force under all assumed US deployment options, although the option selected will affect substantially the number of Soviet weapon* required for the attack We do not bebeveoviet planner would have high confidence in the outcome ol such an attack, however, because ol operational uncertainties nud thc prospect that the United States would bunch under atiack
' The haUtrt ol iha nm ort- .
Agtrnu. ond tht Senior InirHiarnre Qffitni of tho iMllrarn
ur estimates of thc Soviets' capability toICBMs prior to launch are derived fromsimulations of an attack by the most capable Soviet ICBMs against US missiles in silos arid shelters. In makinii our estimates we use
Dtsit baseline forceICBM IlVs in IWI-prepared for1 (not yet coordinated within Ihe Intelligence Corn-munityX*
Best single-value estimates of the characteristics and performance of Soviet ICBMs Our calcula-lums also account for thc uncertainty In our estimates of ICBM accuracy, reliability, and warhead yield
Estimates of lhc weaponlevel andto inflict severe damageinuteman silo.
IS In ealcubting Soviet capabilities to destroy US ICDMs in silos and shelters weumber of simplifying assumptions, common to analyses ol Soviet counlerforce potential Forample, we assume that: (a) Scmet forces are on full alert, (b) they receive the launch order and attack all US ICBMsingle wave, (c) Soviet weapons detonate at optimum height of burst to maximire urget damage, and (d> US ICBMs tide out the Soviet attack. There arc also nonquantifia-bte uncertainties associated with any analysis of Soviet counlerforce eapabililies Among them arc whether Soviel weapon deployments will proceed as we have projected, and how the Soviets would actually emptor then forces under circumstances eitant al lhe time of an attack. Alternative assumptions and attackwould, of course, yield differ nit results
hc analyses below are not. therefore, forecasts of how the Soviets would actually employ their forces
' Aliomliie So-letprotection! lor this year'* NIK andin NIC" S) contain different numbed ofICSM IV, mransM0t* No-SALTn vaerl[niir-mom would not ahee Bsni'Kanili lhein ibU ertinule ol So-irl cituhilitrei lo dml'Ot USulna and ihrlirn Hnr.er.Wihefarce aa ft0 mmM belo
CO)vim an) MMagssgajsj in iraa
o. depending onon>:therebrnvmorri iJ Soiiet RVi rem lining foiuerting
depict only expected values of surviving ICIIM>et of reasonable assumptions,percent confidence interval lor weapon systemwith quantifiable uncertainties. The results are indicators of trends and of relative potential implied by alternative force postures; they do not provide accurate predictions of the absolute number of ICBMs that would survive counteiforce attacks
e estimate that today, using two weaponsto compound the probability of damage,Soviet ICBM force hai thc potential tobulinuteman silos In aecu led first-strike attack Taking the aboveinto account, we estimate
^frsiinuteman silos couldis. escape severe damage. II thc Soviels used one
weapon per silo, our best estimate ii lhat somesilos could survive,ange ofsilos.
c have also assessed Soviet poteniial to destroy alternative US ICBM deployments, assuming two-on-one silo and orie-oci-ooc shelteree figurehe results1 are summarized In table 3.
new missiles would still be as vulnerable as Minuteman ICBMsT
of the" high accuracies that we believe Soviet ICBMs will achieve by thc late luSOs.
our analysis showsew more RVs would survive if deployed in shelters ralher than in silos, the uncertainties attendant with these
Estimated Soviet Capabilily To Attack US ICBM
i-Moeiceee oo-ionpn "
MBO MI .itSCO
Improvements to Present Soviet Strategic Forcer andto US Force Initiatives
MX ICBMi (Irrespective, of lyment mode)
MX In multiple protective shefters
MX in Minuteman likjs
ARMt prolectme MX in sikrt
ea no clura-
accuracy (or SLBMi and mobile ICBMi
ICBM fi actional ion
accuracy and yield
development of penetralion aids
and MiRVsICBM (radioes! ioncapability for SLBMs
in UurnA-on-Uclieal. warningol sanctuary clerJoyroent ot SSBNi
o( erRplovment tactics
of tactics for use of penetration aid*
development of ladies (or ABM sat ur alio*
submarine* (with DS SLBMs)
MX in Iocs-endurance alrcralt
omber* with SflAMi: cruise muslle carried
Long-range cruise mini lei
Submarines can vine SLCMi
Surface sliipa carrying SLCMs
Mobile, launchers (or GLCMt
ASW airraid and sur-face plat for sns with improved reason
-SLBM and SLCM to Hrike at
-Utile or no change beyond those already pro-ecied -Systems (or forward defense
SAMs (or terminal
for forward defenic such ai kine-range Interceptor
ASW plat(ormi and seruori
naval patrol and attack
and intelligence assets
and tactical lystemi
sensitive acoustic ion sanson
- -Dcviipcneoi ofLBM Plilltipaaiaffhaai awUaa aad. ui
vriliincc satellite) to locate long endurance lirciaft us
raaporanveCU net*brae-rang* air-to-air moaites
ol command, control, andIntercept controlsystems (or remote vectoringoptions lot SaMi (bombers oe cruise
rocessing all-to-air mlullo
UK iiuielinf. I
ol mnX amative acoualic and
nonm-aatie deleft mw.of venal prrxewni
range furhleri lor carriers
time ui'vrillance lyilrr-iiweanom lot unnvenlionol Wrikc
of oven trail tactattack lubnurloe depiovmerst
-SSBN parrels cheer to US
to destroy aircraft after Lunch
procedores to tradarrrlnc aircraft
of forward defense ope ration and planning lo destroy alert force at baseior after launch
ol forward dcfeiiae operations
terminal tround defense
of remote vectoring of interceptors
Intee/ation of tactical and ilralcgtc air defeiua
of naval deployment) in
likely launch areaso( overt trail tactic:
of reccmnaiuance-strike procedure!
turvedlartcc of deployment areastargeting
of commando and tactical lyrtcm strikes
Estimated Soviet Potential1 To Destroy Alternative US ICBM Deployments '
Mi nuta alone
Ai-prottm-He Number of Saiviviag USilohelter Tars-cling) Bet tjtuiut-
suggnt that Soviet potential against the MX would be about the same lor either basing mode
These figures characterize only the consequencesimulated aitack by Soviet ICBM forces on US ICDM forces and, therefore, do not represent potential conn* terforce capabilities that would reside in the SLBMs. bombers, or cruise missiles of either side
he US basing options would aflectthe number ol remaining Soviet ICBM weapons following an attack on US missile silos and shelters. Out of the0 Soviet ICBM RVs in lhe force project too used in the estimateVs would remain after an attack against the Minutemanew silos, as opposed toemaining after an attack against the Minute-man forcehelters. In either case, wu believe the Sovieu would have sufficient offensive nuclear forces remaining alter an attack against US ICBMs to undertake "ther.missions against US targets, even if the Soviets did not deploy moiewe believearge US shelter system We estimateoropeehemrvc atiack against other US miliiary largets, as well as povcrn-ment and military-economic targets, would requitedditional ICBM warheads
ABM Dcjenset o/ US /CBMs. We are unable lo quantify the potential of Soviet forcesgainst an ABM defense ol US ICBMs We believe rhe
Soviets have the resources and technical capability to overcome an ABM defense by some combination of saturation of the defense with ICBM RVs; use of penetration aids, chaff, andr employment of maneuvering RVs to evade ABM interceptorsdeployment of missile defenses would compound lhc Soviets' difficulties inountcrlorce attack and would increase their uncertainties about whether il could be carried out succcsslully. On ihe other hand, the net effect of an ABM defense of US ICBMs would have to take into account the additional US weapons required to overcome any ballistic missile de lenses tlie Soviets might deploy
S Ix>unch-Vndef Attack. Tlie Soviets have credited the United Stales with the capability to-launch ICBMs before thc arrival of Soviet weapons Furthermore, thev probably do not have highIn their present capabilities to destroy ihe entire US warning apparatus, to prevent communication of the launch order, or to employ SLBMs or other means to "pin down- US ICBMs until Soviet ICBMs arrived. Future Soviet forces would have better capabilities lo employ some of ihese tactics, but Soviet defense planners will continue to confront numerous technical uncertainties associated with launch utsder-attack Moreover, they would probably abo be uncertain aboul whether the United Stales woulduclear altaek in reaction lo Soviet interference wiih its warning or launch execution facilities.
Long-Endurance MX-Corryiiio, Aircraft
20 corsclude thai tt would be difficult fo* the Soviet* I" develop ihr means and operational lech nique* lo be confident lhal Ihey could detect, target, and destroy MX-earryinc aircrafl (MXCA) on airborne aleri Countering these aircrafl inppear, lechnically feasihle, however, and wc believe lhe Sovieis would make lubstantiat efforts lo do so. To counter an MX force launched from loot-endurance aircraft, the Soviet* would have loequence of taiks similar in kind, but not in difficulty, to those associated with antisubmarine warfare detection, Ic-cahr.alion, and targeting of the MXCA, and deliveryeapon ot weapons against it.
and luxalizition. Asesigned space-based radars might be ablethe MXCA from other aircraft andnear-real-time position tnforrrsattoa forThe Soviets should have the technologythem to deploy these types of ladarshe Soviets could obtain some usefuldetection and localization hy means olher thanladur, inch a* over-the-horizonsurveillance aircraft, (orward-based
AWACS aircraft, intelligence collection ships, surface
combatants, arid auxiliary ships.
and Destruction. Weaponsbe complicated byarge portionforce on airborne alert.
Our analysis shows thai if the Soviets attacked the airborne force usingthaninutes' flight lime from theirsimple barttack could rcciuirr an enormousof warheads, depending on the time between lasl detection of the target nnd weapon delivery. The Soviets could pursue options otherbarrage' io neutralize the MXCA,f maneuvering SLBM* with shorter flight times than ICBMs, or terminally guided long-range cruise missiles
In any case, the b'oviels would need lo provide more timely target position data in order toavorable ratio bclween the number ol Soviet weapons used and lhe number ol US weapons destroyed
Thus, there isarge payoff for the United Slates in deny lhe Soviets lhc requisite localization information, both before the attack and during the final engagement. The United States couldariety ol countermeasures for Ihis purpose, but wc ate unable lo protect how successful these might be
USircraft (Prior to or Immediately Alter Launch)
n vie* of the great difficulty and uneerlainliei in defending against bombers and cruise missiles in flight, the Soviets almost certainly will have greater incentive lo mas im ire ihcir capabilities tooices, cruise missile and MX carrieis, andwell as command and contiolthemmediately aflet takeoff
Of the weapons in the Soviet inventory, SLBMs on routine patrol near the Unitedflight limes ol eight oi nine minutes to coastalthe most serious threat to the pie-launch survivability of US strategic aircraft on alert Thc Sovicls would probably conclude thai the United States would detect movement ofile-carrying submarines closer to US coasts, reducing the chance of tactical surprise
If the Soviets were to target SLBMs to destroy aircraft on escape routes, lhe criticalin thc case of long-endurance aitcrall carryingbe the sire of the airspace lo be targeted and lhe lethal weapon effects. Wethai Ihe number of SLBMs required for thc Usk would be so large as to make it Impractical.oreover, Sot let planners could not rely onounlerforce attack against US bomber bases, and against US ICBMs as well, because of ihe differences in flight times of Soviel ICBMs and SI.BMs On one hand, in the event of simultaneous launch of Soviet ICBMs and SLBMs. nuclearon bomber bases would provide unequivocal evidenceoviet aitack someinutes before US ICBMs were struck On the other hand, an atiack intended in achieve simultaneous impact of Soviet RVs" oo both US ICBM silos and bomber bases would giveohcrs someinutes to bunch before beincck
US GLCAAs end SLCMs
S CLCMr on Mobile Uuncheri. Theproblems posed by GLCMs would be very similar to those posed for many years by such US systems as the Pershing la and Lance short-range ballisticTo counter the GLCM. therefore, the Soviets probably would adapt many of the same methods thev have developed to locate and attack these older US systems These methods involve the use of all available tactical reconnaissancehumanlocate and trail the US systems, aod a
combination of nuclear and conventional weapons, sabotage, and attacks by specially trained commando
units to destroy them
hether lhe Soviets could successfully maintain knowledge ol the location ol CLCMs and target and destroy (hem during conventional or nuclear war would depend heavily on the conflict circumstances, such as the length of thc conventional phase and how ihe tactical nuclear phase eventuated
LCMShip aridThe Soviets' inabslilv lo detect US submarines in ihr open ocean sterolignificant inlertorily In their quieting tech morses, the poor sensitivity and
range of their detection sensors, and iheir poor signal-pcocessing capability At preseni, and throughouturing periods of no particular tension, we believe US submarines could get into position to launch long-range cruise missiles againsi targets in the USSR
S surface ships carrying cruise missilesagainst the USSR would be al much greater risk than submarines. Soviet reactions would dependon whether the SLCMs were deployed onew special-purpose ships or were part ol lhe normal weapons suite of meat US capital ships The Soviets' reactions lo deploymenl of SLCMsow ships mighl be similar lo iheir reactions lo US carriers Soviet naval avialion and submarines would be the primary weapons employed In this case. Sovietmight be primarily operational, without planning for any matot increases in naval forces. Faced with what they would regard as slrategic weapons on many ships, (he Soviets would probablyeed to increase their naval forces to counter them.
Mcnntolnirsg Survivability of the Soviet Strategic Nuclear Arsenal
oviet silo-based ICBMs will become increasing ly vulnerable lo fiist-itrike attack by the alternative future US land-based ballistic missile depiovments assumed in ihis Estimate (see figureWe did no! consider uses on Trident submarines because wc tacked informatior on their eventual deployment and operational availability The uses would funher reduce lhc estimated numbers of SovietICBMor our assessments wc use US data on lite accuracy, reliability, and warhead yields of the Minuteman, the MX, and the common missilelo beith MXnd have taken inlo account our unceriaintves about Soviet silo hardness. The results of our analysis of Soviet ICBM vulnerability) are summarized in table 4
e believe the Soviets have anticipated an increased US threat lo their silo-based ICBMs in the lOSOs andumber of piogiarni lhat would enable ihem to reduce th- vulitcsability of iheir offensive lorces
The Soviets are conducting tests lhat could lead to further hardening of their silo-based ICBM
Estimated Vulnerability of Soviel ICBM)S ICBM Allack
l-mm-lSow ICHM RV,
Ifl 63 B4 SC 00 B7
trtMM>fcf IOO0OT MI
mm m COW.
Estimated Soviet ICBM Vulnerability1s ICBM Alljdl,
Appro.im.lc Number ofSorter ICBM BV.0 BV, indudimt ten, mo BV.on mobile liunrhou
Upgraded MiM.tr.common nUaWla.
'fw o/ rrW Kirrciw.Mirifvr-cr Apr*v. ,Ve/^
rtumoui. in posraM
We do not believe, however, lhat thev would rely on hardening alone to assure the sutvivabiliiy of tneir land-based missile force.
Thev are about loow ballistic missile that could be deployedmall off-road mobile ICItM in tbchileystem will enhance ICBM survivability, it will noi increase Soviet counterforce capabilities significantlyIts relatively small throw weight would limit payload fractionation.iew in Use Intelligence Community that fhe SovieU are examining an option for deptoyment bier inail-mobile, medium size ICBM thai would have better hard-target poteniial than the off-road syslem.
The Soviets are deploying long-range MIBVed SLBMs capable of striking targets in lhc Uniied Stales from the USSK's home waters, providing grcaier protection for iu SSBNs from Western ASW forces There is evidence of continuing deployments in, along with improve-menU in SLBM capabilities
They areew strategic bomber or cruise-missile-carrying aircraft, or both, as well as new cruise missiles.
The USSR is developing new ABM components which could provide for atimited defense ol its ICBM complexes by the.
Finally, the Soviets are improving theirIuubstantial portion ol their ICBM force on tactical warning, prior lo impact of enemy warheads.
Limiting Damage to Iho USSR
he analysts in thb section is limited toof the capabililtei of Soviet strategic air defense to limit damage to the USSB. US deployment inf the Bl bomber and brger numbers of long ranee cruise missiles would probably result in some adiustmcnls In Soviel low-altitude air defenses Haw-ever, we doubt that the Soviets would make any major changes in thetr air defense development andprograms, beyond those depicted in previous cslirrutcs. During. Soviet air defense plan^
ning almosi certainly was In expectation of cruise missilesew slrategic bomber io icpbce the
ombined attack by cYuise missiles andbombers aimed with SRAMs would put far greater stress on Soviet air defenses than an altack by one force alone
When new Icnr-aititudc-capable air defenseare deployed in suable numbers in the, penetration of Soviet air defenses by conventional bombers will be more difficult The capabilities of the Individual Soviet low-altitude air defense systems lhal we have projected over Ihc nextears arc relatively insensitive lo thc differences in radar cross section and subsonic speed of conventional bombers. However,in botnbei characterislics lhal we have not assessed, such as avionics, ECM suite, and self-defense systems, may givewith iu higher low-altitudereater probability of penetration of Soviet air defenses. Air Force sludics show that the pbnncd characteristics ofould undoubtedly givereater probabilily of penetrating Soviet air defenses ihan currently operational bombers
Current and future Soviet air defense systems on which we have evidence would have only limited capabilitkci against the US cruise missile, and probably could not be deployed in sufficient numbers Ino defend all the areas the Sovicis probably would want lo protect Ourhatombined attack of penetrating bombers and cruise missiles lhe ef-fcctiversess of Soviet air defenses during the neatears will remain limited. Futthermoie, we doubt that lhc Soviels will succeed even innalt thc air defense problems created by the very small radai cross sections of fuiure aeiodynamlc vehicles. We have no basis, however, for estimating Soviet capabilities against US aircraft incorporating] "slealth" technology
aced with the proipectithcapabilities much improved over those of? and thousands of cruiseSLCMs, andlhe difficulty of defending
against them in flight, thc Soviets undoubtedly will undertake further improvements In their deployments and tactics They almost certainly will deploy aof AWACS aircraft andof operating several hundted kilometers from Soviet borders They might deploy mote short-range lactical systems and improve their tactics for air defense operations.
III. FOREIGN PERCEPTIONS OF US
STRATEGIC FORCE IMPROVEMENTS
Sovieis believe lhat trends in thcof forces" have been moving inin large pari because of gains In iheirespecially strategic nuclear power TheyUnited Stales as unwilling to concede to therecognition and political benefits lo whichtheir power posilion entitles them. Theylhat US defense plans, including programsstrategic forces, are intended tomilitary advantages and internationalUnited Stales enjoyed earlier in the,II period.
leaders have already concluded thatof the present US adruinotration towardis hostile and that its policies aiebelieve the currenl US attitude representschange from the. whenStates believed that aa easing ofthrough arms control, trade, and othercould piovidc direct economic andand could serve Indirectly to moderatecompetition Decisions oo moderruzaiionstialegic foices. coming on the heels of aof domestic priorities to increase Ihcarid the decision to produce neutronmake Soviet leaders view thc administrationdetermined Tbey may not yet belhat the increased ipendinrt implied by US
' Ourot-miol ilv Untied Suln and
il' imoLotiom ei US UiilecK 'am Mwi'SggfatJ we dnl>*d
Irons Sorirt stHenseatsinifyhosen cliniritine rcpnilna. diploeiaiii rhjnnck. *nrl ihr ma. and Irom oui anal uu ofand iMotranu drawnariety ol
defense programs, including model nl rat ton offorces, can be sustained
ny ofS programs (or land-based ICDM deployment would resultituation in then which both sides' ICBMs deployed at flted sites would be perceived as vulnerable Moscow almost certainly regaids the potential of Soviet ICBMs to destroy US land-based missiles as contributing lo Ihe image of Soviet strategic power and as limiting US optionsiists, although thc SovieU appreciate thc unceitaintics that wouldounieiforcc attack. MX deployment in multiple protective shelters has been characterized by the Soviets as unverifiable andeployment mode having more political and psychological effect than military utility. However, their real concerns aboul MX and other new ballistic missile options probably center on iheir first-strike potential.
spects of the new US programs havefor Soviet perceptions of the prospects lot arms control
The Soviets wouldS program foe ballistic missile defense thai required revision or abrogation of tlie ABM Trealy as the most significant change In US planning. The Soviets clearly want to preserve the Treaty without amendments They would distinguish, however, between revision and abrogation, and theirtoevision lo the Treaty would depend on their evaluation of its effect on the capability of Soviet forces to perfottii therequired by their strategy
As we concluded in previous Estimates, the Sonets will seek io iW ot hall US and NATO force improvementsombination of threats, inducements, and arms controlwhile trying to maximize prospectsontinuation of licnds favorable to them US offensive force improvement programs do not necessaiily call for activities in contravention of the fundamental provisions of the SALT IIbut would enlail testing' and deployments Inlet in the decade o( systems limited by the SALT II Piotocol The Soviets almost certainly had hopes thai lhe Treaty would be ratified and that Ihe provisions of the Piotocol would remain
read unfavorably lo US decisions lhat appearedar-ion basing of strategic missiles in the United Slates at the same time ihey are being asked to accept Pershing II missiles and CLCMs fn their countries.
llied leaders are likely lo opposein US strategic nuclear foeeei, unless at Ihe same time the United Slates is willing to pursue seriously arms control negolialions with the USSR.
They almost certainly would seek assurances that the Urrited States was willing to negotiatein planned new weapons deployments or even lo forgo deployment of new systems if arms control talks with Moscow proved satisfactory
-Allied governments will continue to regard ihc effect of US strategic program initiatives on the piospects for SALT as directly related to iheir security interests, contending thaton LRTNF deployments are illogicala SALT agreement They will also continue to seek linkage between SALT and LRTNF limitations in order lo prevent another US-Soviet agreement on central systems lhal ignotes tho theater nuclear balance.
In view of the relationship they make between SALT and West European security. Ihe Allies' concerns about the prospects for arms control would be deepened tl the new US programs called for deployments in eiccss uf SALT II limits or for abrogation or revision of lhe ABM Treaty In contrast to objections by Weslleaders lo possible revision or abrogation of ihe ABM Treaty. Pepped-up ABM developrssent to hedge against more threatening Soviet pro grams would probably receive grudging
There It an allemalive view thai, whtlesome segmenls of Wesl European opinion may consider lhat US strategic lore* improvements should be accompanied by simultaneous strategic aims control efforts, most US Allies will.welcome iin US land-based stiategK forces as teinforcing thc US nuclear guaran lee lo NATO Europe andS elfort not to divorce nuclear force improvement! in the Uniied Stales Irom Iheise in Europe The holders of this view believe thai Allied leaders are primarili concerned with TNF and
he Soviels appear likeli lo continue to consltainlrategic modernization prog rams within the limits of the unratified SALT II Treat* while assessing US interniona with regard tn strategic arms limitations. The new US pro grams could give the Soviets more incentive: lo achieve an arms limitation agreement.
Soviel arms control policy in live posI-Brczhnev political succession in the USSR is less certain.eadership succession period the Soviet stand on arms control policy may harden,no power contender would want to appear Less defense-minded than araother
est Europeanand outside ofgenerally have welcomed lhc harder line the Uniied Statesen toward the USSB, iraetud-ing proposed improvements in intercontinentalnuclear forces Their reactions reflecl anof the gravity of the Soviet threat to West European security. Some West European leaders may be concerned that lhe shift In the strategic balance againsi the Uniied Slates has eroded the credibility of (he extended nuclear guarantee of US iWerconlinental forces. However, thc majority of West European governments and Leaders have taken lhe position lhat lhe US-Soviet strategic nuclearne of rough equivalence and mutual delerrervce.
46 Drspste iheir generally favorable reactions to US strategic force Improvements, West Europeans hope thc Soviet threat can be abated through mutual force reductions, avoiding the successive rounds of new weapon deploymenl! loward which ihey lear bolh superpowers may be headed. Few among West European leaders and their publics share lhe sense of urgency lhat they perceive isS militaiy planning Tho Soviet buildup lias proceeded over live pasl decade without much public fanfaie. permuting the Soviets to present Western governmentsail accompli unencumbered by European public protest. By conirasl. US detente decisions, like the decision on neutron weapons, have been highly and critically publicized in Western Europe, reflecting Europeans' fears that the United States may be movingenewed Cold War poslure Allied governments also
related negotiations, nor SALT, and ate likely ton prove menu in US strategic nuclear forces as lone as TNF negotiations take place. They would abo view US-Soviet negotiations on strategic forces favorably.'
llied governments will be concerned that the US strategic force improvements portend changes In US commitments lo Kuropean defense They will look for the Uniled States to demonstrate that it is not removing itself from European conventional defense to help pay lor expansion of its strategic aisenal. They would reject any suggestions that tbey bear more of the cost for conventional forces primarily because economic anil social programs receive higher priority lhan defense
Tht ho/den of lha oiew ore ihe Direclor. Defew InieHlgtiet AffKg, tM iht Senior Imelll'tnct Officer, of lhe mUiiaiu leretctt.
Perceptions of Other Nations
Thc Chinese would regard steps to improve the US strategic posture as evidence of renewed USWc believe, however, that they would be very concerned if US planshange lo Ihe ABM Treaty that permitted the USSR toationwide ballistic missile defense, given thcimpact ofove on China's nuclearcapability.
Non-NATO states shape their foreign policies, including iheir attitudes toward Washington andlargely in response to legional and domestic issues.ey determinant in lhe reactions of other nations will be the client lo which they believe
- that the US strategic programs are necessary for supporting US commitments abroad and for reducing the likelihood of regional conflicts
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