Created: 10/13/1971

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cia historical review program :as Sj

SUBJECT: Soviet Military Aid to North Vietnam

1. he USSR provided an estimatedin military aid to North Vietnam, abouttotal deliveries from Communist countries. Sovietrose rapidly during the first throe years of thea peak Thereafter, deliv-

eries from tho USSR declined

Estimated Communist Military Deliveries to North Vietnam

Million US S

6 7 8 9 0 Total



aT The cumulative value of deliveriess estimated at $5 Negligible amounts of military aid have alsofrom North Korea, Cuba, and Mongolia

2. The rise and fall in the military aid provided by the USSR is explained by North Vietnam's changing requirements for military equipment. , North Vietnam constructed an extensive air defense system composed ofourface-to-air missile battalions, hundreds of surface-to-air sites and thousands ofguns. This system and its operation were made possible largely by deliveries of air defense equipment, missiles and AAA ammunition from the USSR. Deliveries for the build-up of North Vietnam's air defense system account for moref Soviet military aid durinq the past five

i the ovwau nuiicary aia aenvery picture is presented in the attached table Following the bombing halt over North Vietnam, Soviet deliveries of air defense equipment and related munitions dropped sharply.

Estimated'Soviet Air Defense Aid to North Vietnam

Million US S

6 7 8 9 0 Total



3. There is no evidence that political considerations, as opposed to Hanoi's reduced needs, explain the decline in military aid deliveries by the USSR in the last two years. Moscow's continuing willingness to supply North Vietnam with military aid was reaffirmed by Soviet President Podgorny during the course of his recent visit to Hanoi. However,


even if the USSR were to restrict deliveries in an effort to influence Hanoi's conduct of the war, its leverage would be severely limited. North Vietnam's ecsential requirement for continuing tho war in the south consists largely of ground forces equipment, ammunition and trucks. If the Communist Chinese were to take on the entire task of pr^'iding this aid, tho burden would not bn unmAnaoeahle.

Thereew items which Communist China would have difficulty providing, such asircraft andissiles, but these aro not presently essential to the conduct of the war.

4. The most probable outlook for the next several years is that Communist military aid deliveries to North Vietnam will remain at or near the0 level, assuming no major change in the scale of fighting on the ground and that the bombing of North Vietnam will not be resumed. Deliveries1 may be slightly higher than0 to offset losses incurred during Lam. The USSR evidently has been delivering tanks to replace some or all of the largef tanks lost by North Vietnam during the campaign.



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