SOVIET STRATEGIC DEFENSES (NIE 11-3-71 M/H)

Created: 8/19/1971

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEWELEASEASSANITIZED

MEMORANDUM TO HOLDERS

NATIONAL

INTELLIGENCE

ESTIMATE

Soviet Strategic Defenses

THIS ESTIMATE IS SUBMITTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AND CONCURRED IN BY THE UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD.

The following inielligence otganizations, participated in Ihe piepaialion ol tlte estimate-.

The Central Intelligence Agency ond Iho intelligence oiganuoiioni ol the Depart-mem, ol Stole ond De'ense. lhe AEC. ond ihe NSA

ffing;

Director ol Control Intelligence

of Intelligence one! Research. Department ol Sloie

Defense Inielligence Agency

Nalional Securily Agency

General Manager, Atomic Energy Commiiiion

Abttaining-

The Aisistonl to the Direcior, Federol Bureau ol Investigation, 'he subject biing outside o* hii jwriWiclioo.

on ony conrnunico-ol thend pr>ote

IJui document contain* intormarlon affecting the national security ol the-ithin the rrteoning ol the espionageode.. Ihe low prohibits itj transmission or ihe^^lotioo ol Us contents in*<any manner to on unauthorized person, av*?'1 as its use in ony manner prejudhieJio the solely orfteUnited States or Id the benefit ol ony (oreig'Nflovernmenl ton-nenl el the Uniieds lo be seen only byouihonredc mot ion in theTffitt^chanriels. tn teiurity niust be mointo-ned in accordance -ithhe TAIENT.KEYHOLE and Com-

municoiioni IntelligenufControk Na action is lionsay ba contoined herein, regit lo be gainecUffsuch oction might have thc eHect ol revealing nature otnhe source, unless such oclion it tint approved by the

MEMORANDUM TO HOLDERS

SOVIET STRATEGIC DEFENSES

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CONTENTS

Page

NOTE 1

PRINCIPAL 2

Defense Against Ballistic 2

Antisatellite 2

I. THE SOVIET APPROACH TO STRATECIC

TRATECIC AIR

III- DEFENSE ACAINST BALLISTIC MISSILES .

Moscow Antiballistic Missile 5

Missile Research and 8

IV. DEFENSE AGAINST BALLISTIC MISSILE14

V. ANTISATELLITEIS

Orbital Intercept Test15

of Soviet Interference with United States

ANNEX: THE SOVIET ORBITAL INTERCEPT TEST PROGRAM23

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MEMORANDUM TO HOLDERS

SOVIET STRATEGIC DEFENSES

NOTE

This Memorandum to Holders provides new inlelligence on selected areas of tlie strategic defenses of thr USSR which has become available since the issuance ofnmphasis is placed on those sectors of Soviet strategic defenses in which significant developments haveefense against ballistic missiles and againit satellites. Minimal attention is given to the areas ofair defense and defense against ballistic missile submarines where developments in tlie interim have not changed our estimates. No attempt is made to. reiterate or explicitly reaffirm all of the major judgments which remain unchanged. We have notiscus-sion of future forces for strategic defense because recent developments do not require any significant alterations of our estimates about these forces, or thc illustrative force models, as contained in the Estimate.

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PRINCIPAt CONCLUSIONS

Defense Against Ballistic Missiles

A* Sinceas issued, major new construction has been identified at two of the four previously dormant launch complexes of the Moscow antiballistic missile (ABM) system, and at the site of one of its two large acquisition and target tracking radars. If thcat the complexes involves emplacement of additional ABM defenses,ikely that these will employ the improved interceptor missile similar to thc Calosh and the new steerable phascd-array radar, both of which arc under development at the Sary Shagan test center. The result wouldodest expansion of the Moscow system that would both improve Its postulated single- and two-layer coverage and reduce Its vulnerability to saturation. Thc new construction at the acquisition and target-tracking radar, at Chekhov, is for additional antennas Uiat will provide coverage of ballistic missiles launched at Moscow from most of China.

continuesigh levelajor ABMfacility (designated Complex F) at Sary Shagan. Testing ofexoatmospheric, long-range ABM interceptor that is fasterGalosh lias taken place at one of its fourewradar, rapidly assembledardstand nearby,an engagement radar capable of tracking incoming targets asthe interceptor missiles. Determination of the precise natureactivity at tlie other three sites will require additionalthc beginning of testing. Thc implications of thc overallthis complex arc discussed in paragraphsof (he text.

Antisatellite Defense

Soviet program to develop and test an orbitalhas progressed significantly. In addition to the increasedinterceptsatellite intercept tests were conductedfirst halfringing the total tonow believescope of the program is much broader thanests have demonstrated progress in attaining missionThey have included the useew typo of target,orbits, differing orbital maneuvers, and intercept sequences

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with the target both behind and in front of the interceptor. Suitable criteria for determining an initial operational capabilityystem of this type remain undefined. We believe, however, that satellites which pass over the USSR at any inclination and below altitudesiles could now be vulnerable Io this system.

' D. In the light of the recent acceleration of orbital interceptwe have reviewed thc bases of our judgment concerning theof Soviet interference with US satellites. We still believe it highly unlikely that the Soviets would undertake widespread and continuing destructive attacks against US satellites io peacetime. We rate the chances for selective or sporadic attacks nearly as low. We doubt that the Soviets would launch attacks against US satellites prior to the Initiation of hostilities. Thc repeated demonstrationon-nuclear antisatellite capability against targets up toiles, however, gives the Soviets an option on which they can rely should they ever decide to take such action.

I. THE SOVIET APPROACH TO STRATEGIC DEFENSE

n the short tune which has elapsed sinceas Issued, the Soviets have shown no signs of departing from theirapproach in making decisions about strategic defenses. Continuing efforts toair defenses, new nriaballisue missile (ABM) developments, the appearance ofantisubmarine warfare (ASW) ships, and an accelerated program of satellite Intercept testing all attest to an abiding Soviet concern witli problems of defense. In some of tliese areas, recent developments' have shed new light on the course of major defensiveIn no case, however, have they altered the basic conclusions of the Estimate or agency views on matters in which there wasnor bas the new information been such as to change our general level of confidence in these conclusions. Wc find theseto be still valid. What follows in this Memorandum Is intended to set recentinto the broader perspective of the major issues developed by.

II. STRATEGIC AIR DEFENSE

lie Sovieis have continued efforts to Improve their air defenses through theand further deployment of surface-to-air missilernterceptor aircraft, and air defense radars. The trend toward thcuse of more sophisticated datasystems and new reporting techniques by air defense networks continues. Theseare within the bounds of thein the Estimate and have not affected its judgments as to the effectiveness of Soviet air defenses.

he more significant developments that have occurred since the publication ofrc:

I Moss aircraft associated with thc Soviet Airoorne Warning and Control System (AWACS) were deployed to thc Black Sea, indicating that AWACS activity may be expanded beyond tlie present deployment in the Baltic and Barents Sea areas If morebecome available. Additionally, recent

^ef-seeREf-

activity over tlto Barents Sea suggests thai new model of controlling interceptors are being used during intercepts within the ansa of AWACS coverage- The Soviet AWACS may bc better able to fulfill its intercept(unction than we previously estimated. There is still no evidence of thc development of an overland lookdown capability, however, and there are still only nine Most aircraft.

c

^indicate that thc Soviets, under favorable acquisitiononsiderat an altitude of SO meters within at least the marginal capabilities of theystem.

the USSR, deployment of tlies occurring as

ew radar Inwithquipment has nowat aboutperational sites, wherethe central guidance area with IheE radar. The new radar employs afeet) dish antenna. Its purposeay be used to provide rangedenied by electronic countermeas-

Fanadar, used in theexport version of theystem, hasdeployed to East Cermany andapnearance In other Warsaw PactIs Likely. Improvements to theinclude the addition of an opticaldevice, and to the associatedreportedly enable the system toas loweet when il is appropri-

ately sited for optimum acquisition. Though previously deployed to North Vietnam and the UAR, this version of thoystem had not previously been seen in East European

e. Testing of theas continuedteady pace at Sary Shagan

Ja new.site is being used fortest firings. Since none of this test activity can boto investigation of ADM capabllllics for theur conclusions legarding thisremain unchanged (seendn

III. DEFENSE AGAINST BALLISTIC MISSILES

oviet efforts to solve lhe basic problems of ballistic missile defense continue. Increased research and development) activity at the Sary Shagan test centeride range of developments is underway. Thesetesting of unproved Interceptornd of new radar designs. Their specificremains largely uncertain. Resumption of construction at some areas of the Moscow defenses long dormant might be for thcof some of the test developments. If this he the caso. the Sovicis may havebasic technical weaknesses In thesystem as deployed. In any event. It is deai that as the Soviets begin negotiations cn an agieement aimed at limiting ABMtheyigorous developmenlwell underway.

A. The Moscow Antiballistic Missile System

urrent Status.perational ADM launch sites deployedomplexes around Moscow have remained unchanged externally.

SECRET-

lull complement of Calosh missilesor each ofaunchers per site) has yet to be seen at any ooe ofaunch ales The largest number of available Calosh missiles seen at one time wasnnlyf these were at the bunch sites, however; the remainder were at the support facility for the Moscow defenses al Borovsk.

he key Soviet missile early warning (EWJ and ABM acquisition radars (Hen House and Dog House) are not yet tnoperation, although the frequency and duration of operation have increased. Theballistic missile (ICBM) threat corridor to the northwest is now covered on an almost continuous basis, however, by the Hen House EW radar at Olenegorsk. It is not clear whether Ihc combat readiness of the Moscow ABM defenses will be increased in tho near future.

operationalwould probablyinimum of aboul three hours to achieve, assuming that missucs aie available and all equipment is working.

ew Construction. Major newwas identified in March and April1 at two of tbe four previously dormant Moscow ABM launch compleics, where work4nd at the site of the Chekhov ABM radar. The constructionis in on early stage, indicating it was probably initiated around the beginning of this

be two ABM launch complexes where construction activity is underway are located southeast and southwest ol Moscowhe otber two complexes where woik was discontinued remain inactive. None ol the new construction activity cur-

rently involves lhc oldAdd radar at these complexes. Aand foundations for threecan be seen at one of theexcavation is particularly notabledimensions are larger lhan any seenthe construction of Soviet ABMmay be intended lo provide hardeningcomponents by allowing theirunderground. Tbe buildinglocated Dear tlie abandoned large TryAl thc other complex, severalare under construction amid theAdd buildings, but no large excavationidentified.

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xcavations and installation of footings for additional antennas have been identified at both lhe receiver and transmitter antenna sites ol lhe CAeWtoo ABM acquisition and far-gar tracking rodar.l

| the new antennas wiD

be simliar in size and configuration to those ol tho original Chekhov radar. Althoughis in an early stage, it appears thc new antennas will be oriented lo the southeast, in neaily thc opposite direction from lite original Chekhov antennas.

II. Significance of the New Construction Activity. If construction at (be two complexes is indeed ABM related, it is likely that tbeemplaced there willissile similar to thc Calosh, but with systemThe result wouldodest expansion of lhe Moscow system with some improvement in both its postulated two-layer and single-

layer defense coverage. Thisore likely rxplanition for the activityurely endoatrrvoi|>heric intercept system. Though the development of an endo-atmospheric system may now be underway at Sary Shagan (sec paragraphs. and would significantly improve Soviel defenses if deployedumber of locutions around Moscow, it would have to be emplaced at more than fust these two complcscs to provide significant coverage.

he new steerable phased-array target tracking radar under development at Sary Shagan (iceppears to bc tho best candidate for deployment at these two complexes. This radar appears well suited to acquire and track several targetsCurrently, there is no Dog House/Chck-hov long-range acquisition and tracking radar coverage of submarine-launched ballisticlaunches from regions in theSea and Arctic Ocean, or of missiles launched from China. Against the threat from these areas, thc Soviets would now bc forced to rely on the large Try Add Ui get-tracking radar for acquisition as well as tracking. The entire ABM defense might bc saturatedof the small number and limited target handling capacity of these mechanically scanned radars. While deployment of one steerable phased array at each of thesewould reduce the vulnerability of Ihe Moscow defenses toby missiles from the Mediterranean anddefenses would slill be exhausted quickly if penetration aids were used and if onlyaunchers were deployed at eachcomplex.

he new antennas at Chekhov wiU be orientedirection opposite to thc original antenna? so as to look toward

cellent coverage of ballistic missiles launched at Moscow from most of China. They could not. however, detect ICBMs launched atfrom Manchuria. Additional antennas would bc required lo provide Urge acquisition radar coverage of all of China.

B. Anfibolliilic Missile Research and Development

n, we noted thatwas underway in two complexes at Sary Shagan which promised lo result in new Soviet ABMtollow-on system to the system in the Moscow defenses appears to bfl" under development. Tlie most notable of thcthere is the steerable phased-array radar already notedandidate for the new Moscow deployment. This radar probablyerformance capability better than the present Try Add target-tracking radar. Two Galosh-type launchers bad been emplaced at this complex at the time tho Estimate was issued. fj_

J Although the Soviets apparently intend eventually to construct two additional launchers at Complex D. there has been little evidence of progress in that direction over the past yoar.

aunchas characterized in the Estimate as somethingystery. Established in an area where theof advanced air defense systems had taken place,ncluded Calosh-

hey could provide ex-

type launchers but no large ABM radarsto thc Try Add Or theinadar it Compter D. Other bunch sites, as well, appeared to be nnder construction within theew type of radarhascd-array antenna had been quickly erected there Significanthas been made at launchince February and some of the activities merely noted ia the Estimate areittle better understood. Because of this andof its potential importance, thisdiscusses thc developments at Launchn some detail.

oniUuctton continues in the third area of activity (launch Siteual loop road apparently serves two positions. It is too early to tell whether launchers wfll be unplaced it these positions or, if so, what they will Im like.

ince the issuance ofew launch area (Launch Siteas been identified where week is underway on 6At one position, construction ispossiblySo-Q

ot launch Complex F, Sary Shagan

onstruction at Launch Complex F, underway sinceontinuesigh level. It nowistinct areas ofwhich appear to be launchiagram of this complex which locates activity discussedThe nature of the activity hat been idcn.ified with confidence only at the first site. Determination of the nature of theat thcites and theirwill not be ponible until additional construction is completed and testing isLaunchalosh-type launchers which have recently been used for thc testingew exoatmospheric, long-range ABM interceptor.

aunchas three bunchcontaining launchersew type. They consistunching table mounted between upright supports. They arefor vertical launches, and thusa distinct departure from tlie Ciilosb launchers at Launch Site_

fullest that testingissile smaller than uie Calosh, possibly an endoatmoiplmic interceptor, is intended.

^Construction at theositions is distinctly different from that at the silo and closely resembles that ataunch positions at Launch Site 2that thc same missile will be used at both launch sites.

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DM Interceptor Flight Testing. Tlie observed characteristics of the six missile flight tests from Launchtince0 indicate that the Soviets areew. two-stage, ABMAlthough faster tlian thc Calosh, it appears likewise designed to performong-range eioatmosphcric interceptor.

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radar Is the speed with which it apparently can see it at the range, however, probably could be cmplaoedbe accomplished much more rapidly, f"

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he time from the Initial excavation to observation of the radarmonth period. Thc deployment of this radar as we

he radar itself apparently wasto thb location in sections andon the hardstand. We know this was accomplished within, at most, five months and probably much faster.ossible (hat the radar could be assembled, calibrated, and made operationalew weeksonth. Therefore.

"Jtlic total construction and radar assembly time perhaps could have been

IQF 6CCMT

short as three monlhs. Ii must be noted, however, that deployment In thc fieldtakes longer than construction at the range. Moreover, If the radar we observe al the range is somethingreadboard model containing the componentsadar that will later be packaged as partardened system, the deployment tunc could bo as long as two or three years,

he general multiple-apertureof the new radar, ond ils locationissile launch site. Indicate that It Isan engagement radar capable of tracking incoming targets as well as the interceptor rrusslles. Though the radar in some respects resembles Soviet SAM radars. It is probably Intended for ABM use. It Is much larger in sire and the amount of supporting equipment associated with it favor this Judgment as does tbt ABM flavor ofswhole. Nevertheless, the possibility that thc radar may have some SAMinlo an ABMnow be ruled out.

everal postulations as to tbc use of the various apertures of the radar are possible, but generally they include Ihe use of the planar arrayarget tracker. Thc following estimates of its capability arc based upon ihii assumption, among others:

a. If radar powers are assumed that arc consistent with lhe support equipment seen and wiih lite technology of proposed USABM systems, we conclude lhat lhc radar' as observed at the range probably would not be able to detect US ICBM le-entry vehicles (ItVs) much beyond P"

short-range operation. Any deployment would probably be in areas already enjoying long-range Dog House, or possibly Hen House, radar coverage.

b. The range calculation leading to this conclusion is based largely on thc fact that, as observed, the radar Is dependent upon associated electronic vans. If tha radar were repackaged so as to use permanently inslalled power generating equipment, higher power ond grea!er detection ranges might be

achieved C

Even in this case, however, the radar would stiEog House-type long-range target tracker lo accomplish long-range exoatmcdphehc intercepts. Thiswould not exist if the radar were usedhort-range interceptor. Such may be theis not yel clear how manymissiles will bo developed at Launchr what their characteristics will be. As noted above, it appears that Ihe missile currently being tested at Lauch Sile Iba long-range exoatmospheric interceptor. Other launch sites have not yet been used, however, and other types of interceptors may appear.

Implications of thactivity. Any assessment of the activity atepends heavily upon whether or not all of the activity we observeelatedingle program. Ine made lhe tentative judgment that thb was apparently so. Our judgment on this question has not changed, but tlie possibility remains thotprograms are involved.

Ifingle program Is underway, two reasonable explanations for tho activity can be postulaled. An ABM system utilizing Iwo Interceptors may be under development involving both exo- and ertdc-atmosphericto be used with the new radars

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at Launch Complex F. Thiswas provided in the Estimate It is also possible, however, that the missile under test at Launchs the only missile involved and that thc various launchers seen atF are steps toward the developmentilo launch capabilityalosh-like missile. An effort to harden some of thccomponents might alsoart ofrogram.

moreingle program isat Launch Complex F, anotheremerges. Tbe interceptoratould be intended for usesteerable phased-array radar atD. Several considerations argueof this. An exoatmosphericbe consistent with the large radarsD. Thc existence ofand canisters in both areasuseommon missile. If thebetween Launchnd theLaunchs correct, thenatay not be related tothe other sites at Complex F. Thesemay be related lo thc developmentendoatmosphcric system utilizing aintercept missile. This would bewith the new radar andbc other two sitesndbe used to test different launchfor tlie new endoatmospheric

IV. DEFENSE AGAINST BAUISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINES

in Soviet ASWarc represented by the operationalof the Krivak-class destroyer.worthy of note that havesince publication ofre:

D

b. There is stronger evidence now that the buoys moored by Uie Soviets in the Straits of Sicily are hydroacoustic. Two large hydro-acoustic buoys recently recovered from the Norwegian Sea may be similar to those In the Straits. Though this cannot be conclusivelyumber of considerations argue that It is so.

sr4

The observed pattern of arrays and clusters thc Straits of Sicily suggests that these buoys mayurveillance system capable of providing position and track informationtlie passage of the Straits as well as merelyount of submarines passing tlirough the area. The presence of surfaceships appears currently to be necessary for operation of tlie svstem: f.

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airdropped sonobuoy used byaircraft is now known to be abuoy. When sown infrom an aircraft, however, thesesufficient data to tbe aircraft forcalculationubmarine'sspeed. We believe this buoy systemoperational. The utility of thisPolaris submarines In the opendoubtful, however, as tho initiallocalization of submarines remaindeficiencies.

increased frequency of flightsASWparticular thethc North Atlantic tn latathis aircraft is at least available forif not already in limited operational use.

suggest that the ASW system employed aboard the aircraft is similar to that of the May oircraft. It probably employs the same new sonobuoy and on-board computers. More Bear ASWare now operational than whenas issuedomparedherefore, tbe ASW Bear may be in limited production.

V. ANTISATEUITE DEFENSE

umber of years the problem of assessing Soviet antisatellite capabilities was one of investigating the suitability of various system components for use in detecting,or intercepting satellites. No clearlyantisatellite program could be found. Nevertheless, the Soviets were found to possess thc components necessary for anti-satellite defense and it was concluded that they had the capability to Interfere witb US satellites. In the past few years, we further noted that this could be done without resort to nuclear weapons. Among the developments which gave the Soviets this capability were

their large space surveillance radars, ABM facilities at Sary Shagan and Moscow,rrussucs of variousand severaltypes of maneuverable satellites.

ow the situation has changed. Oncend tlu-ee times in the last year, the Soviets liave tested the abflity of theirsatellites toarget In orbit

Hough tlie use of theABM system would seem to usdistinct advantages against satellites in low earth orbit, insofar as wo can teD thehave not as yet tooted it inole Neither have they Investigated theof employing ballistic missiles for anti-satellite defense as the US chose to do.

Soviet solution to thisto rest upon tho use ofBecause of thii, the Sovietprogram is discussed In farin this Memorandum than in anyWe have abo reassessed ouras to the likelihood of Sovietin light of recent orbital

A- The Orbital Intercept Test Program "

USSR's program to developan orbital interceptor system hassignificantly since the issuance ofTwo additional satellite interceptconducted ia the first halfthe total to six. In addition to thepace of intercept testing, we now be-

'See the Annei for adbcosrSari of this program.

lieve Ihe scope of lhe pmgram is much broader than previously estimated.

It now appears tbat six heavy maneuver-able satellites which have been testedayart ol anprogram involving theof components or techniques to be used by the final system.

Io addition, it seems likely that someaunched satellites may have been used lo chock out and calibrate ground-based monitoring sites. Twosites (probably exclusively devoted to the program) have been identified in lhe western USSR.

The two interceptor tests this year have used bghtcr, and presumably smaller, targets bunched by Iheromwhile Ihe previous targets were launched from Tyuratam by the SUL

A new spacecraft checkout building under construction at theaunch area at Tyuratam, appears suitable for assembly and checkoutumber of payloads simultaneously, and is thought to be associated with this program. [

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1 intercept tests haveprogress In attaining mission flexibility. Toey have included the useew type of target, differing target Orbits, plane changes by the interceptor to accommodate the target's orbit, differing orbital maneuvers to achieve the geometry for encounter, and intercept sequences with the target bolh behind and in front of the interceptor. Every successfuloccurred on Iho Interceptors second Orbit, over tlie area of the Soviet-Polish border.

This fact, together with Ihe identification of two associated monitoring sites in thc area leads us lo believe that the intercept tests have been staged to take place over thatof the USSR. We do not believe,that operational use of an interceptor would necessarily require encounter on the second orbit, or over tbat area of Ihe world.

uring recent tests, we haveew search and acquisition sequence during the mteroeptors horning phase, and changes in the weight of the interceptor. It is believed that this new search mode enables tbeof the targetarger volume of space. Wc do not know what type of sensor is use3 by the tra-king system the interceptorThe most likely oneadar as opposed lo in optical or long-wave infrared device, *^

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c are unable to determine whether orarhead is carried by the interceptor and used in an attempt to destroy tlie target.

Tbe presencearhead Is suggested by the fact that the interceptor has been observed, in most cases, in fragments in the orbits following the intercept.arhead were used in the tests, however, destruction or disablement of thc target would be the appropriate measure of success. In thc six tests to date, target destruction occurred only once, though disablement may have occurredecond occasion. This wouldather low success rate En view of the apparent progress of thc test program.

On Ihc other hand, it is as possible that tlic spacecraft involved are simply be-

SfCfiW

ing destroyed by on-board charges at test completion and that no warhead is car-rled.C

oo war-bead were carried, survival of the target after encounter could not be considered an indication of test failure Since the guidance scheme apparently used by the interceptor would permit very small miss distances, an appropriate warhead is well within Soviet reach- We must thenthat so long as the target wasand the maneuver enginesproperly, the test was successful. Oo this basis, four of the su tests were successful.

here mayumber of limitations which would affect the operational use of the current interceptor system. These Include problems created by the need to counterIn orbits with inclinations not heretofore used by the SovieU. The Soviets, forhave always employed postgrado orbits while many US reconnaissance satellites use retrograden such circumstances, new considerations cadge as to the launchImpact locations of the first stage,of orbital Insertion, and command and control of the interceptor once in orbit. We do not believe, however, that tbe launch azimuth from Tyuratam for anmployedwouldominating con ii deration. The energy requirementsetrograde launchear earthtlieythe capability ol the launch vehicle-could be met by using the payloads maneuver engine with some attendant reduction Inmaneuver capability. Although tlieof the first stage certainly is ait should be possible to avoid endangering

'A vb (JM In wolch the HteDite b

movtoc. In the direction ol Uie earth's rotation When themoves In the opposite direction lo tlie rotation o' the eirth,nretrogrado orlrii.

built-up areas and wc doubt that thiswould be so Important as touse of the interceptor. Further, we behove that monitoring of orbital Insertion could probably be done adequately, in most cases, from rangehcad facilities without down-range instrumentation sites.

equirements for ground-basedand control of the interceptor in orbit could limit seriously the interceptor's opera-Uoaal use. |

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possible that the operation of an Interceptor could be mostly preprogrammed, with little, if any. updating by ground sites required, so long as the orbit of thc target satellite Is well established prior to Interceptor launch and no evasive action is taken.

lthough our understanding of thishas increased in lhe past several months, its rationale is still not understood. The choice of an orbital system by (lie Soviets for use against low-altitude targets such asone might presume axe provocative enough to evoke SovietIs puzzling. Tbe use of the Calosh ABMappropriately equippedon-nuclear warhead, and possiblyoming system, would appear tooreantisatellite system for use against targets such as these.ystem would provide fast reaction, little susceptibility tocountermeasures,ar better chance for clandestine use than would an orbital system.

t may well be that the mission of the system under development Is not limited to attacks on reconnaissance satelliles. It may representajor defensive system of

^FGP-SfXrPfcr-

scope, suitable lor rapid deployment In space to copeilitary orbital threat oot as yet specifically defined. Other Soviet defensive developments, such at theface of the Dog House radar or the high-altitudeystem, have been undertaken and completed in response to anticipated threats which bad not yet become operational.

A broader view of the orbital interceptor program shows that itarge number of bunches which have taken place at leastnd possibly even earlier. As can bc seen from Table I,he pace of the program has been steadier and more measured than would appear to bc tbc case If only tlie Intercept tests themselves were considered. It may be that the actualtests and the "heavy" maneuverablerepresent two phases In the developmentingle system. If so, the operationalmay combine the terminal functions of the Interceptor currently under test with tbe longer orbital lifetime of the heavyvehicles.

The development of facilities andsuggestive of an intent toumber of satellites quickly argues that many satellites could be maintained in readiness for days, either on the ground or in orbit,eriod of crisisinal decision being made to destroy their targets. Though such an interpretation of observed events as the developmentore general orbitalsystem can only be based uponit does provide an alternative view of the Soviet orbital interceptor test program which is in many regards more understandable than its interpretationystem intended only to attack US reconnaissance satellites. In any event, it is necessary at this time to consider all possible uses of the orbital anti-satellite capability Ihe Soviets have created.

Suitable criteria foi determining an IOCystem of this type remain undefined. Fui thennore. we are unable to establish firmly the operational sequence in which US satellites would be engaged. We believe, however, that satellites which pass over the USSR at any Inclination and below altitudes ofn. could now be vulnerable to this system.

In order lo use the interceptor atmuch greater thanew launch vehicle would bc required. Beyond the near earth region, synchronousextensively by US military supportlikely to be of greatest interest to the Soviets. The only operational Soviet space launch system that, could-place the demonstrated interceptor into tlieorbit region is theosmos 3o2 was an engineering test of the SL-L2 fourth stage to perform maneuvers over several days,5 degree plane change. One of the purposes of this test may have been to check out propulsion and guidance equipment useday similar to that needed fora payload to the geostationaryLa, roughly in the plane of tho equator at synchronous altitude. Thus, it Is likely that the Soviets could place an orbiting interceptor with non-nuclear kill at tliat altitude, should they decide to make the effort. The existing Interceptor could carry out an engagement once delivered to the geostationary corridor. Our earlier comments about unrecognized operational difficulties uiat mayuse of the orbital interceptor based on tho SUll apply with equal, If nol greater, force In this case.

B. likelihood of Soviet Interference with United Slates SaleKiiei

have reviewed the bases forconcerning the likelihood ofwith US satellites in the light of

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recent acceleration of Soviet orbitalletting and thc repeated demonstrationon nuclei! antisatellite capability. We find that there conliaue to be compelling reasoni for believing the Soviets will befrom taking destructive action against US satellites in peacetime. {SecLikelihood ol Interference withatedOP SECRET. ALL SOURCE,uller discus, sion of thesehe Soviets would have to consider the eitremely provocative nature of sucheterrent would be the fear of US retaliation against Soviet satellites. The Soviets arc deeply committed to their own reconnaissance satellite program, and theiron the information it provides is unlikely to diminish. The US probablyrimary target, and we believe that the share of the effort directed against other areas,China and Europe, has increased.

4S. Apart from their interest in protecting this important source of intelligence, theprobably see other reasons forthc status quo. Acceptance of satellite reconnaissance by both sides had come to be considered an essential element in the present situation of mutual deterrence. The Soviets probably reason that US detection of any interference on their part would be seen by thc US as an attemptestabilize theparticularly if the interference occurredALT agreement. In the course of the SALT negotiations the Soviets haveeadiness loommitment not to interfere with reconnaissance sateUiles.they appear to have "jained to live with satellite reconnaissance. I*

3

Furthermore, there appear to be other explanations for the Soviet orbital intercept program than an intent to take action against US satellites in peacetime. As noted above, the program has been underway for many years and, despite the recentteady pace toward an objective probably established in the. This objective may well include counteringsatellites but could also involve action against the broad range of spacebombs, satellite interceptors, even mannedwere so widely discussed in this period. Soviet writings reveal concern about such possibilities. If theof spacebome defenses against threats such as these is the intent of the orbitalprogram, recent activities can better be explainedechnological phaseong-range test program rather than as an urgent preparation for an attack on US satellites.

The repeated demonstrationon-nuclear orbital intercept capability against targets up toiles would, to bc sure, give the Soviets an option on which they could rely should they ever decide to take action against US satellites- The Soviets probably would see fewer restraints on the useon-nuclear system, particularly if they were to estimate tliat the US would have toystem employing nuclear weapons in retaliation.on-nuclear wartimethe employment by die Soviets ofonventional warhead would not necessarily carry with il lhe risk of escalation inherent in the useuclear armed system.

Despite these considerations, ourremains essentially unchanged. We still believe it highly unlikely thai the Soviets would undertake widespread and continuing

-top-cachet

destructive attacks on US satellites inWe rate the chances for selective or sporadic attacks nearly as low. Wc doubt that the Soviets would lauoch attacks against US satellites prior to the initiation of hostilities. They would probably fudge thateriod of heightened tension that would precede a

US-Soviet conflict, thc US would assess the Soviet action as parieneral attack. We

further believe that the considerationsin paragraphshichmilitate against Soviet interference with US satellites, are likely to become even more compelling over (he next several yean.

THE SOVIET ORBITAL INTERCEPT TEST PROGRAM

Tho USSR hai conducted orbital latellite intercept tests sinceim Origins of thc program may go back as far asowever, when the Soviets launched the first of four maneuverable spacecraft, whicha variety of engine tests. The first two of these early test vehicles were placed Into orbit by the SS* ICBM booster, and the second pair by anith an extra upper stage. Whether or not these early tests were directly related to the subsequent intercept test program cannot be established withthough there are similarities between these early maneuverable satellites and the later ones.

he current program, involving the use of theaunch vehicle (theCBM) began in lateighteen launches using tlieave been made in thisSixteen of these have successfully Orbited their payloads. In addition to lhewo other launch vehicles are being used- The targets for the last two satellite intercept testsnd) were Uunched by thetheRBModified secondhctheRBM with an upper stage) was used to launch satellites for what appears to be the checkout and calibration of ground sites which later support (lie intercept tests. Three of these satelliles have been associated with Ihu ma-

neuverable satelliteummary of the test program is presented in Table I,ore detailed description of thc tests and the achievements of the program ttin later paragraphs.

he orbital Intercept program isby several bases on theaunch area at the Tyuratam lest center serves only theaunch vehicle, and allboosted by it. Though lliestheCBM. launch silos could not be used to launch the interceptors because of (heir largeaunch area at the Plesetsk missile and space center probably is used to launch thearrying target vehicles and thearrying payloads to check out and calibrate ground nwnilonng sites- Intwo large space tracking sties fn the western USSR monitor the end phase of each lest and probably some of the manuevcrs made by satellites. These sites have unique signal tracking devices, beacon trackingand equipment for receiving telemetry. Other tracking sites also monitor andspacecraft launched by the

hepacecraft launched by tbeomprise IMO groups, diffe: en bated by their weight The heavier spacecraft weigh0 pounds. Because they are heavy, they require thc use of the engine on (be spacc-

craft itself (iu addition to the launchin order to get into orbit Four of six launches of tlie heavier vehicles have been successful. They perform maneuvers with an engine similar to one used by the lighterinterceptors. Q

these satellitesart of the overall orbital interceptor test program. The purpose of these "heavy* satellites, however. Is not clear. They have been launched sporadically. Based oo their demonstrated activity, the use of these satellites appears to be for tests of theability to perform precise changes in orbit. They may* have had additionaltest objectives

he second group consists ofighter satellites. Six of these spacecraft wereas mterccptors ln thc tests, two were targets, and four were used in earlyflights.

3

he pace of interceptor testing hassignificantly during thc past nine months. The first test series, involving two interceptorsarget, was conducted inimilar series was conductedtwo years later, inhe next Intercept test was conducted about four

months later, and the mod recent one only live week after thai, In early

factors Indicate thatair degree of importance to

the number of spacecraft and tests

thc period of time over which these events have occurred;

the timing of the tests relative to each Other;

and thc number and nature ofground installations.

Other Indications of continuing development such as the recent observation of four pay-load transport err at the Tyuratam launch area, and the constructionrge new payload-associated building nearby, indicate that the program is being pursued vigorously.

part of this effort, thc Sovietsa capability to rapidly load propelaboard theaunch vehicle.

equirement to provide thc systemuick reaction capability.

e cannot determine with confidence whether or not the interceptors used in this program are equippedumber of features of the tests suggest that some type of warhead was fired at four of the six targets. It is possible thai the breaking up of thc interceptor, observed in three in-

stances, was caused by usearhead.blowing up the interceptor itself, however, mightufficient damage mechanism in light of thc ability of thc interceptor toclose to its target.

:i

Engineering Flight TesJs

3

Between3 andour spacecraftcries of tests of propulsion systems for control of thcattitude and for orbit adjustments. Thc booster was thehe first twodesignated by thc Soviets asndhort lifetime, completing all maneuversew hours of launch. The other two vehicles., had longer lifetimes, performing maneuvers after as muchay in orbit. The tests of thc propulsion system, engine placement,control systems, and type of orbitalarc similar in some respects tolaunched later by the SL-1L

Between7 andour more spacecraft conducted additional tests of attitude control and propulsionThese vehicles were launched by* thcnd directly preceded the first actual intercept tests in

all con-

a characteristic sequence of maneuvers. These features, together with similarof spacecraft involved later in the program, suggest that this group included launch vehicle and payload flights directly associated with the later orbital intercept tests.

ive additional engineering flight tests followed the first intercept test series inn two of these thc satellites did not adiieve orbit. The three vehicles which did orbit performed engine tests and maneuvers. They arc therefore believed to representlaunch vehicle and payload flights.

3

he most recent launch ofheavy satcllito occurred- In additionadditional engineering tests, itseveral characteristics of andaring iu flight

3

rhe,esf8

first intercept test scriesof the intercept tests toas launched by thectober. It hid been precededalibration satellite Afterorbit, tbe target made two changes inwhich resultedinal,(at 2SS miles altitude, andnclination) which made it passTyuratam eachsituationfor the launch of an Interceptor.suggests that the conditions for thecarefully chosen.

he first of two interceptors.. was launched one day after thc target) and made (hicv maneuvers in orbit changing thc apogee oi perigee. In the light o( later tests, tlie second maneuvernot to have created tlie piopt geometry for the intercept operation. The thirdcompounded this dilltculty with the result that this intercept attemptailure. The distance at closest approach had not been reduced sufficiently for the interceptor tothe target; thc relative velocity between the spacecraft was higher than that observed during successful intercepts; and the position for encounter was shifted to an area over the Mediterranean Sea. Instead of to thc area of the Soviet-Polish border where successfuloccurred Utter.

welve days after the first interceptecond interceptor.. was placed into an orbit nearly identical to that of the first interceptor.also made three maneuvers which produced thc desired conditions for theThe first and second maneuversthe interceptor to catch up to the target and to achieve the correct geometry for the intercept shortly after the beginning of the interceptor's second orbit. Tlie third maneuver reduced the distance at closest approach, in* creased the relative velocity between the spacecraft, and shifted (lie encounter position to an area northwest ol Moscow.

TOP SECRET-

TABLE U

SOVIET ORBITAL SATELLITE INTERCEPT TESTS

/3S7

Dale

8

3

0

0

1

1

Sites'

TT/TT

Vehldei *

SHI/SL-II

Phasing Technique .

OTO*

ur

"

Altitude (nm)

185

Location

Soulh ol

ol

of

of

of

of

in*

Distance.

Objective

R&D

Failure

* Target listed (int. interceptor second.

'Outside the Taieet Orbitniide lhe TargetO).

"Interceptor toward* TargetargetInterceptor

' These are distances of etneit approach calculated (wm available trading data

3

' ll effect on target Is criterion, eventartialf effect on target It criterion, eventfailure.

KJP-SfcCWbf

CT

the target made ihree changes in orbit which pot ilosition favorable for the launch of an interceptor.

Tlie first of Iwo inte>ceptori., was launched three days later, and abo made three maneuvers. The first one changed its orbitalfor the first time an important type of millionIn addition lo reducing thc effects of possible operational difficulties, such as minor launch delays or imprecise launch vehiclethis ability to change plane enables Ihe interceptor fn certain circumstances to catch up with the target with the use of less propellant than might otherwise be required.

After its last maneuver, the Interceptoroning motion not observed ontests, but seen on all of those that foi lowed. Q

,est

Series0

he second test series was. in many respects, similar lo lhe first. The target., was launched by thenalibration satellite preceded its launch by five weeks. After achieving orbit.

"JThc target was unaffected by lhe intercept "attempt!

^Iho ioterccptor spacecraft was later fragmented as were the two interceptors used on thc first test series. If the goal was also to intercept tlte target vehicle, asprobably the ca.se, this teat resulted in failure.

econd interceptor.laced Intoeek later andmade the Ihree typical intercept

3

-TCf.-

-TOP SWitH*

data indicate lhat lhc ^cjoscsl approach watt wilhin about one mile

higher0 miles insteadis inclinationew decrees higher (aboutegrees instead ofegrees) than those of the carrier targets

The orbit of the Urget provided repealed launch opportunities for lhe intercept en. only on every fourth day. instead of every day.

Iton-maneuvering satellite.

These features of the target tend lo make Ihis test more realistic than those conductedMoreover, the short time which elapsed between the intercept tests suggest thai the program hadore advanced phase

he only interceptor In this test.. was launchedays afler die launch of the target This was the fourth opportunity during which the target wasavorable posilion for Intercept.

n contrast to the two-year period which elapsed between the first and second test series, thc next test was conducted only three and one-half months later. The target.. was launchedt was noteworthy for several reasons:

target was launched by anooster from Plesetsk, not aniom Tyuratam.

orbit was different from thai used by the earlier target vehicles, although il was also riear-circular. It was at a

|Though its

first oibit differed from the usual one. thc interceptor successfully performed thc three typical orbital intercept maneuvers.

eriod of search by coning,moved to-

ward ihe target

umber of transversewere made to dose with the target-not know precisely how dose thecame to lhe target in thisdata taken after tbe apparent closest

-TC.

-TOP-StK-rfiEf

approach indicate ihe closest distance was withiniles, but the actual divtancc piobably was much smaller, as in the previous intercepts.

C

hc larget, for thc first time, showed no external effects of the intercept operation T_

addition, no pieces were detected later in its orbit which was not perturbed. Its attitude stability was unchanged.

The Most,he most recent intercept test showed differences from all previous intercept tests. The target., was launched by anooster from Plesetsk on IS March. The orbit was significantly higher than before, but again was chosen so as to give recurringfor launch of the interceptor. In this case, however, these opportunitiesonly once everyays. The orbit ofas nearly circulariles) but the inclination was kept at about G6

he interceptor.. was launchedays later fromsecond opportunity provided by the targetavorable pass over the interceptor launch site (the first opportunity having occurred the fourth day after targetu first orbit was nearly identical to that of theused in the previous test, but one of the subsequent maneuvers differed from those in the previous tests in that it included aof apogee and perigee.onse-

quence, the encounter with the target in this test occurred near the apogee of therather than near its perigee as in thc earlier tests Tlie intennediate orbits in litis operation were different in yet another way. Previously, the interceptor went outside the orbit of thc target to get in the proper position for encounter; in this instance the interceptor went inside the orbit of the target.

n all Ihc previous tests, the interceptor overtook thc target, fust prior to encounter, thc interceptor would make its final orbitalwhich increased the relative velocitythe spacecraft. In this oporation. how_-ever, the target overtook tbe Interceptor, and then the in'.erceptor slowed itself. In thislosing velocity similar to that of earlier tests was achieved. Soviet insistence upon achieving ihis relative velocity suggests that itequi'rtnent of the interceptorssystem. After miking thc maneuver to stow itself, however, the interceptor no longer had sufficient velocity to remain in orbit.

n this case, the limited tracking data ava ilabTeind icate that the closest distanceinterceptor and target was within aboutiles. Again, the distance was probably much smaller.

"^The interceptor would have impacted in thc northwest Pacific Ocean If it had survived re-entry. There was no evidence that recovery was intended.onsequence of thc deorbit we do not know whether the vehicle fragmented. Like the target of the1 test, thc target in this test showed no effects of the intercept operation.

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