Created: 8/1/1970

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Intelligence Memorandum

Soviet ABM Defenses-Status and Prospects

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence0


Soviet ABMand Prospocta


The Soviets brought the last of the eight ADM launch sites which defend Moscow to operational status early this year. With the exceptionecond target acquisition and trackingwhich construction iselements of the present Moscow defenses are operational.

But the Soviets continue to mark time on ABM deployment elsewhere. They may be awaiting, in part, the outcome of their active roscarch and development program. The first deployed unitsollow-on ABM system resulting from this effort could reach operational status as earlyhe Soviets may also be awaiting the results of the discussions with the US on limiting strategic arms, which have included consideration of banning or limiting ABM deployment.

This memorandum examines the current status, operational readiness, and cost of the Moscow ABM defenses. It also presents the prospects forABM deployment. ummary begins on

Hot*: This memorandum uas produced solely by CIA

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emoranaum uas produced solely by CIA It uas prepared by the Office of Strategic Research and coordinated with the Offices of National Eetimat, and Scientific Intelligence.



Status of the Moscow ABM 5

Launch Sites S

Acquisition and Tracking Rada:

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Early Warning

Operational Readiness 12

Prospects for Future ABM Deployment

Research and Development



The Moscow ABM

Soviet ABM 9

Operational Concept of the Moscow


Soviet Ballistic Missile and Satellite

Tracking Radars . .


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Status of the Moscow ABM Defenses

Launch Sites

The last of the eight ABM launch sites around Moscow became operational in Each of thesein pairs at fouris composed of one large target tracking radar and two smaller defensive missile tracking and guidance radars (the set of threery Add) and eight Galosh antimissile missile launchers. The disposition of the Moscow ABM defensosypical launch site arc shown on the map and photograph on the next two pages.

The Soviets originally planned to deploy twice as many ABM launch sites around Moscow. Work on some of the original sites was suspended4 and on othersowever, and has not been resumed. This cutback in deployment was probably based on the recognition that the systom could be defeatedetermined attack using tactics of either saturation (more attacking missiles than the defenses could handleor exhaustion (more total attacking missiles than defensive missiles).



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sketches on The transmitter antenna is in the late stage of construction. The receiver antenna,eet from the transmitter antenna, is in an earlier stage of construction. The receiver facility will apparently containeceiver antennaeparate radar whose role and capabilities are unknown.

Although the coverage of the Chekhov radar will include potential Polaris missile launch areas in northern waters as well as parts of western Europe-complementing that of theoverage of potential threats to Moscow will(see inset map on There is nothat additional radars of this type are being deployed to complete coverage of the ballistic mis-si lo threat to Moscow.

Early Warning Radars

4 the Soviets have been deploying large, advanceddual Hena strategic missile attack against the USSR.

Eight dual Hen House radarsissile early warning role are either operational or underat five locations on the periphery of the Soviet Union. They have been deployed in two phases-first to provide coverage of the US ICBM threat and then to cover northern submarine launch areas, China, and the submarine launch areas in the wesrtrn Pacific

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The first two dual Hen Houses deployed, one at Olenegorsk near Murmansk and one at Skrunda on the Latvian coast, are oriented to detect ICBMs launched

tn!Lco*tinenCal us gainst targets in the western ubbK. The decision to provide radar coverage of US ICBM approaches to the western USSR first iswith the high priority the Soviets accord thisriority reflected in the deployment pattern of the Moscow ABM defenses.


Despite important gaps in coverage of thethreat to thefrom submarine-launched missiles from the westernthere is no evidence the Soviets have started any dual Hen House radars since Deployment of three to five additional radars would provide complote coverage of all ballistic missile threats to any part of the Soviet Union (see map, facing).

Operational Readiness



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This map showscoverage of the Soviet Hen House ballistic missile early warning and satellite tracking networks as well as coverage by the Dog House and Chekhov radars which are part of the Moscow ADM defenses. Possible deployment areas are indicated for the three to five additional missile early warning radars needed lo provide complete coverage of all ballistic missile threats to any pact ol Ihe USSR.

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A full complement of missiles has yet to be seen at any of the operational launch sites. The number of Galosh missiles at the launch sites, and the launchers they have occupied, have varied over time. Although the Galosh missile system is designed to allow for reload

Jthere is no evidence that provision has been made at the launch sites to store reload

The Moscow ABM defenses could be confronted by three sorts of attack: eavy attack by the US; an attackhird country with limited forces; or an accidental or unauthorized launch. The Soviet! have not yeteadiness posturewith defenseeavy attack. The concepteriod of rising tensions in advance of hostilities is prominent in their strategic thinking, however, and they may intend toull complement of missiles and bring the system to full alert only when they judge thateliberate attack has increased.

If this is their operational concept,mall alert force of missiles on launchers would be required under ordinary circumstances. This alert force would be adequate for defense against oneew missiles. Only chance warningurprise attack or accidental launch will beto the Soviets, however, as long as theyboth their dual Hen House detection radars and

the Dog House target acquisition radar on an ir regular schedule.


During the, tho Soviets invested anillion rubles (the equivalentillion dollars) on deployment of their present ABM defenses at Moscow.* To complete the Moscow defenses will require an additionalillion0 millionringing totalinvestmentillion6 billion dollars) for the. This estimate does not include an investmentillion5 million dollars)orthe network of dual Hen House radars, which can supply ballistic missile early warning and tracking information but are not believed to be an essential element of the Moscow ADM defenses.

hare of the Soviet investment in strategic defense forces duringeriod, the estimated


* All expenditure data in this report are estimate* of Soviet investment and operating costs. Coets foi research and development are excluded* Investment coets are expenditures for procurement of equips and construction of facilities* Operating costs expenditures for personnel and operation and main tenance of equipment*

The dollar figures (appearing in parentheses after rubles) are approximations of what it would cost in the US to purchase and operate the estimatec Soviet forces* pecific ratio of rubles to dollar is used for each resource input to Soviet military programs* As the mix of these resources changesrogram, the overall ratios of spending change *

outlays for the Moscow ABMincluding the early warningonly aboutercent of the total.

Cumulative operating costs9 for the Moscow ABM defenses were minimal. When the Chekhov radar is added to the system in the early Seventies annual operating costs will probably average no more thanillion0 million dollars).

Prospects for Future ABM Deployment

There are two factors which currently bear most directlyuture Soviet decision either tothe current ABM deployment around Moscow or to extend ABM defenses to other areas. The first is the progress of research and developmentollow-on ABM system with improved capabilities. The second is the progress of the strategic arms limitation talks, which may lead to an agreement either prohibiting or limiting ABM deployment.

Research and Development






SALT Negotiations

One of the topics the Soviets have explored during the strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) at Helsinki" and Vienna is the possibility ofan agreomcnt prohibiting or limiting ADM deployment. The outcome of the talks almostwill have an important impact on the future of Soviet ABM deployment.

The discussions at Vienna included possible agreements that would prohibit any ABM deployment or limit it to defense of the national command authorities at Moscow and Washington. Aon ABM deployment would require the Soviets to dismantle the Moscow ABM defenses. An agreementimited ABM deployment around tho two national capitals would probablyeiling on the number of launchers, missiles, and radars. Under this sort of agreement the current Moscow defenses would remain intact, and some additional deployment of launchers and radars might be allowed.

If the talks fail to produce an agreement on ABM deployment, the Soviets will probably deploy additional ABM defenses. The extent and pace of such deployment would depend on the progress of their research and development program and theirof the strategic balance between the US and the USSR. The Soviet emphasis on defense of the national capital and the current limitations of that defense probably would result in any additional ABM deployment beginning at Moscow.


Although the northwest face of the firstadar Sta"ed "

of this face may have been delayedt

dua* "en Houseoperational or under construction-are deployed at five locations on the periphery of the Soviet Union to provide earW warning of missile attack. Two of these radart at

Skrunda on the lU?-

i*in coast,l

aW?rnin9,t0 the MoscoM ABM dbfensesS ICBM attack from the northwest. The other ra-

nnrrhWlJiandunch areas in the north the western Pacific, and the eastern Mediterra-

a> The currei?tly deployed network of radars,

tohreat approaches to the USSR, especially of submarine-launched missiles from the western Mediterranean Sea. Deployment of some three to five additional radars could close the currently existing gaps in coverage.

Because tho Concept,eriod of rising tensions in advance of hostilities is prominent, in Soviet

strategic thinking, the Soviets may intend to bring the defenses to full alert only when they judge that the possibilityeliberate attack hasmall alert force of missiles would be adequate for defense against accidental or unauthorized launches. Only chance warning of an unexpectedwill be available to the Soviets r





Over the past year the Soviets have completed tho limited deployment of the Moscow defenses,an active ABM research and development program, and explored at Vienna the possibility of concluding an agreement prohibiting or limiting ABM deployment. The outcome of the strategic arms limitation talks almost certainly willreat impact on the future of Soviet ABM deployment. Should the talks fail to produce an agreement on ABM deployment, the

Soviets will probably deploy additional ABM defenses if the progress of their research and development program and their analysis of the strategic balance between the US and USSR seem to warrant the major commitment of resources required.

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