Created: 11/9/1977

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Recent Soviet Cround Force Activity' oii thc_"STnoi c't "lio'r dj: !

memorandum, to be updated cn vsummarizos significant Soviot groundin thc Sino-Soviet border Ittatus report only. ASoviet force changes and improvements arethe urea, ond, although some tentativebe drown, further evidence is required bcfoirimpact of these developments on thc overallcapabilities of Swiet ground forcesan

mnjor build-up of Soviet forces inregion occurred between tho. S, Soviet ground forces there some en in IS combat divisionsunits. his force hadivisions xithen. Thelevel ofctive divisions* hasconstant over the past four years,ground manpowerontinued to rise slowly from

* This numbertt> divisions on Sakhalin laland and one on tho Kamchatka Peninaula which are too far from the Chineee border to be used there in the near term.

Comments and queriea regarding thia memorandum are welcwo. They may be directed tc ^

Office of Stratagio

TK Lopy 3.




3 to thc current level. During this period, thc Soviets appear to have been concentrating on upgrading the ground fore* support structure and modernizing thc inventory of major weapon systems.

the past ten months, the USSR hasto upgrade the capabilities of its groundopposito China. Thero has been only a

modest increase in the number of units deployed in thc area. Changes in thc structure and status of ground force units have boon limited to the possible upgrading of the readiness status of two divisions, thc appearance of several new rcglmental-sizccould portend additional divisions, and continued expansion of static defensive positions close to thc border.

more significant force improvementsqualitative in nature: thc deploymentself-propelled artillery at divisionappearance of new heavy self-propelledwith two heavy artillery brigades, and onin tactical surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers.

activitiesontinuing effort

by the USSR to improve ground force capabilities in areas of potential conflict. They do not appear to haveSoviet capabilities there to thc extent that the existing balance of forces in thc border region has been appreciably altored.

Structural Force Changes

6. Activation of New Units. Elementsew

motorized rifle regiment at Rybachyc in

thc Central Asian MD in April, quipment "

includedMPs,m howitzers, cigiiL medium tanks, and antitank gunsm mortars. Thc new unit at Rybachye cannot be accommodated within the structure of the active division alrcody located in this area. It is too early to determine precisely cither thc origin or subordination of this new unit.



There Already is one mobilization division base* in Contral Asia which has elements at Scmipulatinsk, Gcorgiyevka, nnd Ust Kamcnogorsk. The new unit could be the initial clement ofecond mobilisation division base in the MDew active division.

Redeployments. obilization division base, formerly located nt Varfolomoycvka in the Ussuriysk Army area of the Pur East MD, apparently has boento the Spassk-Dalniy/Krasnyy-Kut area closer to the China border. There are some indications that this equipment may form the basisew active divisionadre level unit) in thc Spassk-Dalniy/Krasnyy-Kut area. Inonstruction was underwayarracks and housing areaehicle storage and maintenance area at Krasnyy-Kut. Mobilization division bases normally do not have barracks associated with them.

Another redeployment, or possiblyew unit, also has occurred recently in the Ussurivsk Army area in the southern Primorsky Kray."

FROG launchers nnd

Whflt appeared to be initial clcUents of two notorized rifleankeconnaissance battalion,ignal battalion were identifiedew army barracks at Lyalichi where barrackswas underway. This new installation is located in the'vicinity of units subordinateotorizod rifle division headquartered at Monastryrishchc to tho north, where additional construction is also underway. As yet, however, it cannot be determined whether these new units hove been shifted to Lyalichi from elsewhere in the Far East MD or whether they roprosontaddition to tho forces. Thc units--whoso major equipment items include tanks but no APCs--may

A mobilization division base consiete of the necessary combat equipment toivision. The equipment is maintained in etoragemall caretaker1 force and probably is intended for rapid mobilization of additional divisions in wartime. Moat of these bases are colooated with 'active divisions.



represent the early stage of theew division in this area.

Ussuriysk Army already hasobilization. Anmore than five divisions in peacetime wouldby Soviet standards, and the formationof additional divisions couldew reserve corps. To date,has been no indication that the coranianc" andstructure for such an entity has been estabiishti'.

of Readiness Status. T'le ISOat Borzya in the Transbaikalpr-i'.rentlyupgraded from its cadre status. Constructionnew regimental-sisc housing areas--two atne at Shirlovoya Gorn,m away--wasyear, and expansion of training areas athas been underway In late Maytank regiment and engineer battalion belongingdivision apparently were shifted to This activity could be in preparation forof additional personnel to the division.

positions that extendsm along the China border in the Transbaikal MD. These positions include both tank turrets mounted^on concrete bunkers and hardened automatic weapons firing positions. of defensive positions continuedank turret positions have been completed since the program began These defensive lines are probably intended to provide nn initial defense capability in the area closest to the Chinese border.

QualItative Improvements

12. Airithin the past two years tho Soviets have increased the number of SAM launchers along


the Sino-Soviet border by more than SO percent, adding three nowrigades and elements of sixegiments and threeegiments. Of these, onerigade, twoegiments, and onoegiment have been added We expect introduction of additionalndAMs to continueodest rato, replacing antiaircraft guns in divisionalartillery regiments, in conjunction with tho continuing addition ofAMs andelf-propelled antiaircraft guns to the tank and motorized rifle regiments..

in the

13. Divisional Artillery. The Soviets also arc steadily increasing the amount of self-propelledrtillery in the border area. Inho first known assignment of lS2-mm SP gunsoviet tank division in the border region was f tuards Tank Division (TD) at Kyakhta inMD.*

with the

Three of the lS2-mm SP guns were

division's artillery regiment. In'n

battalion of lS2-mm SP guns was also

artillery regimont of the tank.

Mongolia, and in earlyS2-mm SP gun was in the tank division ot Choybalsan. Previously,

lSZ-mm guns werewith motorized rifle

14. Nuclear Artillery. Nuclear-capable heavy artillery units opposite China ore ulso being upgraded. The Soviets have deployed at lease nine heavy artillery brigades throughout the USSR, two of which are in the Far East and Transbaikal MDs. These units have been cquippod withm howitzersm heavy mortars, whichuclcnrdelivcry capability. It now appeors, however, that nt least some of thc^ brigades, including the two opposite China, arc being rocquipped with-m SB weapons.

* Tank divisions normallyquippedm towed or SP howitzers. SinceSP.-rm SP gun battaliono haveHth Soviet tank divioiona in Poland and in Eaet Germany.



15. Inix of thc new heavy SP mortars

the mortar regiment of thc heavy

artillery brigade eolocated with the Drovynnnyn

Scalobourd Brigade in the Transbaiknl Ml). Byhe number of S? mortars had increasednly one short of the full complement of heavy mortars normally associated with these units. Also this summer, thc heavy artillery brigade in the Far East MD nt Novosysoycvka began to receive heavy SP mortars and what appeared to be heavy SP guns.

16- eavy Multiple Rocket Launcher. Thc Scviets have also begun toeavyocket launcher (MRL) with thc firstin boing in thc border area. The Soviets had beenew heavy multiple rocket launcher since. at leastnd its existence was confirmed [

Lctzlingcr-Hcide training

aroa in East Germany, wnerc several were deployedoviet unit. Thc now MRL had been f* ' '

MD in October

ns the now MRL basedin hast

Germany--at Ussuriysk irt nay ana aurusl ivi/,as many osaunchers andesupply vehicles

Ussuriysk in'kr



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