Created: 1/24/1976

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SUBJECT: Soviet and Cuban Aid to the MI*LA in Angola from March throughS

Key Points

The intelligence community estimates' that:

Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Cuba shipped P

^military equipment to the Popularfor the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) from March through

and East European sea shipments totaled^

oviet airlift added^

merchant ships deliveredequipment. -

Cuba also sent to Angola in this perioduban military personnel, and the USSR sentilitary

Valued in equivalent US prices, this Soviet and Cuban support from March through5 would be on the order0 million, with the evidenceto us, we can calculate an estimate

I/rhie memorandum hae been prepared jointly by the Central Intel- igence Agency, the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State, and the national Security Agency.

Z/aairlift hae continued to move Cuban troopseince the endS, , anuary bout0 Cuban military personnel had been Bent tothis troop airlift came to an end, at' least tem-

porarily, although additional Cuban troops may still be moving into Angola by ship.

T>ased^ heen deliberately .

intrac2o^ ^atlvf,3foments, however, andevidence "hich cannot yet be quan-

tised, we believethat this roay understate thetoJai

l/some nports indicate that the HP LA may have HIG-type data- q


t i* Sctfieis have sent HIGs to Angola, however, they would probably be eitheror MIG-

In addition, we believe that the HP LA poeeeeeea eurface-to-air


TOT OTCR-ffr*-

- With this Soviet and Cuban assistancebothtrained manpowerthe MP LA side has becomethe best equipped and militarily the strongestcontending factions in Angola. The equipmentto the HP LA' has " "

edium tanks andight tanks.

8RDM armored cars and armored personnel carriers.

m long-range rockets and truck- mounted rocket launchers.

Antiaircraft guns.

Sagger antitank

Recoilless rifles.


- in -


The Details

The figures contained in this memorandum present the US intelligence community's best estimate of the amounts and value of communist military' aSs"ist-ance to Angola from March through December The estimate ie based on information collected*and collatedariety of intelligence sources, and someare more reliable and complete than others.umber of cases, the data are incomplete and The accuracy of our estimates will improve as additional information becomes available. ^


Moscow has backed the MPLA since it was founded6 with the aid of the small, clandestine Angolan Commuriist Party- During the early years of the MPLA's existence, the Soviets gaveteady though moderate supply of military and financial aid, much of it channeled through Congo, Zambia and Tanzania. In thehe level of Moscow's aid diminished, as the MPLA's prospects for control of Angola appeared to deteriorate, in large part because it was weakened by internal factional strife.

In the months following the overthrow of the Caetanoin Portugal inhe USSR reassessed its policy toward Angola and decided to expand its support to the MPWV.

InS Soviet aid increased markedly. Cuba, which had been providing very small scale support to the MPLA since the, apparentlyontingent of military advisers last spring and markedly expanded its aid .beginning inS.

Equipment Deliveries

of the military equipment and sent toduring the period under review were by sea on Soviet, and Cuban ships. The USSR has also employeddeliver high priority weapons, ammunition, and otherthe Cubans have used both merchant ships and aircraft toand troops into Angola.


stern Europe and Cuba

between equipment and supplies

5 andnd" deluded in the Soviet deliveries have4 medium andak^

^uip.ent,Pointe Hoire.ho Soviet L

wal ceUvereTco

litar?'KfUPplhfS' transshipped from ^ carried on East German and Yugoslav

air an toby f ; Intermittent flights were reported for the

M^fUndin^ in ^eairlift for the Angolan fighting beganQ ^OctoberC. ll975

he flights deliveredT

JrailltarY equipment, including ammunition, tanks,heavy equipment. In addition, small armsSovietbetween Congo and

TOP OEGftgp-

airport in late December or early January.

^report's that Cuban pilots ana ground,-supportare in Angola. Nevertheless, we have as yetinformation on the presence of MIGs in Angolajet aircraft known to be in the MPLA inventory are ajets left by the Portuguese).

Anonif' MPLA^ helicopters in farced Uco?tctG wcr*in Angola when the Portuguese sentothersossibility that the Soviets may have

the^Soviets have sent helicopters, tho most likely would1be^the

9. Cuban Deliveries by Sea: Cuban merchant ships madef"

Tvoyages between Cuba and West African rwrtsbc-

tween early September and the end of the year. Thly deliverer

military equipment andrmea

ome of JhV

miiiLrv%nnWVe?ersonnel, others mostly

ofthCof the two. Most

PoroAohi tPointe Hoire'nd/or

Porto Amboim and Luanda, Angola.

involved in the Cuban sealift operation at anyaccount for about ercent of Cuba's merchant fleetdrawn primarily from Cuba's trade with Western Europe. Host

of the ships are believed to have loaded in Mariel, Cuba's tightly

controlled military portiles west of Havana.


Airlift: From late September tliroughubaaircraft (_


uban military personnel and very smallarms and ammunition to Wont African airports forin Angola. Until mid-Decemberflights

operated viaegional refueling point. Thereafterprecluded from using Barbados by US pressure on the islandsubsequent flights to Africa have operated via the Azores, Guyana, Gander, and the Cape Verde Islands.*

Estimated Cost of Communist Military Aid

monetary value assigned to Soviet, EastCuban assistance to the Ml'IA from March through Decemberon whether Soviet trade prices are used or US prices

for comparable goods and services are used. The latter are, on the average, significantly higher, but theyore accurate representation of how much an equivalent amount of aid would cost in American terras. (Communist costs tend to be lower, because wage and price structures are vastly different from those

* Since the beginning of- beyond the time-frame covered by this memorandum the Cuban airlift potential has been augmented by the introduction of Soviet-piloted long-ranges.



in the


13. Equipment Costs: ists in more detail theand East European equipment delivered to the MP

o have more

confidence in the reliability of our estimates on the large items of equipment than on the list of small arms and other infantry weapons. Much of the larger equipment has been sighted in combat by trained military observers




of sourceses were nade bjTi wide ranqe

tesmilitary deliveriesCuba "PLA




T*bic 2

EstiMted Awmt*ec of Soviet Eqalimcocto MTUl



Afllfi.tlcfai ttab Am ortd pefsooHL-csrrlers;. IT* 60

Vljl.^i light U.

# AA uchloe fcuns

n* ttudi AA guas

on truck*

7-too trucks


Iwdlns ct*ft

m truck Mounted rock<ir

lsuitchers LZ2 nxt bovlcteci ISfUW ptosU1omI gi-nxi ruk transporters

Sottll Arms nod Ottora rockets

mU tujfUr:

62recolllcssss nortsrsreasde listen. .rcamd* IsuncHet*AH

Sagger Adti-tsnk missiles (lac. udlnt

iMadfrcra vifib Mxht machlM2 mm caffeinesulrochla*istol* AX-A7 rifles

Amtl-tamk nod aoci^stnOQiKl miMi Hind trtmade-Electric geocratoti Ajziminltloa

o comparable OS cqul

TictleaL coomntest look and vehicle mounted)

Host are woldeoticted. but the majority ate probablyhlci

Csoviec pricesthis peciod

han in us prices." Based on the limitedavailable, the following tabulation gives ourof the number of Soviet advisors supporting5 and associated costs-:

Table 3









Million US S


US Equivalent Force


e tech

sttmate that the total cost of employing one Soviet military nioian for one year in Angola to be. [2

I The cost figure coneidcrs both foreign exchange expendituree, including salary, round trip fare from Moscow with luggage, insurance, leave, and transfer allowance ofercent of salary if employed forear, and local currency outlays ouch as quarters and medical care. Our estimateor employing one US military technicianation like Angola for one year is baaed on average OS pay and allowances, and does not include transport and other support cOetc that could increase the figure by at least percent. It ehould be noted that the average rank of US technicians serving in LDCs is well below that of Soviet technicians, which tends to offset the higher US pay scale and makes US costs comparable.

In addition, several hundred MPLA officers received

niitnary iuainln9 in the USSR and cuba durl"9The cost of this training io estimated at moredollars in US equivalent

19. The number of Cuban military personnel sent to Anaoi* rose fromn the fall5 toy ?he end The total cost of supportinghich may be shared or picked up entirelye USSRis estimated atillion in Cuban prices, based on an averaqe monthly salary for Cuban military personneler manonth per man for field support. Equivalent US costs wouldillion (see the following table).

Table 4

Time Period

Sept Oct Nov Dec


Mo. of Personnel Cost

. I

4.2 (rounded) "



A cost of about man per year was derived on the basis of the annual recurring costS infantry brigade base with jour xnfantry battalions and one armored battalion. The figures repreeent pereonnel operation, maintenanoe and recurringcosts.



Soviet Funding of Cuban Assistance. Soviet and Cuban efforts in Angola appear to be closely integrated. In addition to sending troops and associated equipment to'Angola, the Cubans are also supplying personnel to operate most of the more sophisti cated Soviet equipment. Not only does this provide the needed manpower to man the Soviet weapons, but it also has allowed the Soviets toower profile in their support to the MPLA.

A persuasive case can be made that the Soviets areup most of the Cuban costs. The stock of arms which the Cubans had prior to their increased involvement in Angola was not in excess of what they appeared to need internally, and the lt

]3mi3-itary equipment which the Cubans delivered to Angola from March through5 would have depleted their stocks. Ke believe that this is the reasontho Soviets increased their military shipments to Cuba"

3 Much, if notprobably represents reimbursement to

the Cubans for the materiel they have shipped to Angola.

Original document.

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