SOVIET MILITARY RESUPPLY ACTIVITIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST (ER IR 73-24)

Created: 12/1/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

GIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS9

Intelligence Report

Soviet Military Resupply Activities in tbe Middle East

EB43 Copy No.

TOT rikOrTET

Sovici Military Resupply Acijvmcs in Ihc Middle Easl

The Sov1Cl mililaryesupply efforl lo thc belligerent Arab statesoulbrcak of hostilitiesctobe. was Moscow's largest combined airlift and-

The workhorse of thc resupply cffon was (he Sovici merchant fleet, which completedoyages lo crvm and Syria. .

The airlift consistedlighls byndransport aircraft, orimes (he number of flights made dunng the aulift7 War.

Ihe Sovici cffon concentrated on rccnmpirig. with armored cqmpmcm. antitank weapons, and ammunition, those Arab units hardest hit in thc fighting, tn addition, surfacc-io-air missile equipment andcf..ft sufficient to maintain thc air defense umbrella over both thc Egypnan and Syrian fronts was provided. Thc Scuil surface to-surfacc missile system has been thc only totally new weapons system introduced into thc area. The Soviet program has been supplemented by deliveries from scvci.il Hm>

European and Arab COuntncs.

Note CommcnlS and queries regarding this rcpOrf arc welcomed.

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DISCUSSION

Introduction

I'li'limiiuiy analysis of Arab equipment losses sustained during4 October Arab-Israeli War indicate! that it leastS million worth of aircraft, armored equipment,issile (SAM) equipment, and naval craft was ciiher destioycd or captured (secills estimate does notjiue forwheeled vehicles quarter master supplies, and military installations because information on thesenavailable. When thc final tally of war losses is completed it will exceed SI billionore than twice the estimated cost ol7 Arab-Israeli War.

A variety of reports from the Middle East have suggested (hat Moscow has replaced all the Arab equipment lost More likely, however, lhe Soviet resupply effort, rather thanlanket replacement of all

Table I

Eilimalrd Value of Major Communist Equipment Losses During theif Aiab-hru-li War1

Million US S

Total IjiJ itiiiamcnt Tanks

Priionnel camera, armored andui

n'a ft

lei hghlrri

Helicopters

Othti Naval (hips

Motor torpedo

Guided mtsuk

Other Guided rnisMle

Surface-to-air

Total

?<<

i

1

vTZ! H COnccn,ra,ed"Plying -he tanks.

ohardcs. hi. in the

as well as surfacc-to-ai, missile equipment to maintain an ai, defense

T^l't' firm-lld Syrian

armored inventories appear lo be ncanng their pre-war levels, and more

Z,T luipmei" ta broke out.

On .he other hand less thand of the Egyptian SAM losses have been HIIIPM and only about one half of the Arabcr,f, losses appear to have been

Table 2

Eilimared Egyptian ami Syrian Major Equipment Lc-oes and Soviet Kesuppry Efforts

Keplacrmer.lv Lwn RfpUcemenU

Lind ainumrm Tanks'

Personnel carriers.

Jirnutcd and amphibious 5Q0

ICS I

a.id

Ctjidri

J. Gxclirtliu uHuircuii ptiaad antiiank fan 1 Numbei ot ruioit biluf joni (illci).

i The cqu.pmcnc provided by .heenerally of .he tame type as lhat in Arab inventories prior to the initiation of hostditres The only totally new weapons system the Sovietshe Scud

ystcmew dimensionhc crisis bybr.ne.ng Telithin range of Egyptian ground fire for .he first time

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Difficulty of Estimating Deliveries

everal problems arise in attempting lo estimate the types and quantities of weaponry moved in ihc Soviet airlift and sealifl lo ihe Middle:

East:

No information is av.nl.ible onumbers and types ol tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, large field guns ships, and aircraft the Soviets planned lo send to ihc Middle East, and

Litllc informationvailable on deliveries out of Yugoslav, Bulgarian, and Romanian ports.

5 Some important factors art known i0owever, that doOugh estimate of the arms (both of mi* and numbers) that have been delivered by the USSR:

Thu "xmber.the Soviet transport aircraft involved in thc airlift.

The configuration, destination, deck cargo, and cargo tonnages Carried by thc suspected Soviet arms carriers

Also, other intelligence has provided some derails on the types of equipment arriving.

Thc Airlift

Belweenctober, when the first Sovtel transporl aircraft began arriving in thc Middle East, andctober, when the emergency airlift subsided,argo flights were made. These flights were capable of deliveringofthe first week of the airlift the majority of flights went to Syria, where Ihe heaviest fighting had taken place. Thereafter,f the flights to known destinations, including virtually all of theights, went to Egypt.lights arrived in Iraq, some of which were diverted from Syrian airfields.

The cargo carried on board almost half of the flights has been lenlilively identified and indicateside variety of equipment was delivered by the airlift. Strong circumstantial evidence suggests thai as many asflights may have been involved in the transport ofet fighters from thc USSR to the Middle East. These flights could have earned some MlG-2ls. Al least Soviet transport flights were nude to Lukhovitsy airfield, thc flyaway point for aircraft manufactured at the Ministry of the Aviation Industry Planthich produces the export version of1nd thelogger. At least some of these transports flew on to either Kiev. Lvov, or Budapest and it is likely thatere taken by these Or otheraircraft to the Middlealso were made to Kubinka airfield near Moscow, whichighter and fighter bomber base as well as the locationlant for modifying aircraft. Somehat were at Kubinka may have been airlifted to Iraq, the first deployment to Iraq of these aircraft wasat Rashid airfield near Baghdad

In addition,at leastlights were made from East European airfields where MIG-2ls were cither stationed or recently flown in. As manylG-2ls could have been earned aboard the. After Ihe ceasefire, severallew from the Middle East back to thc East European airfields, possibly reluming lechnicians who had been assisting in reassembling aircraft.

toxbat reconnaissance aircraft were transported to Egypt aboardome time beforectober. These

reconnaissance missions Over

bgypliaii-lsraeh cease-tirexDats had been in Egypl previously bur were withdrawnysull of the Soviet

quantises ol SAMs. launchers, and support equipmentlo have been delivered aboard the airlift. Nearly fltglus

'caving Moscow/Shchelkovo airfield,actory associatedproduction ofAM equipment. These flights could havethe purpose of collectingquipment fur delivery lo lheInCairo airfieldreported

ariety ofdars and trailers and four amphibious armored reconnaissance vehiclesithourned on idem were being unloaded from Sovietndransports

of the Scud missile equipment delivered to Egyplhave arrived via thecud missile, two transports, andequipment wereairpOH

Some of thc equipment waslosend ad Mown into Egypl on

that date. These aircraft could have cairied all of the equipment observed

that antitank missiles and

launchers also were high-priority cargo carried by lhe airlift. In addiiion. *mall arms, some artillery ammunition, medical supplies, and supporl equipment appear lo have been airlifted. Analysis of previous Soviet airlifts to thc Middle East indicates that the USSR has not transported land armaments, such as tanks,s when cargo ships were available.iscussion ol" Soviet aiilift capability and Ihc capacities of thendransport aircraft, see

The Scalift

uring the one-month period following the outbreak ol hostilities lhe Sovietsealift to Egypl and Syria

cargoes On_ lhe oilier ships

included "Styx missile crales,ndrates, aircraft component Crates, wheeled vehicles bridging equipment, andxidizer lanks "

6

i-i

I s

id obviously. Uic types and qftunllllci ol tquipawml actually delivered byebetween (he two extremes

Alio. svwit

pflrflni uciiwe/cO wn not dev^iivdeplace Arab losses For example, almost immediately allci the start of hostilities. Soviet ships began amvini: at Middle Eastern potts At leas' ul the ihips were loaded prior to lhe wir,ew othets may have departed with orgoes scheduled hclore lhe wai Byclobei. howcvt'i

indicatedi lands were being

loaded on snips presumably for.ibc Middle East

lacilities betweei

paiK-in ui activity suggesting substantial aimOrcd

vehicleto the Middle East Or)

October, at leasi personnel earners, including

ilMPs. BTR iSli. and oKDMv men located in the port area ubstantial turnover

m the aimored vehiclesine port area Thc vehicles wereifferent positions, and poundlie tank parking aiea increased dramatically The tanks seen on OctoberSSs md those

cFPf? FT

observed onlo be.

Thc following tabulation jnnicatcs oincr militaiy equipment observed in the port area, some of which probably was delivered:

tiarupoiiec-erector launchers

transporier-ciecior launcher;

traniloadcra

transporter

antiaircraft guns

missile crates

missile cannisters

assault guns

rocket launchers

Rush radar

vehicles

equipment

Noticeably absent from Ihe area was any sizable number of aircraft crates. Only iwo probable MICH7 fuselage crates and one possibleuselage Crate were observed.

IS. port facilities in Egypt

indicates that ground lorccs equipment and SAM equipment made upof thc Soviet seaborne

armored personnelm ai liDery pieces,ndSAM cannistcrs being unloadedoviet

in inc month showed bridging equipment and SA-2

missile cannisters On (he docks.was in

Ihe port area on Octoberand annored

personnel carriers being unloaded from two Soviet ships.

he Soviets also may have delivered military equipment onnaval landing craft. At least three Alligator-class LSTs andLSMs visited Syrian portsThese

landing craft, which exited the Black Sea in mid-October, could have carriedanks-.orons of cargo.

S

Nun-Soviet Deliveries

everal East European countries have pledged toide variety ol' military equipment to the Arabs

indicated that the Yugoslav navy was supervising the loading of heavy equipment, probably tanks,hip in Rtjeka. In late October, trams loaded wilh Polish military supplies, unhiding tanks,

Transiting Romania and Bulgaria, presumably for shipment to the Middle Eastulgarian port.

everal of the Arab states, including Algeria. Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Morocco, also have provided military equipment to Egypt and Syria This equipment has consisted mostly of tanks, armored personnel earners, and fighter aircraft and has been used by the expeditionary forces iiorn these various countries In addition. Iraq may havel its tanks to Syria.

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APPENDIX A

SOVIET AIRCRAFT CAPABILITIES

Theransporlargo carrying capacity of aboutons when operating between Europe and the Middle East. There aref these aircraft in Soviet inventories Some of the major items that can be airlifted in thenclude fighter aircraft, artillery, certain short-range surface-to-surface missiles, antitank weapons, assault guns, rocket launchers, and aircraft maintenance equipment. The shipment of tanks and other similarly bulky equipment is beyond the capability of theub.

It is estimated that one Cub is required to carry7 Fresco, lt would lake three Cubs to airlift two completeishbed oritter lighter-bombers.

A three-launcher FROG battalionhree-day supply of ammunition can be lifted by usingoubs, except that lhe trailers and tank recovery vehicles of the battalion could not be accommodated. Vehicle mounted Swatter, Snapper, and Sagger antitank guided missiles also can be lifted, three to an aircraft, alonghree-day supply of ammunition. If these missiles are mountedRDM, two launcher systems and their ammunition can be loaded on one Cub.

QIXKCT"

There are about SOransports in the Soviet inventory. Thean carry about SO tons of cargo when operating between Europe and lhe Middle Easl. It was designed for moving bulky and heavy cargo over long distances and can operale from hard natural surface fields. The aircraft is capable of carrying virtually all thc SAMs and ground support equipment such as trailers, clcclronic vans, missile transporters, launchers and handling equipment, as well as Scud SAM equipment and unguided field artillery rocketshe following combat vehicles could also be lifted:

APPENDIX 8

SUSPECT SOVIET SEABprtrJFPWNTS TO "HF WHOLE CAST

of

Name of

3 7

Puithlfciya Kornrouai Fink KufthMov

*nd

ct, ind it Lieikiict

AJexindra,ct

2 Oct

Scrcbryiftik Ian

Ofchouk Ho Chi Mirth

.1

Somoconk

Laukla.tJOct

Latakia.lSOct

Alcjundri*.

IS Oct

ct

ct

tSOcl

Eutcfft port.

I90d

TOP^E(

of

Name of

Estimated Autvi!

Miratull

ct

Kommani

Oct

HoMt

Untoeu

l

Gofol

Ocl

Kiemlyanskiy

cl

ct

Buidenko

ct

cl

ZdinaKiy

Hasten port,cl

ct

fCoeruutno!

cl

Chi Math

cl

il

Oct

Krthiihanovikiy

cl

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