Created: 1/25/1974

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Soviet Forces for Intercontinental Attack


niLUIEIH PART ixemptiihs-imill



Ihe following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of the estimatei

The Central Intelligence Agency and the .nieliJgence organization* of iheof Srato ond Defense,, and the AEC.


The Deputy Director of Control Intelligence

The Dirsttof of Intelligence ond Rewateh, Deportment of State The Director, Deferwe Intelligence Agency The Director, National Security Agency

The Aulitant General Manager for National Security, Atomic Energy Commotion Abitainingi

The Asibtanl Director, federal Bureau ol, the Special Aulitenl to the Secretary of the Treawry, Depaflinent of the Treoiury, the subject being outside of their juriictctlon.

WuiUlliyj tluliiu i

Sensitive Intelligence Sources and Methods Involved


1 11 '

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Proscnl Intercontinental Ballistic Mivttlc Forces

Opcralional Consideration*.

Target Sectors


2 13


Inferconunenta! Ballistic Missile Development Programs




The SSX-I9

New Silo Programs

Goals of trio Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force ModernIzation Program

7 17

8 IS



Submarine launched Ballistic Missile



Older Systems

Patrol Patterns

Future Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Systems

Heavy Bombers and Tinkers


Implications (or Soviet Policy of the Present Strategic Effort

lllmtrativo Future Forces

Likely Soviet Courses of Action

Implications of tho Future Forces






The Soviets are now wellroad range of programs tomodernize, and improve their forces for intercontinentalhis round offollows hardarge-scale, sustained deployment effort that left the USSR considerably ahead of the US in numbers of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers and in process of taking the lead in submarine launched ballistic(SLBM )conceived long before the Interimwas signed innd most of the programs involved were already evident or foreseeable at that time. Nevertheless, theyreadth and concurrency of effort which is unprecedented, particularly in the field of ICBM development. Quesiions thus arise

'This Etrimatn ij contained *'th the ma}ot elements of Soviet strategic attach force* cpccificalty intended for iii'iticcnkiientalcertain SLBMt. and heavy bocihc.-i. The present tire and composition of these force* are summarued ino andf the Estimate. OtherSoviet Military Posture and Policies in the Thirdnd thueres dealing with Warsaw Pact forces for operation! iniwuti otherwith some strategicical tiiteieontincnul capabilities.


concerning Soviet willingness to accept additional limitations on their intercontfnental attack forces and the potential effect on the strategic balance if such limitations are not imposed.

The Soviets are presently testing fourollow-on to thend probably alsoobile missile, oneollow-on to thend two as replacements for thell four incorporate new guidance and reentry systems, and two ofew launchhree have been tested with multipletargctablc reentry vehicleshough two of these three have also been tested with single RVs. The othera post-boost vehicle (PBV) which could be used to dispense MIRVs, (mltests to (Liteeen withingle reentry yohfckf testing proceeds smoothly, all could be ready to begin deployment as early5 or soon thereafter.

Meanwhile, the Soviets have begunew version of the widely deployedith three nan-independently target-able reentry vehiclest three complexes in eastern Siberia and two in the Ukraine. At the latter complexes, existing SS-ll silos are now being converted, either for theariant or for one of the follow-on missiles. Conversion of existingilos to accommodate theollow-on has also begun at one complex.

Production oflnss submarine, withm missile, is continuing apace, with constructiontretched version large enough toubes now under way. In addition, the Soviets are well along with the developmentonger0 nm) missile with MRVs for the widelylassand are preparing toollow-on to the larger missile carried byUss.

The new swing-wing strategic bomber we call Backfire is being introduced into Long Range Aviationll Agencies but Army mid Air Force believe it best suited lor peripheral missions,

mKUbI Chief of Still. iBfc&feacia, USAF,he ae> raaide ivWemi *ow Dtxln mtlar the eald Iwdi tafcMqu* -iR be Lkrh> tonitre cepettdXy See ho footnote to pugfnphf the Einmate lot furthn dominion.


and CM and Navy believe it is primarily intended for this role. Army and Air Force believe that Backfire is suitableariety of missions including intercontinental attack, but that it would be prudent to await additional evidence beforeudgment on its primary role.

The present Soviet activity doubtless reflects in part internaland technological drives and the concernsountry which still sees itselfynamic strategic competition with the US and also has concerns about China and other potential foes.the present Soviet effort involves more than can readily beas merely trying to keep up with the competition.

On the one hand:

The Soviets have longeed to catch up in MIRVs and other aspects of technology if they are to continue to be accepted as strategic equals of the US. They appear genuinely concerned about such US programs as, and SRAM.

Increased concern for survivability is reflected in development of harder silos and launch control facilities for the new Soviet ICBMs and probably figured in the apparent Soviet interest in land mobile ICBMs, in the desire to expand the SLBM force, and in introduction of the long-range missile forlass submarini,

The Soviel emphasis on MIRVs and the apparent interest in greater targeting flexibility for ICBMs probably reflectrowing requirement to plan for variousincreasingly involving China and perhaps other peripheral targets as well as tho US.

In this connection, analysis completed within the last yearthat though all Soviet ICBMs can be directed against the US.tandardho last third of the force to bespecifically oriented so as also to provide full coverage of China or more extensiveof other peripheral areas. The broad targeting flexibility of thehich makes this possible has been further ex-



tended with tlio newariant now beingpresumably also with the new ICBMs.

On the other hand, Soviet actions almost certainlyope that vigorous pursuit of their opportunities under the Interimand any subsequent accords that may be achieved will enable them to improve their relative positionis the US. Though they have probably not decided whether they could get away with it, their objectives probably include an opportunistic desire to press ahead andargin of superiority if they can. Thus:

The MIRVing of the largeollow-on, thend evident Soviet Interest in greater accuracy for ICBMs almost certainlyesire for improved ability to strike at US strategicfactor long stressed in Soviet strategic

The Soviets must recognize that extensive MIRVing of their ICBMs would threaten to leave the US behind in independently targetable weapons, as well as in delivery vehicles.

Each of the new ICBMs has substantially more throw weight than the missile it is evidently designed to replace. Deployment of the new systems in large numbers would thus provide the USSR with an even greater advantage in missile throw weight than now exists.

In sum, the Soviets have been laying the groundwork for very substantial improvements in already large and formidableattack forces. This process is not yet irreversible, and the Soviets may prove willing to accept some curbs on it within the broader context of their detente policy. Nevertheless, they have shown little disposition to exercise voluntary restraint.

How far the Soviets will go in carrying out current programs will depend fn the first instance on the outcome of SALT II and. inon how successful the US is in persuading them that they cannot have both substantially improving strategic capabilities and the benefits of detente, simultaneously and indefinitely; thatpursuit of present programs will provoke offsetting US

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reactions which could jeopardize their competitive position; and that restraint on their part would be reciprocated.1

In absenceew agreement constraining the Soviet strategic buildup, the Soviets will presumably continue most of the broad array of programs dow under way. Moreover, they arc continuing to expand their large research and development faculties. Earlyis probably already under way for new or improved follow-ons for the new missile systems now in flight test.

Our examination of various ways in whichuildup might proceed leads us lo believe that under no foreseeable circumstances in the nextears arc the Soviets likely to develop the ability to reduce damage to themselves to acceptable levelsirst strike against US strategic forces. The Soviets would have to calculate that the US would be able toevastating reply to any Sovietattack.

Exceptinimal effort, however, the Soviets, ifare likely by theo surpass programmed US forces in numbers of missile BVs and increase their considerable superiority in missile throw weight, while retaining their advantage in numbers of delivery vehicles. These static measures of strategic power would coDvey an imageargin of Soviet superiority to those who ascribe high sign:- : to these measures.

In addition, the Soviet strategic forces now beingwhatever their specificprobably have better counter-force capabilities than the present ones. How much betteratter of considerable uncertainty.

Unless Soviet ICBMs obtain better accuracies thanQ

^ they would have to assign more than one weapon to each target toarge portion of the US ICBM forces.

:trl Wh.l Aie TV, dkassv

eJralrcii poboci and ptorrna Lironltil oi SALT MgoCdlloni


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However, we will probably be unable to determine the accuracies of the new Soviet ICBMs with confidence. And we willremain uncertain about both the feasibility of attacking targets with more than one weapon, which involves someproblems, and about Soviet willingness to rely on this tactic.

All In all. the strategic relationship over the next decade is likely to be much more sensitive to uncertainties like these than to more readily measurable factors such as launcher or weapon numbers. More than ever, the strategic, and especially theimpact of the Soviet buildup will probablyreat deal on how it is perceived abroad, in the US and elsewhere.



Soviet* if now well into aof program! to augment,improve their forces forThis new round olhardarge-scale, sustainedeffort which left the USSRahead of the US in numbers oft and in process of tailing theSLBMconceived longthe Interim Agreement wasnd most of the programsalready evident or foreseeable atNevcrtheiess. at least in the fielddevelopment, they represent aconnuiency of effort which isQuestions thus ariseSoviet willingness to accepton their intercontinentaland the potential eflect on theif such limitations are not Imposed.

Estimate discusses the makeupof currently deployed Sovietintercontinental attack, assesses thepotential o: new weapons underand summ&rircs the factors probably influencing present and future strategic arms poiicy. It cone hides byet ofIllustrating different ways In which tho makeup and capabilities of Sovietattack forces might evolve over the years to come.


s ofhe Sovietsperational ICBM launchers deployed in units atompletes, includingoftaunchers which areeduced state of readiness and probably arc in the process of beiutf deactivated. In addition, thereaunchers still under construction or undergoing modernization oi conversion When the construction and conversionare completed, the Soviets willaunchers deployed excluding sixaunchcts which are no longer consideredThere is also some cvtdenoe thataunchers at Tyuratam ire maintainedart of the operational force.


Table 1

Stilus of Soviet IntcrcoMinental Ballistic Missile Lauuchers4 as of3

Deployed r








2 i




3 0

n* io


I u;



T raining


sile &kven of iheachegreement. Tho SovteU *Thoie Hiin^ftf arrreduced rcodl

believe ore inlcridod for command And control although Lhry appear rAptblc of

]nderAt IS* time of the KgAing toiiolnictiun ot the otherJ.

which moy represrnt ih* tuiifluiw of rteictivjiiion. Becout* moot of them rotild

h- returnedeek or *o. the/ or* mduded in ihe operationalutia. ore no lender considered operational

* FourleoeUk ond on* ol Tyurotam Are not no- luiorioirdspecific program

a itnUm UAl totterpart of ihe operational


'Si* or ihcic arr.iloionvened CO Ihe now Ia.-ji-atably more, of thci* ttloo hoiused lo wai the X


ith its combination of accuracy and yield, the larges the only presently deployed Soviet ICBMignificantto attack hardotalaunchers have been deployed in the field.

"^Although severaland development) tests of theook place Ihis yearwo year'they did not demonstrate the increased flexibility necessary for an effective MIRV system. Oneroup at another complex is being converted for the

he liquid-propellants the rough counterpart of the US Minuteman and has beiwi deployed in comparable numbers. Its effective capability at intercontinental rangeimited to attacks on soft targets.

_JThe Modhich has three RVs (hat cannot bo independently targeted, was probably initially intended to facilitateof and ballistic missilet also lias greater targeting flexibilityreater payload than theaking it more effective against some soft targets.!

evelopment of another variant of the SS-ll7the Modhich was designed to counter ABM defenses, has evidently been cancelled.

he USSR's only operational solid-propellant ICBM, thes deployed inilosingle complex. It is less accurate than they our calculations can reach only the northern half of the US, and generally appears to have been a disappointment.


ndounding out the ICBM force are justnd SS-Ss,on soft sites or in clusters of three silos in the. These will have to beif the Soviets wish to have all ofodem SLUM launcher* permitted under the Interim Agreement.quipment or fixed components atf1oft launchers have been removed or relocated, so as to suggest in process. One small complex with six launchers appears to have been completely taken overotorized rifle division within theear and is believed to be inoperative, although the launch pads have not beenThe other sites, however, can beto full operational statushortas done in the case of one site. We think the Soviets may have been experimenting in the ways to demonstrate that sites are being dismantled and will wait until there are agreedn and in jf piocedurv* before completely phasing theseut.


ll operationally deployed Soviet ICBM silos arc sited to permit use against the US. and the bulk of them are probably Intended for that role. New analysis completed within the last year, however, indicates thathird of thenits in the fieldf

[provide exlondedof China and other peripheral areas as well. We believe that at least some ofand possiblytheir primaryin these areas intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launchers in the eastern USSH at about the same time these silos were being completed, the SS-lls represent the only land-basedavailableime-urgent basis against strategic targets in China and elsewhere in the Far East.

ilos__Jprovide titer first extensive coverage of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent as well as Europe and the US. Thereumber of reasons for believing that at least some of Ihem have primary targets in Europe. In

U- Although targets in northeast China could be attacked from someilosQ

J provide the first fullof China. With the deactivation of the 39

A*%'iiming that follow-on systems now under development have comparably broad taiget sectors, Soviet strategic planners should have considerable leeway in adapting their attack plans to various circumstances and

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The new analysis reinforces our view thai thehe only other ICBM on which target sectors arc known, is targeted primarily against ICBM fields in the VS.f_


tetorgrting. Wc havo no directon how difficult and time-consuming it is to retarget Soviet ICBMs. We think it likely that Soviet launch crews can direct changes In range and minor changes in

ajor changeazimuth for thend SS-7

cumbersome and time consuming process.

perational Readiness of the Force. All indications pointelatively lowlevel of readiness for the present Soviet ICBM force, in line with Soviet expectations that any hostilities would be precedederiod of international tensions in whichcould be increased as needed, f

ommand and Control The Sovietcommand and control networks areto provide rapid, timely, and reliable dissemination of commands to the strategic forces. Steady improvements have been made over the last decade in the ability of these networks to survive an enemy nuclear attack. In addition, the Soviets are continuingof an airborne military command and control system. It seems likely that the airborne posts will be given an operational command role.


he Soviets arc presently testing fourollow-on to thend probably alsoobile missile, oneollow-on to thend two asfor theH four Incorporate new guidance and reentry systems, and two ofew launch technique. Three of them have been tested with MIRVs and the other alsoBVould be used to dispense thern. If testing proceeds smoothly, all of them could be ready to beginas early5 or soon thereafter.


IB. Theolid-propellant missile which has been fired at least once fiom anilo and is an obvious candidate tothat missile. It is about the same size as theut lacks the latler's range/pay load limitations, in partesult of usinglight fiberglass rather than metal motor cases. Mnst (and probably all) shots havea KBV that could be used to carry MIRVs. However, the Soviets have ihus far onlyingle RV. Total throw weightm range wouldounds.

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Theiquid-propellantwhichodifiedilo and is one of two possible replacements for that missile Down range testing began in

All but the first five tests of theave involved a


a thrc

he largest of the new ICBMs being tested by the USSR, thehrow weight

intendedollow-on to the

. x. . . . Sh' to Kamchatka, the

SSgX if'th', 'r8an ha&-

his mwsileaunch assist Idata indicate that

vice tojvropcl it fromarries six Rv^Q

he first nine firings of the8 eachingle, blunt RV. The next fourin August, September, and Octobera PBV and probably five

3 Since

then, the Soviets hiveests with the single RV and une with MIRVs.

he test program for the single RVof thes well ahead of that for the MIRV version. We estimate that thequippedingle RV could befor deploymentnless thequicken the pace of MIRV testing, that version probably will not be available until the following year.


nother potential replacement for thehenderwent^

APriiOur knowledge of its characteristics is scanty. We know that it does notaunch assist doviccf"


here is good evidence that theeeper silo than thehe silo used foi two shoit-rangc silo compatibility tests of the2ormerilo which had evidently been deepened. All flight tests to Kamchatka have come from new small silos which are deeper than weilos to bc.Q


our types of new silos or silocan be related to the new missilenow under way.

wo modifiedilos ut Tyuratam have been used for all firings of thehey are equipped with bingrd. plug-type doors in place of slidingchange

which makes them somewhat harder. Their inner diameter at the top is abouteel, as compared with abouteet forilos.


The other three types of silos areew. harder configuration on whichbegan in0 at Tyuratam and seven operational ICBM compleies. The walls of al* three type* are constructed by installingformed by heavy metal reinforcing rods attached to an inner steel liner and thenthe space between the liner and the silo core with concrete. The headworks are formed from heavy steel components. They all have hinged, plug-type doors that fit flush with tbe surface.

The new tmall silo (the Typeilo) has an internal diameter ofoeet, and measurements of silo components lead us to helieve that it has an overall depth ofeetsable depth ofome five feet deepertandardilo. Four prototype silos of thisof them convertedtandre deployed in groups oft Derazlmya and Pervomaysk. three groups al each complex. These silos in the field are being initially equipped with theodll of whose lest firings over the last two years were fromilos.ilos, however, have also been used for all downrange flight tests of theakingandidate to replace these Modhen development If completed.

ne group of standardilos at Derazhnya and one group at Pervomaysk are being convertedew configuration which uses headworki and doors of the type used inilos. It docs not appear, however, that the heavy typeilo wall segments will be installed and it is not yet clear whether these silos will be deepened. If they are not deepened, the converted silos couldthe SSodut not the

The new large silo (Type 1II-F) has an interior diameter ofooct whichto abouteet at the top. and ittosable depth ofeet Ten silos of this type, two ofilos, have been used for testing of tbet Tyuratam. Twenty more have been under construction in the field since lateat each ol five SS-9Inroup ol sixilos at the Dornbarovjkiy complex beganconversion to the new configuration.

A second type of new large silo (Type III-X) has the same inner diameter ns,oeet. It also narrows tn abouteet at the top. It differs from the 1II-F. however, in that itircular ratherectangular door, appears to be onlyeet deep, and has associatedot prrsent with the MI-F.

e believe that theilo Istoaunch control capsule. In allingleilo has been collocatedroup ofrilos. The new small ulos at Dcrarhnya and Pervomaysk, all of which are now externally complete have no other discernible launch control facilities

^ large canisters and appaiently related equipment have beennearnstallations al Tyuratam

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at the two complexes wherellot are collocated with the new smallilos.

he umilo to house launch con-ttol facilities is the only reasonableof the appearance3ilo excavation adjacenthe launch controloff theriginal SS-tl launch groups at Derazhnya and Pervomaysk. It is highly unlikely that thehey decided to breach the Interim Agreement's han on now fixed ICBM launchets. would do so in soashion. Although construction has not progressed sufficiently for us to determine their eventual size and configuration, wethat these silos will turn out to be Ill-Xs im variants thereon.


evan) broad goals are discernible in tho current modernisation activities. Greater survivability and hence greater Sovietin the survivability of their strategicdeterrent will result from new siloprograms, from hardened andcommand and control, and from tbea mobile ICBM. New guidance systems and tho Introduction of MIRVs will provide improved flexibility and the capability toonsiderably larger number of targets. Tin: capability to attack large numbers of hard targets will also bo possible although it is too early to judgeigh degree of confidence theor yield of RVs carried by the new systems. These improvements have beenby advances in propulsionew launch technique.

he new ICBM silos are considerably haidrr than any the Soviets have built in the

general, the new silos are betteragainst high blast overpressures,effects, and, perhaps, also from ground shock, than their predecessors,

he provisionIRV capability for all four systems under devclopm-n* wiTJ greatly Increase the number of targets that would be attacked if the USSR were to strike first, and the potential coverage of those'ICBMs which would survive if the US were to strike first. The new systems will also provide greater flexibility in targeting. We assume that all nuw systems will have broad target sectors like theodn ad.Li.on.8 andre designed so thatf^

term it rapidfrom one point intjic US to another with only minima) degradation in accuracy.


he Soviets also appear to be seeking Improved ICBM accuracy. In contrast to the blunt RVs typical of the past, RVs having ballistic coefficents greatersf have been tested with al) four new ICBMs, thereby reducing an important obstacle to .vrhevement of high ICBM accuracy, reentry



e have little evidence regarding the accuracy of any of (he new ICBMs. It would he reasonable, liowever, to estimate that they are at least somewhat better than the best of the present systems-^


i we estimate thata Die

new systems are capaFTe of achieving CEPs oft may takeyears of additional flight testing after IOC to reach that level ol accuracy. We believe it is unlikely that the Soviets could achieve CEPs as low5 nm before the end of this decade or early In the nest. This would require considerably more component improvement or system modification than we think isin missiles currently being tested.

wo ol the new missiles being tested thend theselaunch assist device which ejects the missile from the silo before the main engines ignite, so that no space is required within the silo for venting exhaust gases. This permits the use of silos of smaller diameter and, at least with theS. greater hardness, than would be possible with similar missiles using the conventional hot launch technique. The new technique would also permit silos to be refurbished and reloaded more rapidly than in the caseot launch, since they would not be damaged by flames ami hot gases. We do not believe, however, that the Soviets intend toefire capabihry for these or other deployed silo based ICBM systems, as they have for older soft ICBM


s ofhe SovietsLUM-launchers onuclear submarines which have reached operational status, plus at least another ISO buachers on units still

of Stall, Intelligence. I '1

(itIt*vol thai the two new rntiillcJ now uii<ler toil which us* the cold laurch technique will blelieliffl - Hit. He ro-ei the Soviets have hsflfnphasn en the manA* rclee prindpb it evldenco in their Mrl/IRBMi, thehe toil anil haid launchers lot thand the hardened SS-a. Over the ye*n there been f various types of ICBMs froa openueaal idM, followed hyaad naoadsaf el the ulo At TywaUm. all ol the foorteonlrlngj noted to dale have been from two toii-veiter!iloi uiing the new cold launchAnalyses

comix'.- d uir the UuEch Jr-clrnijj*

would permit ichni houn.


tfcom ol* the new *in*ilei alio permitiasy uaai-potKhon Itom Horacemany milei from ihrii

i II lot.

At leastjuiVinI strategic advantages accrueor capabJiry. ICBM fvepowe* il efleeiivelT mcreatrd. wfiik rrmjininf within the limits of the In addition the Sovirli could employ port olCIIM forcehird countrysay. 'oi eia-fple.ot-itiivie that force for drwneot refue capabilitytho VS.

under construction, fitting out. or on tea trials-There are alsoaunchers on older diesel

una IS.


production oi theubesubrnaiine probably endedlass units withubesup the bulk of the SLDM force forto como.lass has thus farwith thoissile, which hasrango ofewer Mod 2demonstrated range. Two versions, one with aand one carryingargetableen observed.


Twolass units, carrying the long-rangeissile, have now joined the fleet, and production of additional units, at an expected combined rate ofear, is continuing at both Severodvinsk and Komsomols*.

An important change in our evaluationlass capabilities ha* been necessitated by three of the final developmental firings of then2 whichapabilitymrevioushad gone no furtherm.Agency diUiHcnccs persist as to the.of thoystem. Navy continues toystemfull range. All other Agencies believe ihatnii-systems accuracy is considerably poorer, on tho order off"


in service areallisticbuilt8them diesel powered. Oneass nuclear-powered unit was used fortesting of thenelass unit has been convertedest bed for the SSntiship missile, andis apparently intended (or testing athe size of the.


mall portion of tho SLBM force is normally at sea. In lino with readiness levels in other strategic components and tho Soviet view that hostilities would come onlyeriod ol international tension. Even allowing for anlass patrol off the US west coast which was added last August, onlylass units, two off each coait. areon station. Allowing for ihips in transit, only five orlass units are at sea at any time as compared to aboutS balbstic missile submarines. This Imbalance is only slightly offset by continuation of some H-lass patrols. Although C-lass units continue to appear off the east coast of the US.lats units in tbe Pacificeen gradually movedew base on the Sea of Japan, and are probably now targeted against China and US bases in the Far East.

There is as yet no direct evidence on how the Soviet* will employlass. It is probably intended primarily for use against thelass units could cover most targets in this US, and peripheral ones as well,even leaving port but we think they will use patrol patterns promising betterThey might, for example, attempt tosanctuary areas which could he tCTMnod off against hostile antisubmarine warfare (ASVV) activities. Alternatively, they might take advantage of the'* range by using broad ocean areas

FUTURE SUBMARINE-LAUNCHED BALLISTIC MISSILE SYSTEMS andisons in LRA equipped foi aerial refueling.

To approach the limitodern SLUM launchers onubmarines allowed under the Interim Agreement willubmarine with more than theubes oflass.f^

lead unit of thiswill probaBly be launched


here are continuing indications that the Soviets arc workingollow-onor



he heavy bombers and tankers olLRAurboprop Bears,f them equipped withmangaroo missile and five configured forandurbojet Bisons, aboutitted out as tankers "lhc force hasat about the present size for the past decade, in marked contrast to the growth of Soviet ICBM and SLBM forces. Soviet heavy bomber units continue to trainariety of missions, including attack of enemy naval forces and reconnaissance as well as theone of intercontinental attack. The Bison tankers arc sometimes used to refuel Bears of Naval Aviation as well as theears


Testing of the new twin-engine swing-wing bomber that we call Backfire iscomplete, and series production has begun, probablyodified versionBackfire B, which was first identifiedll Backfires that we have seen so lar have been equippedefueling probe.

An engineering analysis of theompleted3 calculates that itsunrcfuelcd radius wouldmound bomb load flying sub-sonically at high altitude with its wings fully extended;m flying subsonieaUy at high altitude, then descending to low altitudem subsonic run into and out of the target area. The study further calculates that the maximum unrefuclcd radius of the earlier version of Backfire with the same bomb load andubsonic high-altitudewouldm insteadm previously estimated. VIA, Army, and Air Force believe that this analysis should be accepted as the best available estimate of Backfire performance based on existing data *

'The Astmarn Chief oi" Staff. Intelligence. USaF believe! lint the Backfire has been subjected to tliO rnofll extensive independent analyses ol any Soviel bomber in hittory. These analyses were conducted2

^All luppottiH-lution lhar ihe Itaekfiie'i nng- is nearly comparable to ihat ol (he Soviet Biion heavy jet bomber. Alio, the minimum unrcfuelcd radius for the Backfire in the rciereiiced study iseieent greater than thatc Tu-lO Badgei.ercent greaterit oigercent grraici than Of the KB-ltl.

On the other hand, another engineering analysis of (helso carried out3 results in range performance that is somewhat lower in both the subsonic speed missions than in the other study. The new study shows an unrcfueled radius ofm for the subsonic, high-altitudeund unrcfueled radius ofm for the case with the subsonic low altitude ran in to the target area.

There has not been sufficient lime during (he preparation of this Estimate for detailed evaluation of the differences between the two analyses- Neither of these analyses has been corroborated |


ith respect to the intended role ol the Backfire, Army and Air Force believe that it is suitableariety of missions including intercontinental attack, but that it would be prudent to awai; additional evidence beforeigment on its primary role. All but Army and Air Force, on the other hand, believe Backfire is best suited forian strike options and CIA and Naoj/ bdieve ft is primarily intended for that role.

ith its capability for sustained, higli-sjieed. low-level penetration. Backfire appeal* ideally suited for use on two-way missions against Europe and China, both areas ofconcern to the Soviets. Introduction


of Backfire, with the qualities noted above and its superior combat radius, will facilitate execution of the large-scale conventional bombing operations the Soviets apparently to carry out in the opening phase of war with NATO and provideange ofand nuclear operations ugalnst China. Backfire shouldignificantagainst naval task forces, and it is likely to appear in Naval Aviation units as well as in LRA units with anbship tasks. We thus expect significant numbers to be da-ployed, regardless of whether any are for use against the OS.

n the view of all but Air Force, the case for use of Backfire in tbelole is less persuasive. Evenm maximum radius. Backfire would require both Arctic staging and aerialto achieve comprehensive coverage of the US using realistic two-way flight profiles. Such missions arcDM'* view MaM Backfires will probably be assigned In sucheven one-way missionsbe ruled out. All but Air Force believe it unlikely, however, that the Soviets, at this stage of their strategic buildup, would develop an aircraft for major employment in tberole which had so little flexibility in achieving the requisite range In anyew tanker force would have to be created for Backfires to be used on two-waymissions in sizable numbeis. Existing Bison tankers are presumably already committed, und conversion of the remainingisons would be enough to suppoilimited Backfire force.

In Air Force view. Backfire'swould make it an excellent vehicle lor intacontinerttal operations. Backfire, bke the Bison, would require Arctic staging and in flight refueling to achieve comprehensive cov. crage of the US on two-way missions, but.the Bison, it could also carryuper-ionic dash into and out of the target area.ange mission, with recovery in friendly or neutral countries to the south.inion profile couldm subsonic. low-altitude legundash (Machigh-altitude leg over CON'US if refueled in flight and staged.but staged,ould reach northern South Americaigh altitude, subsonic profile. Air Force believes that the deploymenl of Backfire at about the same time that thendlass/re reaching initialoviet decision of theo equip each element of its strategic offensive forceseapon system capable of both peripheral and intercontinental operations

e have no evidenceew heavy bomber program is under way. If the Soviets do decide toeavy bomber, we would expect to become aware of its existence four to five years prior to its reachingstatus.


umber of factors have probablyin the decisions to press ahead with the broad array of strategic programs now undrr way. Despite their lead In launcher numlvn.Soviets have been behind the US in MI RVs. ICBM accuracies, and other aspects of weapons technology. Civen their manifest concern with being accepted as at least the strategic equal of the US, they have had strong political Incentives to press on with improved weapon systems.

Increased concern for tho survivability ol Soviet strategic attack forces il reflected in the development of harder silos and launch control facilities for the new Soviet ICBMs, and probably figured to some degree inSoviet interest in mobile ICBMs. in the desire to expand the SI.BM force, and in the introduction of the long-rangehe introduction of MIBVs with higher betas and potentially improved accuracy,for thelmost certainlyesire to improve Soviet hard target counter-force capabilities. Introductionumber of MIRV systems, together with apparentfor greater targeting flexibility, probably also reflects an expectation ol growingrequirements against China as weltarge number of urban induslrlal targets throughout the free world.

A decision to press ahead simultaneouslyioad front probably furtheritself as the easiest way tocompeting drives within the party leader ship and military and defense productionand to overcome reservations about arms control and detente held by principals within those- groups.

Above all. the vigor of the presenteffortighly competitiveof Ihe USSR's strategic relationship with the US. even in the context of the policy of detente to which Brexhnev has increasingly committed himself. Despite the propagandistie

nature of Soviet commentary on projector] new US weapon systems and the bargaining chip approach to SALT, there is probably genuine concern that the USSR could fall behindor lose some of its own bargaining leverage if it failed to fully hold up Us side of the strategic competition. The Soviets almost certainly also hope, however, that vig orous efforts to develop new strategic weapons will enable them to improve their relative strategic position. In sum, tbe Soviets are almost certainlytrategic policy they regard as simultaneously prudent and opportunistic, aimed at assuring no less than the continued maintenance of comprehensive equality with the US while at the same time seeking the attainment of some degree ofadvantage if US behavior permits. The Soviel leaders have specificallyong period of detente as affording opportunity for them to improve their economic and military position.

xcept as limits arc agreed to in SALT, the Soviets will probably wish to continue strategic force development along the line* already staked out. The institutionalbehind present programs i* likely toas the investment in RAD and in long lead time items increases. In any event, they are clearly intent on driving as hard aas possible ih SALT and on taking full advantage of opportunities to build up their forces in the meantime.

s for the longer term, the BADis strong and well-funded. Frommilitary requirements standpoint, the Soviets will probably not achieve all the qualitative Improvements they desireingleol newhangingthe growing Chinese *trategic capabilities, an increasing threat to aiiQ-launchod ICBM systems from highly accurate US MIRVs, the effect of stringent ARM limits on damage limitingload to new goals and approaches. Finally,on the competitive relationship with Ihe US. the need to maintain the present level of economic commitment to strategic forces may appear less pressing in the future, when the problem will be less one of building up the USSR's strategic arsenal than of replacing existing weapons with more complicated and expensive ones,

ow far the Soviets will go in carrying out these lines of development will depend in the first instance on Ihe SALT II negotia-

'Ihe Assistant Chief of Stall, Intelligence.elieve* that In addition lo tbe four new Soviet ICBMs currently In test. inWllieenee totally*road spectrum of activities In the Sovietbnv* Indicate* that a* many a* five new missiles will probably bo tested inima polled, tie believes dial thrre are olio (enuou* indication*,

"Jtl other follow-on systems could enterthe.he Soviets haveat leastajor new offensiveil* system. Into Crsl. During this periodproduclloa factiiiiei barea raw of over one million square footrelated RAD tacasvaes have doubled lathe sane tone period. Toes*aoductteo center* aodockoeocketrge noesoer ofiand the exiities capacity of Sonetfacilities, he beheveio forecast more than a

hjlic mimic system* or majorihere to beJiB placed into If it3 While thisCim-.islenl with the rate ol* Soviet during ihe putt does not address the implkalkoniear doukliiis in ihe Soviet minlte Hol> and production bate

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tions. Al this point, however, we have no good way of forecasting what specific limitations on Sovietermanent agreement, If achieved, would entail.


o illustrate various ways in which the Sendet buildup of intercontinental attack foicej might proceedermanent agreement imposing further limits on strategic offensive arms is not achieved, we have developed four force projections which are laid out In some detail in tho Supporting Analysis. In one case we assume abrogation of then the other three forcowe assume continuation of the Interim Agreement's constraints into

Since all of the forceommon developmental base, they have many features in common. However, they differn the number and characteristic* of the weapons they provide and in the pace- of tho force buildups involved

forceforce is based on thethat the USSR abrogates the Interim Agreement5esult of failure of the US and USSR loermanentit presupposes an environment ofUS Soviel hostility in which thearc either strivingide margin of strategic advantage or are seeking to offset an anticipated sharp upswing in she US stra-

Mloted thai thesehkhbeen developed primarily lor broad policy un at the mtioiol level, are meant to represent different lehfth oi pivmimi ih. Soviets miejit carry out under vary-on Circumitaneoi rilhei than to ;wide aact of planrHnc in (he OpaitmcM ofre contained in the Defense InlilUfenre RntaetMmee paraoapb ISAcgic effort. It assumes that the Sovietsall attractive options, successfully push the limits of their technology, and deploy at the highest rates demonstrated In the past As such, itind of limiting case. The development of2 isby:

A high rate of conversion to the new silo/missile systems and of introduction of other new weapons.

The addition ofew large silos for theringing the total.

AchievementEP with the first generation ol new missiles and the introduction9 of follow-on ICBMsEP of


Introductiontubehalliitic missile submarine (SSBN) with an SI.BM whichIRVs.

Introductionew heavy bombe* in the Bear range/payload clas*.

Byould provideelivery vehicles with moreeapons.2 thereelivery vehicles withany of ihem highly accurate ICBMould have formidable counter-force capabilities as wellomfortable margin of strategic forces for handlingcontingencies in addition torequirements in the US.

Force2 assumes that theAgreement is extended into thend that the Soviets pursue all permitted by it lake Force tubs kind of limning casehat it assume* that the So-

viets successfully push the limits of llielrcapabilities ami deploy new weapon systems at the highest tates demonstrated in the past. It differs fromn twono new ICBM silos are constructed and expansion of tea-based systems ceases whenSBNi andLBMi are deployed

2ould haveelivery vehiclesobile ICBMs. There would be0 weapons in the force,arge number ofMIrIVs which would provide strong counterforce capabilities. Overall, tho strategic capabilities ofould bo quiteto those of

nd3ttempt to bracket the kinds of force toproveenrnts we judge the Soviets would be likely toif tho provisions of the Interimremained in effectheyorally similar but differ in the pace at which new weapons acendimprovements such as higher accuracy are achieved. The deployment rates postulated for new ICBM systems inre comparable to the average rates offor thendystems during the mid- and. Foresomewhat faster rates than the aveuge rates demonstrated in the past and forlightly slower rates.

'lormeni ol mobile ICBMt. wtiiU niN rpe-cifka!l- prohibited by the Interim AaYeeewit.addmied ll SALTSmHmI that "the US would ccwSer the depiorjnent at open-total bnd-eaobdc ICBM baacben during the peeled ol tht Interimhieellvn ul Chilovlel decMlon lo procewd Iron de>-rlopmm[ loof mobile ICHMt.scope and eilenl of rucb deployment, will piobkhly diwndarge eitrnl on (he iltiullon at SALT.

3airly vigorouseffort, but with the Soviets notas far as inn making thethe technological opportunitiesthe Interim Agreement's2 is characterized by:

A relatively high rate of conversion to the new silo/missile systems and follow-on SI.BM systems.

AchievementEP with the first generation of new missiles to beand subseqent Improvemer.ts to

with follow-on versions


4empering of thecompetition that resultsteadyintensive pattern of forcedevelopmcnl2 is characterised by:

A slower puce of conversion to the new silo/missile systems and follow-on SLBM systems than in Force 3.

Initial ICBM accuracies ofwith accuracies of3 not achieved until follow-on versions of the new misiiles are introduced

No deployment of mobile.

ivcn the launcher constraints of the Interim Agreement, both forces would cod up with approximately the same number ofvehicles. They vary substantially,in the number of weapons they provide.ould haveeapons7 and increase to02ould haveeapons7y virtue of its relatively high number of weapons and the relatively high accuracy postulated lor them,ould have significantly greater hard-target potential than Force 4,





he foregoing projections illustrate that thereroad range of ways In which the Soviet strategic buildup might proceed in the absenceermanent SAL agreement. Given the investment which both sides have made in SALT and the general improvement in relations, the odds are substantial against the emergence of the troubled circumstances postulated forven if the US and USSR fail to agree on permanent limitations On offensive armst is more likely that the parties would continue negotiations, at least until the Interim Agreement ran outevertheless, we cannot rule outdeadlock inoupled with growing US-Soviet antagonism on other issues, could producerastic result. In any event it ii highly unlikely that the Soviets would be completely successful in achieving all of the improvements postulated in Force 1.

SG. Similarly, we believe that the Soviet strategic posture depicted by Forcehich assumes extension of the Interim Agreement, is also an unlikely development. Like Force i,ssumes levels of activity considerably greater than the Soviets have consistentlyto date in terms of technologicaland weapons deployments.

arring an early breakdown of theAgreement we would expect theof Soviet forces for intercontinental altack to proceed within the bounds suggested byndsnde think (he Soviets would be likely to pursue the more ambitious goals depicted in Forceowever, thereariety oftechnological, institutional andmight cause the Soviet force to evolve more along the lines of Forcehus,and in which we think Soviet Intercontinental attack forces would be Ukcly to develop if the Interim Agreement were extended.


he illustrative future Soviet forces in this Estimate all depict impressiveprograms. The pace at which newoffensive technology is developed andand the kinds of force mixes selected in these illustrative forces, however, produce substantially differing results. The strategic and political significance of these alternative Soviet postures would certainly also beIn the final analysis, their impact wouldreat deal on how they wereby other countries.

gainst currently programmed USoffensive forces, none of the illustrative Soviet force projections would provide theapability to reduce damage to itself lo acceptable levelsirst strike against US strategic forces. The Soviets would have to calculate that the US could respond to an all-out surprise attack with devastating effect On Soviet urban-industrial and military targets. Similarly, any of the illustrative forces ascribed to the USSR could retaliate effectivelyirvt strike by US programmed forces. Thus, :hc basisutually deterrent strategic likely to remain essentially intact.

DO. This balance notwithstanding, theillustrative Soviet forces presented in :his Estimate would clearly represent markedly different strategic environments. Illustrativeresents an arsenal in which the image of Soviet strategic power grows modestly and no overriding threat to the survival of US offensive force elements materializes. Viewedoviet perspective, this force might be


top 6ECfKT

as meeting minimum standards of "strategic equality" and comparative forceagainst programmed US forces.

Forces, and evenowever, would appear far more formidable, in comparison, to the US and Its allies. After thoould surpass programmed US forces in all conventional static measures of strategic power andould provide an edge in many of them. In tome measures.,ould be markedly superior. These forces would,esult, provide the imageargin of Soviet strategicto those who ascribe high significance to these measures. If they could acquire those advantages without provoking US counterthe Soviets would probably attempt to exploit themavorable backdrop toand diplomatic endeavors.

Although Forcesould not impart lo thelear damage-limiting superiority against programmed US strategic forces, they could appear tu other countries to give the Soviet Union war-initiation options and incentives, and, consequently, political staying power in crises exceeding that of the US. The USSR would appear inbetterto initiate limited attacks on US strategic forces without attacking cities, or totrategic conflict that each side seeks toshort of massive exchanges (althoughstrategic doctrine apparently does not at present provide for limited strategic nuclearowever, the Soviets might still feel exposed to comparable threats of limited attacks by the US.

onsiderable uncertainty Is likely towith regard to the more criticalof the Soviet strategic difficult to measure withaccuracy of Soviet MIRVed ICBMs.the prclaunch survivability of USmissiles is most directly linked.if Soviet ICBM accuracies arethanwould

require an ability to attack eacli target with more than one weapon to inflict severeon US ICBM forces. We shall probably re-main uncertain about the feasibility of this tactic and of Soviet plans with respect to using it In general, in the absenceignificant change in intelligence capabilities therelationship over the next decade is likely to be much more sensitive to uncertainties about force qualities, operations, andplans than to the more readilyquantitative factori null as launchers and overall weapon numbers





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j Depoty for National In'.licenceIA. for ony olher Depalmenl or Agency

he, doc-me* may be <MMtoyedaccordant. wM

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