TRENDS AND PROSPECTS IN SOVIET MARITIME ACTIVITIES (NIE 11-10-69)

Created: 6/12/1969

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99

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

9

Trends and Prospects in Soviet Maritime

Activities

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTEUIGENCE

Cornered in by 'ka UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD Aileof9

Authenticated;

Jhe following inlelligence organization* participated in the preparation of 'his estimate:

the Cenlrol Inlelligencend Ihe intelligence organiraiiont ol lheol State ond Defense, ond tho NSA.

CoMwilnyi

U. Cen.uihmon. tr, USMC. Deputy Director of Cenlrol (mergence

Mr.ughes, rhe Director of InteUigence and Snearch. Deportment of Slate

Vice Acta.cr-ronee, for the Director.telI.gence Agency U. Cen. Marshal S. Carter, rhe Director, rear-snotgency

Abslaining;

Dr. Otorlei H. Reiehordl, for Ihe AuiHoM General Manager. Atomic Energy Co*-miislon ond Mr. Fred J. Cau*dy. (or rhe Assistant Director, federal ftWreou ol InyeMigohon. the subject bena oultkle of the* jurisdiction.

iXisittor release through y tha HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM ot / tno Central Intelllganc* Aoasncy.

J&L.

CONTENTS

Page

THE 1

CONCLUSIONS 1

DISCUSSION 3

I. CURRENT POSTURE AND 3

3

Maiinc 5

7

Research and Other Special 8

and

C Assistance to Other

H. Altitudes Toward Law of the Sea

II. OBJECTIVES OF SOVIET MARITIME

Ceneral

Short-Term12

III. LONCER RANCE .. 14

Capacity to Produce

Piospccts for the Merchant Marine

Future Role of the

TABLE I: Soviet Naval Construction,

TABLE II: Yearly Deliveries ol New Dry Cargo Ships and Tankers to

thc Soviet Merchant Fleet

: Soviet Naval Ship Deliveries to Communist Countries,

IS

TABLE IV; Soviet Naval Ship Deliveries to Non-Communist Countries.

19

TAHLE V: Soviet Supply of Fishing Vessels to Less Developed Countries

ng-ium Credit IOQO-January

SECRET

TABLE VI: Expenditure* for Procurement of Ships

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TRENDS AND PROSPECTS IN SOVIET MARITIME ACTIVITIES

THE PROBLEM

To examine the nature and extent of the changes which havein Soviet maritime activities, military and non-military, over the past several years; to consider what changes in policy or objectives, if any, these activities signify; and to estimate future trends in Soviet maritime policy and action.

CONCLUSIONS'

the quest for military power, political influence,and statusreat power coequal with the US, thepressed forwardumber of maritime programs andas one of the major maritime nations.

he USSR has devoted lo its navy the lion'sthe resources available for maritime development The navy'shave been progressively extended beyond coastal defense,of theater forces, and anti-shipping operations; in recenthas been given to defense against US naval surface andforces and to strengthening the Soviet strategic strikethe capabilities of the Soviet Navy will continue tothe introduction of new classes of ships and better gear,that its missions will not change appreciably during.

recent years, the Soviets have made increasing use offor political ends, most notably in the Mediterranean. Withcapabilities for long-range operations, the Soviet Navyfuture will probably be more in evidence around the world inof specific political objectives,emonstration of the USSR's

'Fo. (he diaenluig view at Rest Adm. Fiederick J.he AMWtanl Crnef ol Naval Operaiiomepjrtmenl ofy.ihe footnote on page 2ihc Gonciiuiero.

SkTOEl

greal power status, andounter to US forces. We think it unlikely, however, that the USSR will develop any significant capability for distant military action against substantial opposition. Nevertheless. Soviet policy will derive considerable support from the capacity toilitary presence in some areas, sometimes in circumstances which couldeterrent effect on the will of others, including tbe US, to attempt intervention.

Soviet merchant marine has trebled its tonnage sincenow ranks seventh among the world's merchant fleets withof lhe world's total tonnage. It will continue tooderate rate because of limited Soviet shipbuildingself-imposed restrictions on buying ships in the West.mast of the Soviet fleet will be needed to earry Soviellielievc that the USSR will not make serious inroads intotrade.

Soviel fishing fleet is one of the world's largest andin fish catch. It has been built up rapidly in recent years toUSSR's need for animal protein foods. Wc believe the size ofis probably close to the planned objective, bul since theiris less than stated goals, thc Soviets may be expected tofishing, fleet's efficiency and to investigate new areas for exploitation.

USSRarge oceanographic Heel, comparable tothc US. but its research activities fall behind Western work inaspects. Over the past several years, much effort hasto activity related to undersea warfare and thefisheries. In the future, the Soviels will in addition probablyattention to exploring the mineral resources of the sea.

' Rear Adm. r'redifM* J. Harlfiogei, II, AaisMnt Chiel of Nival Operation'epartment of the Navy. Iiolirvcs llml tha coitclutitiai andUilive adequate hxi-ii>tVi niton tn the >tect that continuing nuclear deterrence and proifimive Weatetn duen^afc* menl lioan oversees aomiunenU arc likely lo have en the fJneclkon al Soviet trtenlune program* am It* crenmg decade. It ti hu Opinion Uiat ia thii situation lhe Soviets mil are increasedtor llie employment of maritime pawn In IU sevei.il forms as an instrument of Soviel foreign policy and will dupe their maritime lortci to capitalize en fheae opportunities Heint. if-ii'i that the fi|tinsjoa in Soviet nsantknc activity witneaead ewer the peatn WsSarMilyun that foresee* in tbe estimate, partkubofy ea related lo the emrtsing naUoni and Ihe moonodd.

SE*ET

. 0'-

DISCUSSION

I. CURRENT POSTURE AND ACTIVITIES

maritime activities over thc past several years have grownboth in volume ami in geographical scope. In total tonnage, theis now second only to that of the US, and its merchant marine ranksthe world in deadweight tonnageoth its fishing Beet and itsfleet are among the' world's largest.

A. Naval Forces'

Since the end ol World War II, die Soviet Navy has developed in several fairly distinct phases. Thefjs andaw the resumption and partial accomplishment of Stalin's ambitious prewar naval construction program. But thc original plans lor capital, ships and carriers, intended to be the heartoviet high seas fleet, and huge numbers of submarines, were not achieved. The Soviets did build an impressive surface forceucleus ofvcrdlov class cruisers, numerous coastal patrol ships and minesweepers, as well aslass subinarincs. withinears. But the navy that resulted was suited only for World War II-type operations, short-range defense of the maritimeto the USSR, and interdiction of merchant shipping in the northeast Atlantic and western Pacific. With its surface units lacking air cover at sea, and weak in anti-aircraft (AA) armament, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sensors and weapons, afloat logislics, and amphibious forces, this navy could not support the USSR's aspirations to status asgreat seapower. In particular, it wasof countering Western carrier strike fleets.

With Khrushchev's ascent to power in tlie, the Soviet Navy undertook to develop new capabilities to meet thc threat posed by the carrier Strike fleets. The course adopted was to developo anti-ship cruise-missilefor surface ships, submarines, and aircraft, and to institute long-rangeof US aircraft carrier movements at sea. Khrushchev also fostered the developmenttrategic strike capability and nuclear propulsion of Soviel submarines. Steps were taken to provide new shipyard capacity and capabilities. For defensc-in-depth of the USSR's maritime approaches, coastal defense forces seaborne and ashore svere also to be equipped with missile systems. By0 thc Soviet Navy had developed capabilities to counter thc carrier strike

'Deadweight (DWT) aod gioa register tonnages (CRT) are standard measures ol sire for non-nivalWTeasure oi the weighi ol cargo, fuel, and stores that can be carried,is generally used for cargo dnps end tankers. CUTeasure of the volume of tlie enclosed spacer, and i. generally used fw fishing and research sliipi

'ore detailed dlKiissKin of the minion, composition, and capabilities of tlse Soviet Navy and iU future prospects, see the current edition* nlfilE

SejRET

Beets, defend thc maritime approaches lo thc USSR, and supplement thcstrategic strike capability of the newly-formed Soviet Strategic Rocket Troops.

ln thc, two developments provided new impetus for Soviet naval programs. The Cuban crisis highlighted Soviet naval inferiority, and the US Polaris fleet began to pose an increasing threat to the USSR. Soviet naval forces began to emphasize out-of-arca operations ol surfaceigh priority was assigned to open ocean ASW. and the strategic offensive role of the Sovietballistic missile force, whichime was in doubt, was reaffirmed.

Prioroviet ballistic missile submarines were equippedmall number of tubes and were capable only of firing from thc surface.2mphasis was on the conversion of some of these earlier submarines for submerged firing and on the production of cruise-missile equipped classes,hc keel of thc firstlass ballistic missile submarine was laid, and the program has proceeded under an obviously high priority. Beginningumber of new classes of other types of submarines have appeared.

Surface ship construction since2 reflects an emphasis onwarships designed for long-range operations, including improvements in ASW systems and air defenses, including SAMs. Thc Moskva class guided missile helicopter ship, called an ASW cruiser by ihe Soviets, is one example of tnis new direction. The Soviets arc not building aircraft carriers, but newly constructed or converted major surface ships have been equipped with SAMs. Tliere hasmall but continuing program for the construction andof landing ships, especially since thc rcvitalization of thc naval infantryaval auxiliary conslruclion has emphasized submarine support ships, with no equivalent effort on surface support ships. For surface support the Soviets continue to rely on thc merchant fleet.

0 thc Soviet Navy lost all its shore-based fighters. Since then thc range of naval air reconnaissance and strike capability has been greatly increased by thc assignment of heavy and medium bombers, many of thc latter equipped with aii-to-surface missilesoviet Naval Aviation also includes shore-based Gxed-wing ASW aircraft, and ship-borne or shore-based ASW helicopters.

As Soviet naval capabilities have grown, out-of-area operations havegreatly both in scope and in number of ships deployed;5S. thc number of "ship days" out-of-arca increased fromlte area of most notable increase has been thc Mediterranean, where the Soviet naval presence has been continuous und increasing since the introduction of major surface combatants4 The Soviet Mediterranean Squadron now normally comprisesnits. Along with the increase in the number and duration of deployments of individual units, the Soviets have improved the combat capability of the force by assigning nesver and more- effective ships on an almost regularnuclear-powered torpedo atiack and cruise-missile submanncs, missile-equipped ASW ships, and landing ships with some

nawi

ivnl infantryoard. Thar SovieU employ naval auxiliaries and merchant ships to ipport the Mcd.lerra.ncon Squadron, and access to shore facilities in Egypt, andesser ealeiit Syria, has facilitated extended cruises in the area. In addition, the stationing ol Soviet reconnaisianee-con6gured Badgers and ASW-cquipped Mail aircraft at Kgyptian bases has considerably enhanced the capability of the Squadron In the Atlantic and Pacific, submarines have accounted for most of the Out-of-area activity;2 submarine patrols have incrcaied annually in number, range, and duration. By contrast, deployment of surface ships in the Atlantic and Pacific has been sporadic and limited, although last year's operations in tbc Norwegian Sea suggest"mote regular, sustained operations by surfaco ships in tin' future. In addition, recent deployments to the Indian Ocean may signal the beginning of increased activities in that area.

lthough the Soviet Navy Itni attained impressive size, tho present force lias cuilaln limitations. Only about half of thc Soviet submarines have long-range capabilities- Tho submarine forceormidable anti-shipping capability, bat ballistic missile submarines comparable to Polaris and submarines with improved ASW capabilities have only recently begun to enter service. Oiajor surface combatants, aboutave modern missile armament (SAMs and/or SSMs) or modem ASW weapons. The small number of modem, long-range ships svill continue to limit Soviel capabilities for srmc time to come. Without access to overseas shore support facilities, any major increase in long-range operations svould require additional afloat support. This svould mean oileri and cargo ships from tbe merchant fleet, and perhaps naval ships designed to provide specialized technical support, particularly maintenance and repair.

eographic and climatic factors operate to limit Soviet access to flic open oceans and prevent rapid reinforcement and resupply betsveen the four widely dispersed fleet areas (Northern, Baltic, Black, andhe major submarine bases are concentrated in lhe Northern and Pacific Fleet areas. Because of transit distances, several submarines are required to maintain one continuously onoff the US. Deployment of balanced forces of the type being maintained in the Mediterranean requires support from all three westernen given thc use of Mediterranean ports, this inquires considerable logistic support from thc USSH.

erchant Marine

hc Soslet merchant fleet has tripled In sizeboutercent of the current fleet was built in the lostears. Inhis fleet ranked seventh in world tonnage and consisted of0 cargo ships and tankers totaling aboutillionhe Soviel fleel amountsercent of total world tunnage andercent ol total units. Of Ihe tonnage added since

Pastcneei ihipi. sea-rim carpi ships ami ihirw of Ihe Caspian merchant "cer are notin their figure*

SEWET

bout one-third came Irom Soviet yards,ierccnl from othercountries, and thc remainder from non-Communist countries.

Covwmv Miixton

ar iMiirnY" JiiNtwonu* toial

Liberia

Japan

USSR

Other

'This tabulation doe* not reflect tlw ownership of merchant ships

ialcreil under foieignhenomenon lhal espUlns the itactv-ria's merchant IWl. US companies hast mors- thanill dm DWT nigiiteied undernnd olher Bap of convenience, (he USSR has none- Creek shipnwisen also make citensive use ol foiclgn HAg* oleventeen million tons active, the reiisailiclcr inri; reiervr Heel.

Recent shipbuilding for thc Soviet merchant Beet has stressedof cargo ships in0 DWT category svith speeds of less thannots. The most notable type within this group is the large-hatch ship (Lc. with at least one hatch overeet inf which the USSR now has. These ships alsoton capacity booms and cranes and can transport large pieces of cargo below- deck. Production of large-hatch ships now is being phased out. All the tankers bulk9 have been less0 DWT. although the Soviets say that supertankers0WT are in the design stage.

In spite of its relative nesvness0 percent increase in average DWT per shiphe licetigh proportion of ships that ate small by current world standards. The dry cargo fleet, which accounts forercent of the tonnage, consists largely of general-purpose freightersWT. comparedorld averageWT. Tankers, which account for the remaining tonnage,0 DWT comparedorld average0 DWT. There are no tankers0 DWT. bulk dry cargo ships0 DWT'. or container ships. Ships in these categories are becoming irscreasingly common In other modern Beets, and their omission from the Soviet fleet limits Its ability to compete. The lack of such ships stems from the need to tailor tbe fleet to the requirements of Soviet seaborne trade, in lum governed by the commodity composition of the trade and by the depths and otherof the Soviet and foreign ports visited.

More thanercent of the ton-mileage ol the Soviet merchant fleet is in international trade. Tho fleet carries slightly more than one-half uf Soviet foreign trade cargoes, all cargoes in Soviet domestic seaborne tiadc.rowing amount al cargo (or foreign shippers. Currently, Soviet merchant ships visit

softer

oru8 perceni ol the Soviet foreign trade cargoes cairtcd hy Soviet ships moved between thc USSR and industrialof the Weil,erceni moved between the USSR and other Communist countries, andercent betwren the Soviet Union and thc leu-developed countries.

of the large amount of Soviet trade with Cuba and thebetween the two countries, the USSR devotes more of itstonnage to the Cuban trade than to trade svith any other country.scalwme commerce with North Vietnam is less than one million tonsa considerable amount of shipping is devoted to this trade, loo. Therequired to move goods between Black Sot ports and Haiphongby aboutercent after closure of the Suei Canal forced allihis roule lo detour around the Cape of Coed Hope. Virtually alldeliveries to North Vietnam now originate fiom Soviet Far Eastof from the Black Sea

Suvict merchant manne suppoits the military estabushmentand indirectly. MerclianI ships have been used for scalift and asThey have carried troops and military equipment inand have been uved to provide logistic support for Soviet navalall fleet areas, especially the Mediterranean. The merchant fleet playsrole in delivering Soviet military aid cargoes, particularly toand the Middle East.

C. Fishing Fleet

USSR has sharply expanded its fishing activities on the high seasWar II.he Soviet fishing Bret had become one of theone milliou CRT. By9 it had grown to CO milbooit now includeships. Since thes, most of theexpand the fishing fleet has been devuted to conitiuction of fishOther types of ships which have been built for the fleet arejhips. whale catchers, crab canning ships, medium trawlers, andand processing ships. About half thc Soviet fishing fleet was built inNearly all major Western shipbuilding countries, as well as PolandCermany. have built fishing ships for the USSR

he rapid growth of the Soviet fishing flee! has probably Iseen due in large parihe need for animal pioteinhe Soviets apparently eon-eluded that increased fish production would he less expensive and quicker to achieve than increased meat production. Fishing sealing, and whaling nowaboutercent of the total animal protein consumed in the USSR and also provide vitamins, medicines, lurs, fish meal and fertilizer, 'lhc USSR has been exporting fish productsnd7illion more than it imported. The catch8illion tons, more than double thathe Soviets probably now rank third in fish catch (liebind Japan and Peru).

SECRET

Soviel fishing fled regularly operates in International waters olPacific, and Indian Oceans as well as the Caribbean Sea andIn recent years, the activities of Soviet ships beyond theirwaters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific have been facilitatedthat tho USSK has reached withnderdeveloped countriestheir fishing industries, While providing for Soviet aid infishing fleets, ports, and canneries, these agreements also havefacilities ashore for expanded Soviet fishing activity in nearby waters.

D. Oceanographic Research and Other Special Activities

Thc Soviet oceanographic fleet consists nf anessels, of whichreRT.2 large research ships have been built, and atore will be completed this year. Half the ships in the oceanographic fleet are subordinate lo the navy and the remainder to the Academy of Sciences, the Hydrometeorological Services, and other civilianIn addition, the Soviets regularly require other ships, including those of the fishing fleet, to collect and report oceanographic data in the course of their normal activities.

This fleet provides thc Soviet Unionarge capacity in data collection for basic research and for application in undersea warfare. However, dataand processing instruments and equipment are, in general, lessthan those of the US. Sealab type research and decp-submcrgencc vehicle research are active but considerably behind related Western work. There also has been some evidence of Soviet interest in exploring the mineral resources of thc sea.

During the past several years, the major research effort has been devoted to activity related to undersea warfare. Much of the work has been in ocean areas contiguous to the USSR, but as additional research vessels becamemore extended surveys have been made. Areas of Ihe South Atlantic were examined7 In conjunction with submarine support operations near the Cape Verde Islands, and againurveys were begun in the Drake Passage oU South Americaollowed6 by the transit of two nuclearand two naval research ships spent five months in the arean the Pacific, extensive surveys have been undertakenome at locations that could serve as launch points for ballistic missile submarines. In thethe Sicilian Straits and recently the Straits ofsubmarine transitbeen heavily surveyed.

With the expansion of the Soviet missile and spaceequirement arose for thc provision of tracking and support facilities beyond Ihe boundaries of tho Soviet Union. To meet these needs, the Soviets converted merchant ships to collect data and deployed them in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Other ships were specially outfitted to recover spacecraft from thc water. Only one such recovery has been5.

SEfMET

The Sovicl Navy has somehips specially equipped for intelligencewhich operate in this capacity on every deployment. In fact, all Soviet naval ships are potential intelligence collectors, and some operate as such from lime to time. In addition, merchant ships and fishing vessels undoubtedly collect and report intelligence on targets of opportunity.

Soviet intelligence collection ships have been active throughout thc world, particularly in areas of naval interest. They focus on US and UK submarineareas and bases, US and NATO training exercises, US carrier operations, troubled areas of thc world,-and targets of opportunity. There are six stations normally maintained throughout theeach off Holy Loch, Rota, the US east coast, and Guam, and one each in the Gulf of Tonkin and in thePeriodically, units operate off the US west coast, Hawaii, and in the Yellow Sea.

E. Management and Control

ach majormerchant marine,undereparate Ministry; we do not know how coordination of the various program* is achieved below the Council of Ministers. The Soviet Navy,to thc Ministry of Defense, receives the highest priority among maritime programs. Thc Ministry of Shipbuilding is responsible for the design andof ships of allthe Soviet Navy as well as for lhe maritime and fishing fleets.

Thc merchant fleet is controlled by thc Ministry of thc Maritime Fleet and is administeredystem of directorates and state steamship companies. Each of thctate steamship companies owns and manages the assets of the maritime establishment within an assigned geographical area, in accordance with an annual cargo movement plan provided by the Ministry. Each hasnot only for the routine operation of its fleet of ships but also for the ship repair yards, port facilities, and maritime training schools located in its area. Control ol the fishing fleets is similar to that for the merchant marine. Over, all responsibility rests wllh the Ministry of the Fishing Industry, which delegates its responsibilities for fleet control and shore activities to the chief directorates of each region.

Oceanographic research is conducted by the Navy Hydrographic Service, thc Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Main Administration of the Hydromete-orological Service (an organization somewhat comparable to our Environmental Science Services Administration) and Ihe fisheries research institutes.of the program is carried out by the Scientific Council for the Utilization of the Resources of thc Sea, which is subordinate to the State Committee for Science and Technology, andubeOmmincc of the Academy of Sciences. The individual agencies maintain close administrative conirol over their own activities and develop their own budgets.

SfjfftET

Infrastructure

The maritime infrastructure has expanded with thc growth of the fleets. This expansion includes shipyards, port facilities, naval bases, lest facilities, afloatships, training facilities, and communication facilities.

Soviet shipbuilding programs have been reinforcedotable expansion of facilities and thc introduction of modern shipbuilding technology. During thc, the USSR invested thc equivalent of more thanmillion in four shipyards for the production and servicing of nuclear submarines. Most of thc new submarine facilities have been completed and are in use. Investment in facilities for naval surface and merchant ships now is growing to match the earlier Soviet eflort for nuclear submarines. In the saute period, the equivalent of more0 million has been invested in somehipyards; most of this investment occurredearly all the new production facilities for surface ships will be completed during thcs.

Most Soviet ports arc well equipped to handle general and bulk cargo but have not proceeded very far with facilities to handle container traffic.inadequate storage space, clearance facilities, and wharfage sometimes result in long turn-around times detrimental to economical ship operations.would require massive capital investment and major reform of bureaucratic deficiencies. Current capital investment is expected to alleviate but not cure the turn-around problem.

Programs for research and for training personnel give some clues as to the size and quality of Soviet maritime activity. The Ministries of Defense,Maritime Fleet, and Fishing Industry all have their own research and trainingvery large. For example, the ship design researchin Ix-ningrad is said toersons; this would make it by far tlie largest such institution in the world. It presently has Ibe world's largest ship model basin and is constructing advanced facilities for ship research. This instituteresearch on all types of warships and also on merchant and fishing ships.

to Other Countries

The Soviets haveariety of maritime assistance to othernations; they have transferred naval units, furnished technical assistance and advisors, participated in port and naval base construction, and provided training both in the USSR and in the various countries. The most conspicuous assistance has been the transfer of naval units by gifts, loans, and cut-rate sales; someajor combatant ships,issile patrol craft,inor combatant, auxiliary, and service craft have been delivered. (Sec Table HI.)

Tlie Soviet Union also furnishes maritime assistance toountries in the less developed world. (See Tables IVhis aid consists of ships, equipment, (raining, technical assistance, help in the develop-monl of fishing industries, and aid in thc construction and desvlopmcnt of ports

SI

ami lurlsors. Such assistance has beenmall part of the total Soviet foreign aid program. Recipient countries often have agreed to permit Sovicl use of shore facilities in theirnotable advantage to Soviel vessels operating far from facilities in the Soviet Union itself.

H. Attitudes Toward Low of lhe Seo

oincident with their maritime growth since the, tho Soviets have displayed increasing awareness of the advantages of an inteniatioiiul legal regime for thc sea. They actively participated in the Geneva Conferencef the Seacceding with some reservations to ihree of tbc four resultingcorrcertung tlic territorial sen and contiguous rone, the high seas, and thc continental slielf. They favor mosl of tlte provisions of the fourth which deals with thc conservation of fislnry resources. On lhe major issue of the width of the territorial sen, the USSR favoredinilc limit androup ol states at Geneva in preventing acceptance ofile limit- Althoughto Ihe Ceneva Convention which established the right of innocent passage Ihrottgh territorial waters, thc USSR did so svith reservations that in effect virtually deny the right to warships. During the past year, however, the Soviets havea draft article as Ihe basisew Law of the Sea Conference, whichight of free navigation through and over all international straits for all ships and aircraft in transit tluough such straits The Soviets have advanced proposals for international controls over tin- deep seabed.

II. OBJECTIVES OF SOVIET MARITIME PROGRAMS General Objectives

t is apparent from the alsove review of the various Soviet maritimethat the USSR has emerged as one nf the major maritime nations. In arriving at this status, its motivations have been as varied as lis programs. Aiming as ihey were al great poss-cr status and especially at demonstrating to the world that the USSR and the Communist system were able to compete successfully with the US in acquiring military power, political influence, and economic strength, the Soviets apparently have believed It imperative to move aheadariety of maritime programs

ul from tlte beginning Ihe Soviet leaders accorded the highest priority lo lhe naval forces. While the emphasis in the naval program has shiftedto their perception of tbc threat and lhcir view of lhe feasibility of projecting their power more distantly from the homeland, the Soviet leaders have devoted to the navy the lion's share of thc physical and financial resources available for maritime development. The maritimethe naval sector-lias not. however,rash program. Except for the7hen thererup is consequence of policy decisions, the expenditure of resources oo ship procuranicnl has been fairly steady. (Sec Tablet was nothen the impact oflass submarine construction program

SEfMEi

tn lie Ml, that expenditures on naval vessels may have exceeded lbc peaks attained5

t is also quite clear lhat the Soviet leaders have progressively extended Ihe mission of their naval forces, adapting Ihem lo thc developing capabilities of ihetr potential enemies (principally the US) and to the evolution of the world poliiical situation. From an original mission ol defending the Soviet shores and supporting military operations on tlie Soviet periphery, Ihey moved to develop force* to counter the carrier tusk forces, then toeaborne strategicattack force, and then to acquire modern anil-submarine forces. Mostas they progressed toward winning worldwide political acceptance, they have begun to develop and toapability for cruising and showing thc flag in such areas as thc Mediterranean Sea and the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans.

lie Soviets had persuasive economic reasons for expanding their merchant marine. As their overseas trade Increased, os'cr half their seaborne cargoes came to be carried In foreign bottoms,ubstantial burden on the Soviet balance of payments. Moreover, an expanded merchant fleet to carry Sovietpromised to increase the USSR's hard currency earnings. There were political and strategic inducements as well Soviet leaders almost certainly felt that no nation claiming great power status could doerchant fleet to carry iu own goods, maintain contacts with friendly powers, and service its own forces and allies beyond its own periphery. There was also the belief that,trategic sense, the USSR could not allow ils expanding seaborne trade to be at tho mercy of foreign powers or shipping lines, which for poUtical or economic reasons might withhold their services from Soviet shippers.

he USSR's motivation for the expansion of the fishing fleet was primarily economic, and the size of the Sect is probably close to tbe planned objective. Tlie Soviet government appears to recognize that some fishing grounds have been overused, that some species need lo be protected, and that some limitation and regulation o( high-seas fishing need to be established by internationalSince stated goals ate larger than their present catch, the Soviets may be expected to increase the fishing Heel's efficiency to investigate new areas for exploitation.

obfcctives in oceanographic research are scientific, economic,Publicly' admitted Soviet objectives in tlie study of tbe oceansprognosis of eurreoU for more efficient ship operations, improvement Inweather, die disclosure of food, chemical, mineral, and otherlhe development of means foi resource development.

erm Prospects

thc next three to five years it appears unlikely lhat Sovielwdl change very much from the main dueetions outlined above. Thesubmarine program has probably not yet peaked Aside from this,ajor jump in tlie production of any particular kind ol slup,

Ihniigli their expanded shipyard capacity gives the Soviets the capability to in-cruasc production if they so choose- In any case. Soviet economic plannershcy makers are lacednous problem in allocating resources; they are. nfler all, Hying torowing competition wiih the US on an economic base half that of the US- In these circumstances, we beltevc thai in the maritime field Ihc Soviets will strive lo meet planned goals rather than to adopt new and significantly higher ones

n the field of merchant shipping, thc Soviets haveoal ofillion DWT by the endf this goal includes vessels of the Caspian Fleet it will probably be met. If not. the goal can only be metubstantial pick-up in the rate of acquisitions. In any case, lbc share of Soviet seaborne trade carried in Soviet bottoms, most recently reported a*ercent, could riso to aboutercent by the end of next year. During the next five yean at least, the merchant fleet will continue lo be an eflective instrument of Soviet trade and aid

n the naval field, thc emphasis dining Ihe next Eve years or so also seems likely to follow the lines now indicated: lhc production oflass ballistic missile submarine and lhe development of an improved ASW capability, utiliring new lypes nf aircrafl, surface ships, and submarines. Considering tlielass construction capacity, die USSR could, and probably will, develop amissile submarine force during Ihe next five years roughly comparable to ihe current US Polatis (orce. A" rflectin .tuti-submarine force, especially against nuclear submarines, poses most formidable technical and operational problems for the Soviets.

here seems little doubt that out-of-area operations will increase over at least the neat five years. Whenlass becomes operational io greaterout-of-area deployments of ballistic missile submarines will almost certainly become more extensive and regular. To extend live area of submarine patrol activity and to increase the number maintained on station, the Soviets could use afloat logistic support; they experimented with hu concept7 in the mid-Atlantic. They svill probably utlempt surveillance of Polaris operating areas nnd increase that of US naval forces cruising in water* near the USSR, including the Mediterranean- They will conduct show-thc-Bag cruises with increasingHosvever, any major increase in the capability of Soviet surface forces to conduct sustained long-range operations would require access to foreign shore support facilities, augmentation of naval auxiliary forces, or aa increase infrom thc merchant fleet.

ut-of-area operations lor primarily poliiical reasons almost certainly svill continue and perhaps extend beyond those already apparent, for example, to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Cutf. How much larger and more active

IM-lUiir-Mli:i'.lr.:nn:.- "illr 1 . eni-

events in Iho Middle East; barring an unlikely deterioration of the Sovietn that area we would expect the capability of the force gradually to increase-It is not necessary lo assume thai the Sovieis expect to drive the US Navy out of

13

SFfifCT

Mediterranean, and there are obvious dangers (or tliein in risking loo modi on the potentially precarious line of communication through tho Turkish Straits. The primary Soviet purpose is to achieve tho political andaval presence and to deny exclusive domination to the US and its allies. And, if war came, the Soviets could at leasthallenge to US naval power.

Projected improvements in Soviet seaiift capabilities over the next several years will also give thereater capability for military mteivention in situations where there is little risk of .conflictajor power. Amphibious assault bft will continue to increase. The meichant fleet could augment this lift by transporting substantial quantities of military equipment and supplies, but in mostthis would require the use of ports. Considerable time might be required to gather suitable merchant shippingajor efiort, since aboutercent ol active Soviet merchant ships are normally outside Communist waters. In general, we believe the Soviet leaders would be very cautious aboutthemselves to military operations very far from Soviet territory, especially in view of their lack of carriers and advanced bases, but it is possible that in some conceivablefor example in some area where US interests weremight fed tbat they could use their limited capability toolitical leader or nation with whom they had close tie*.

We do not foresee any radical clianges in Soviet nasal assistance programs. Thc recipients for the most part have been in developing areas where thehave sought to displace Western influence sind tolimate conducive to thc giowth nf Communist influence. Except in the UAR and Indonesia, the emphasis has been on providing roastal defense rather than large combatant units We expect that the emphasis on coastal defense will continue, butradual trend toward providing more modern ships and weapons together with tbe necessary training and technical assistance. Despite the negative results in Indonesia, Moscow still appears willing to give naval assistance where suitable opportunities appear. One suds opportunity may now eiisl in India, whichis seeking to strengthen ils tnis'al forces and has already purchased some ships from the USSR. Pakistan, too, appears likely to seek Soviel navalWillie the geographic scope ol this assistance is likely to grow, wc do not rnvisagu any appreciable increase In theseofrisis similar to the Arab-Israeli war

III. LONGER RANGE POSSIBILITIES

he Soviet leaders have probably not made detailed program decisions beyond the neat four or Gve years. Lead limes In most cases do not require them to do so. uncertainty over technologicalin the USSR and thedecisions on costly piograrns, and thc current economic difficulties and possible political infighting in Moscow do not seem conducive to major departures from preseni patterns. Nevertheless, thereumber of questions

which may arise as lhe Soviet planners ronudcr the impact of changingon their maritime cstablulitnrnt

Copocrfy fo Produce

n annual average ofRT of dry cargotankers has been built in Soviet yards, as wellons FLD *ships. If the Soviets should decide to do so, and it woulda forship construction could be substantially increased by making theof materials and skillcd.lahor and the necessary adjustments inHowever, we see no indications lhal those measures are beingdo we find evidence of increased naval construction at thc expense ofconstruction, or vice vena. We aie unlikely lo acquire early notice ofdecision to make such trade-olfs. bui we sec no reason for them toa large scale.

A major increase in Soviet shipbuilding capacity could also he achieved by tlie construction of new yards. However, wc see no evidencerogram of any magnitude is in the offing. In any ease, because of the time required to construct shipyards,rogram would have to begin in the very near future toignificant impact on production capabilities in lhe neatean or so.

We believe that over the next decade the rale of domestic ship production wdl increase moderately The increases will probably result from expansion and rrK>denn2arion of existing yards.

Prospects for the Merchonf Marine

In recent years. Soviel ccalwrne foreign trade has been increasing at an average rate oferceni annually This rate is unlikely to be sustained but the trade will probably cotilinue to growale only slightly less than the growth of tbe Soviet merchant Heel. In this ease, much of the planned growth in merchant shipping must be devoted to carrying Soviet cargoes, and relatively little additional capacity will be available io compete for Western trade. To make serious inroads into the non-Soviet shipping trade, the Soviets would have to acquire substantially more shipping lhanillion DWT goal announced

We expect that the rate of additions to the Soviet merchant fleet will not increase significantly. As noted above, we believe that domestic production will nototable increase. Purchases from Western countries arc constrained by hard currency requirements. Andercent of the output of East Europeanlready going to the Sovxts All things considered, most future foreirn acquisition will probably be from Eastern Europe. Yugoslavia, and Finland where hard currency is not involved in payments.

We believe that fur the next decade lhe Sonet merchant fleet willarner of Soviet cargoes and will noi attempt toajor dice of world

Foil load dnpUwriomi.

SFaftET

Sgf/RET

seaborne Irndc. even though LI will probably acquire some container ships and supertankers, riven il (he Soviet merchant murine attains the goalillion DWThis will still be less thanercent of today's total worlda percentage already achieved by five other nations. Howevtv, their fleet wdl continue to compete on some routes.

Future Role? of fhe Navy

Thc USSKontinental power with interior lines of communication, and is largely self-sufficient. Hosvevcr, its goalsrowing realization ol the implications of sea power have led il over (lie past few years lo strengthen and modernize its naval forces and to extend the naval missions. We believe thai Soviet capabilities for the performance ol naval mission* will continue to grow but that there will be no appreciable change in thc extent and character of these missions.

Beyond this, however, the Soviets probablycJitko-rrnhtarywherein Ihe navy can assist state interests without inviting large-scale conoid. In suchmall Soviel naval presence could exert anfar beyond that warranted by lis Intrinsic military capabilities. We Ihus exped an increasing Soviet presencr in various ports and harbors of Ihe Third World. Soviet policy will also derive (onsidcrable support from the capacity toilitary presence in some areas, sometimes in circumstances which couldeterrent effed on Ihe will of others, including lhe US. lo attempt intervention.

oviet decision to develop significant naval capabilities for sustained, long-range operations against substantial opposition wouldajor change in the role of the Soviet Navy and would cause groat changes in its composition. Il would involve the addition of substantial forces to provide logistic and combat support, particularly .ur cover; it would confront Moscowholly new spectrum of military and technical problems; it would be veryMoreover, in some cases the Soviets might calculate that the use of such forces to achieve pohtical objectives could entail liabilities lhat mightIhe advantages Finally, they would probably' reckon lhat the deployment of such forces wouldired challenge to the US and would greatly increase the riskired confrontation, something that they have heretofore sought to avoid. For these reasons, we think it unlikely thai the Soviets will develop any significant capability for distant miliiary action againstopposition during

SEtjJfET

SEJRET

SOVIET NAVAL CONSTRUCTION

a

Ytan

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

sasfloo

All figure arc rounded oB lo Uieon*.

'Tonnage figures represent lull load displacement (FLD) with ships fully equipped, manned and fueled (submarinesurfaced condition).

TABLE II

YEARLY DELIVERIES OF NEW DRY CARCO SHIPS AND TANKERS TO THE SOVIKT MERCHANT FLEET *

Y**R

0.4

O.G

5

1

Inditing only vesselsnr CRT delivered to (hit Mini of the Maritime Flectj wduding shipsthe Caspian Steamship Comix and river vesscli of tlie Danube Steamship Company.

SEOJET

4

4,

4

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