SOVIET STRATEGIC ATTACK FORCES (NIE 11-8-68 M/H)

Created: 6/23/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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WA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

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MEMORANDUM TO HOLDERS NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

Soviet Strategic Attack Forces

Handle Via Indicated Controls

TALENT-KEYHOLE- COMINT

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Authenticated:

16

Tha following, intelligence organizations parttcipcted in the preparation of thin estimate:

Ihe Central Inletgency ond ihe InK'Hroeir" ergsniictiOnt otenu o* Stuifc. Do'ense, 'hp ACC. cid lhc NSA.

or fing.

Or. Edward Proctor, Icr the Depuly Director ot Central Intelligence

Mr. Thomoi I.hc Director of Intelligent* and Rciearch, Deportment

Vke Adm. Vernon L. lowrance, Acting Director, Defense Inlelligence Agency

It. Gen. Marshall S. Carter, the Direclor, National Security Agency

Mr.ommer. forAiiHlont Generaltomic Energy Cem-mlnton

Abstaining:

Mi. Fred J. CoMidy. for ihe Autuonl Director, federal Bureau of inveslfcjotion

document contains jilormalion oflectlog the national lecurily of lhe Unll "iiiin^iMiiii the meaning of lhe eiprotioge. CodsiJVS. Ihe low prohibits lis Ironsmiiiion or fie revaksmon ot ib content! in nnrto on unaulhoriied person, a) weli^Tili uie In any

manner prejudicialbenefit ol any foreigne lean only by portonnel information in lha designoted in accordance wiih regul< muni eat ions tniellige

or uiierest of the Umme Stales or for Ihe theho United States, tt isand authoriied to receive Jt* security mull bo moinlotnad loand Com-No action Is lo bo loTuw^flii ony communica-loni inrolligor1may be conioihcd herein,HkssaOdvaniage lo be goinedr^isuch aclicn might have the effect of revealing1

the wurce,such oclion Is fltsi approved by the appropriate

(Aeolian

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flT.nl,

TOP

THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

WASHINGTON. D.

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MEMORANDUM KOR: Recipients oi attached Memorandum

SUBJECT

Dissemination of the Memorandum to Holders ofust be carefully limited because of the extreme sensitivity of the information therein.

In thisish to stress that there be absolutely no reproduction of thia Memorandum, and lhal no revelation of its existence be made to unauthorized persons.

R. E. Gushman. Jrv/ Lieutenant General, USMC Acting Director

CONTENTS

Pap

THE PROBLEM 1

THE 1

I. THECBM I

1

"1

3

4

Rc-enliy 4

C 0

II. OTHER 7

SS-11 7

7

ICBM Systems: The 6

III. BALLISTIC MISSILE 9

[V. SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE ICBM 9

V. SOVIET STRATECICII

TOP SECRET RUE)

4 OP GCCftEt-tiUff-

SOVIET STRATEGIC ATTACK FORCES

THE PROBLEM

To review recent evidence respecting Soviet strategic offensivecapabilities and forces, and to assess its implications for revclant sections ofSoviet Slralcgic Attack. TOP SECRET,

THE ESTIMATE I. THECBM

inceas issued we have detected tlie initiation of construct Km of five new groups ofaunchers. We believe that tluee of tliese were started in the first quarter9 Q

nd two in the second quarter. The last previous group start was inhis system has si* launchers In the group. When thcroups identified to date have been completed (probably in, thc Soviets willaunchers operational; they now.

iC

JTlie five new group starts of this yearace about like that of last year, when there were si* group slarti in the first si* months, ln thc second half of last year, however, there were no new starts; we have ol course no evidence of what may happen during the rest of ihis year. There is no evidence of thc duration of theeployment program or of theorce goal; wc would judge now. however, that it willaunchers.

c conlinuc to estimate that theEP. using an all inertial guidance syslem and one.adto-inertial system is em-

TOP OCCRCT RLfFf

ois cxirts lot ilolnmilling what portion oi theorce lias llie mure nccuraLe guld.iiictC

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o give IhcEP of as in lie. wouldewsystem andnew rc-entiy vehicle, designed fur cither faster re-entry or some foim of terminal guidance. Based on preseni evidence and what wc believe about the Soviet slate of tlic art. wc continue to estimate that such accuracy could not be achieved. Some increase in accuracy could certainly bc achieved by improving all-incrlial guidance components without clianging thc present re-entry vehiclen our opinion, however, if [he Soviets wish tothe CEP to something better thanhey would bc likely to do so byew guidance system and new HV. Our interpretation/^

^docs not persuade us that the Soviets are trying to improve thc accuracy of the system. Wc believe tliat we would detect efforts to improve accuracy during thc flight-testcertainly so if thc improvement should be

'Frw diitcnlineegarding lhc estimated aecu.acy o! lheiing an all-inertial guidance lystem, ice Uie footnote lo paragraph 4.

'Ibn probabilitywill renderarget hardened la!

"paries, according "to the CEP of the attacking weapon, at

ercent

1 iwrcent

ercent

Adm.owrance, Acting Director. Defenie Intelligence Agency; Capt. Franklin C. Babbit I. for the Assistant Chief of Navil Opeitttomepartment of the Navy, and Brig. Cen. Ernest F. John, for the Assistant Chief of SiaS. IntcDigence. United Statei Air Force, believe that the evidence pointsifferent concluiion:the SovieU have an accuracy improvement program for thetiliiinjt eUstJns; BVi.

-jrhey belreve theystem CEP for present deployment with these Improvement! would. using all-inertial guidance. Byurther refinemenU in these instrument, couldEP of.

Mr. Thon.a* L-be Director of Intelligence and Research. Department of Slate, noting the diKetencei of view on the question of the degree lo which the SovieU havethe accuracy of theyslein. and recogniioig tlie filllcatily and growing oom-pleiity of the debate on (his point, reserves hii position pending (he remitsechnical evaluation by Uie intelligence community beginning in July.

C. Payload

ito"x1ilh two of

a Wu estimate" tint the lighter one couldarheadieldcould tunyarheadield

'llie heavier one

3 Theayload with multiple re-eMiy vehicles (MRVs) weighs the came as thc heavy single payload.

D. Range

6 With five fighter payload, Ihcas an estimated maximum operational runge oftlian enough lo covci the entire US from presenteployment complexes.

ith the heavy payload:

a The observed facts are as follows: Since.as published, thc Sovieis have fired theith heavy payload into thc Pacificistance. m. These filings, however, took advantage of the earth's rotation; on tlie am trajectories but fired north toward thc US the range would be only. At this range the missile could not reach thc US (except Alaska) from most ol its present deployment complexes; only those in one complex could reach targets in the extreme northwestern corner of llw US. Thisroblem, since it seems implausible that thc Soviets would develop an ICBMay-load so heavy that it could not reach imporlanl targets in the US.

b The above-mentioned test BightsT"

J theiih heavy payload would goiles, coverage of Ihc US by thes presently deployed would reachine extending from San Francisco to Boston, though most would not reach that far. Specifically, anrom one of thc complexes could reach five of thc six Minute-man complexes; from another, it could reach four oi thc six; from thc remaining four complexes, the three northernmost Minuteman complexes could be readied. Thus, even with tliis range limitation, all currently deployedould have Minuteman silos as their taigets. and only tlie southernmost Minuteman complex would be completely out of range of thcith ihe heavy payload.

cByC

"]thc range could theoretically be increased sufficiendy to allow someith the heavy payload to reach the furthermost Minuleman complex. However, because of the uncertainty iu performance which would be involved,

we doubt lhal (hp Sovicisgel lhcir missiles in ihis manner without previous flight (citing.--

Relabeling

l tho Sovietsequirement to rcMigci iholo target andackup mi wile on informal innl llie original missile failed inwe believe il to lw within their capabilities. Tlicie iv no evidence ol such abutnlikely that wc would obtain such evidence.

F. Mulliplc Re-enlry Vehicles

9 At Ihc time of our last eslimaic. the Sov,eis had conducted two tests ofwith three HVs; since then they have conducled five more. We believeof iho three HVs weighsounds nnd could carry aseven tests wcro of MRVs which followed simple

halUslicthey were certainly no! independently guided 9ftor separation from thc launch vehicle

o far. then these tests have demonstrated atimple MRV, and one hypothesis is that this is all they are intended to achieve. If so, they wouldtlic culmination, or something near tlic culmination,evelopmentinitiated several years ago as thc first answer to the ABM. which had of course been long under discussion in both counlries. The Soviets were aware of US developmenl of MllVs without indepcndeni targeting in fhe Polaris system. They piobably gained, as time wentair understanding of thc operational concept of the planned Sentinel system and Ihe general capabilities of itsi. They may nevertheless have been uncerlain both of thc kill capability of the Sparlan's warhead, and of its method ofSpartan relicsultimegaton warhead and nuclear effects to neutralize thc target, while its predecessor the Nike Zeusuch smaller warhead and was intended to physically destroy the target. When inV the US announced its Intention to deploy thc Sentinel, the Soviets may have decided to proceed with production of MRV hardware and go lo the flight lesting which began inhey would have done so, by this hypothesis, rather than wait longer for

'Vice Adm. Vernon L- Lowrance, Acting Director. Defeme Intelligence Agency;ranHin C. Babbitt, for the AsiuUnt Oklal OperaUonsepartment of the Navy; and Brig. Cen. Ernest F. John, for the Assistant Chief of Staff, InieUigenee United Stales Air Fotce, believe lhal theonfigured lor operational deploy' menl,ange of up.. operational range allows forC

3 They believe that this is feaiible

wiih no appreciable degradation of reliability.

cll^vc *at Ihe Soviets would deploy it so extensively il diey had doubt alauTIt reaching Important targets in the US.

System with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehiclesimplc MltV system could reachhis year.

As testeddate, Ihis MltV system would confidl (he Sprint clement of Hie US AIIM system with three separatef lhc flVs werardentd il would present Spartan with thc same problem, and in any case lhc defenders would have lo judge whether any incoming objects ih j' survived had been neutralized. Exccjifossible counter to ABM. however, the syslem as demonstrated docs not improve Soviet capabilities lo aliack individual targets. In general, an ICDM soould be no moic effectiveoft target than oneingle large payload. and il would be less clleeiivcingle bard target. -

An alternative syslem can be postulated and related to lhc current Soviet testwith sufficient mechanical flexibility so that variations in thc dispersal pattern of thc lWs would allow each to be targeted against closely spaced individualinuteman silos. In considering this possibility thc following points arc pertinent:

SSestl 'hat the mechanism withinitself is more sophislicaled than necessary if ihis developmentimple MHV. In the hypothesized system,Q

Variations in the size and shape of the impact pattern could be

achieved^

create thc variety of patterns needed to target any substantial portion olthe Minutemano that each individual HV would fall within (he required distance of thc particular Minuteman silo which was its target.

orientation of the impact pattern must also be variable totargeting. To do this the orientation of lhe payload mustither before launch or during powered Bight, prior to releaseRVs.E"

3

c. We believe lhat the Soviets would want toapability to varyshape, and orientation of the impact pattern by the amount requiredthc Minuteman force, and that we will delect such testing If itquestion then arises: were thc very slight observed variations inor were

they random.f^

^Jlf the variations were intentional, this would indicate that Ihe test series was indeed pointing toward eventual development of the in-

f f-

illy targeted .tysicm we haveiii* paragraph; if they <ei-iv noi iiitrntioii.tl. lliewould best he jrilerprftcdimple MllV.

f tlie Soviets arc in fad aiming not forimple MllV hut for the system postulatedhis systemeach IOC in0 al lhe cailiost.'1 Il would have un liellcr aeeuraey tliim thend Us rchahilily would he .somewhaturther testing would certainly lie required to develop ihu flexibility in Spread and dispersal pattern needed foryslem, and wc would he able to idemify Mich testing when it occurred

G. L'stimote

H The system postulated in paragraphlausible explanation of (he nature of thc weapon system under lest, but in our opinion Ihe tests thus far observed provide insufficient evidence to judge that il is thc probablef the postulated system is indeed under development, however, further tests will almost certainly provide data sufficient to demonstrate it.

Thcs of courseeapon wiih damage limiting capability. Equipped with thc lighter payload it has the range, yield, and CEP to attack Minuteman silos with great eilectiveness {though there are far from enougho cover the entire Minutemant seems quite likely that when this missile was first planned and developed the Soviets had in mind usingingle warhead, perhaps to attack Minuteman control centers. The feasibility of developing MIWs had not at that time become dear.

Equipped with the heavyis needed to carry thc three separate RVsoes appear to have range limitations/ if wc assume it lo be used against Minuteman silos from present deployment. But it

estimate inhai tt* SovieU could noiiard target MIIW ca-pjbilily bcaWwar baied on developingi oflaphistkatcd lyilcm wiihumiracv

Adm. Vernon L. Lowrance, Acting Diiector. Defense Intelligence Agency; Capt-Franfclin C. Babbitt, for ll* AwiMant Cd of Naval Operation.cpuimem of the Navy; and Brie, Cen. Ernest F. John, foi the AiusUnt Chief of Suf. Intelligence. United States Air Force, believes that although there ne mil unresolved technical issues the lystem postulated in paragraphlTeia the more pUunble eiplaiution of tlie nature of the weapon system under test because of the following indicators.

issile is theICBMof the Soviet Union;

the observed flight testsdear attempt has been made lo minimize thell* CEPf[

uw ol multiple warheads mdeper3ently targeted would multiply ihe eSectlveof boosters, while the limitation to only three RVi still provides sufficiently greateach BV to be effective againit hard targets;

d Tho footprintompa'able with Iho tilo spacing in the Minuteman fields,the specific variations required have net been demonilratcd.footnote to paragraph 7c.

Hcfcff+-

l-KWff-

would slill1 hi paragraphndii; tlut thi-mk-pcnuViKlyould gri-atly ntcieww ihc ibinagc-limiting OaaauSiUty wImt.Ii ihclreadyUf the SovtaU intend toorce toiimlcnun uio*ingle Mule, they will Ium lu oVjitov many moreuiikIkd thanow opcralHMul andihlilioeul dcplrayincnl could be innearer thc US. or ncrtupt mml iV missile could bc unproved

aomCci Iia* mm mmi forhings than operationalhasiumhcr of apaceheali. which wclo developmentractional oilni bombardment system (FOBS)depressed trajectory ICBM (DICI1MJ. oho employed theehicle.il it being used now in the initial testing of multiple re-entryeventual deploymenlew Urge (CUM. If andew missilethere would of course bc no ie,"on why both il and thehouldmultiple rc-cnlty vehicles.

II. OTHER IC8M* A. Ihe SS-11

Since thc issuance ofe have discoveredew groups of bunchers for thehis system hasauncliers per group. When all the launchers in theroups identified la dale are completed there willperatxxxal. there arc.eceni deployment activity Is plotted against past const rod Kin starts, il sccmi clear that therogram passed iu peak. Al present, construction is underway at five of lheomplexesate roughly compaiablc to that of the last year or so.'

Wc continue to cslimalr the following chara el eristics for theystem: an operational range ofn ,Q

To improve ils

accuracy significantly wouldew guidance syslemew RV. Wc have al preseni no evidenceevelopment program to these endsj we believe lhal wc would be able to delect one if il occurred, and to ascertain its objectives.

fl. The SS-13

e have detected the siait of construction of one newroup, but deployment of this system has stilt not extended beyond the single ICBM complea where it was 6rst observed. We have nowotal ofilos as compared tot tbe lime of the lasthe pattern of deployment Currently indi-

3

IOP OCCffCT BUlf-

catc* five groups williotal of SOut* of the groups is probably now operational and .mother won willhe slow pace and limited cxlcnl ofeploymentharply with the course of thend thee have no better explanation of this titan we had in NIK

believe thai the small, solid-KOpclIaiilus capabilitiespara blc to those of then all Ihe SS-13

"Tit hax nevei been llowiiange in excessi.hi..rhis range it could not reach US targets from its present deploymentc( ,lw

ould bc. but we have not seen it tested to this range.

wc do not know what thc maximum range of

Ihcay bc.

C. Follow-on ICBM Systems: Thc

as being prepared last fall thc Soviets hadew launch group at the Tyuratam test range which appearedarge, liquid-propcllant ICBM about Ihc size of therlarger. Based on ihis activity and on our estimate of thc future SovietIhc art in guidance technology wc estimated that the Soviets werenew large ICBMollow-on to IheInl was designatedWc estimated that it could be ready for deployment in the

| Wc considered this new system lhc best candidate forew sophisticated re-entry system, and ine projected thc deployment of theith MIlWs,

the past year work has not progressed as ive expected il wouldparticular area at Tyuratam originally associated with theorklaunch silos themselves ceasedear ago. Constructionewsilos, however, began this year in the same general area. Work on thehas not progressed to the point that we can |udge tlie sixe of thewill bc used with these launcliers. but tliey may be intended for afollow-on system with characterislics similar to thosethefystem is developed it is evident that IOC will

n. we estimated that the Soviets wouldobile version of thee also judged that they would probably seek to improve lhc quality of llseir force by modification of thcnd we held tliat (hey mightew, small. Hquid-propcllanl ICBMew, smaB solid-

propellant system. Wc have acquired no evidence since lhc issuance ofhat any til ihese develiipiiioms are underway.

(II. BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINES

ince NIES was published, there is additional evidence.econd shipyard has begun production oi thelass ballistic missile subiiiarinc. Piodiicfion rate of this second yard would bc about two submarines annually; our estimatelass produclion at the rateer year took account of this possibility on thc high side of thc range. Considering olher submarine programs in being and lhe spec currently available on existing ways, we Ihink il unlikelylass produclion will be further increased. We sec no reason to change out estimatelass submarines as the Soviel force goal. Wc continue to estimate that Ihe Sovicis could havelassoperaUonal byndys projected on the high side of the range in

IV. SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE ICBM FORCE

When all identified launcliers under construclioii arc completed and all groups of silos are filled out thc Soviets willperationalS-lls..or die olderndhis process could be completed some limet that time the operational force will exceed the high side of the projection for that year int will bc approximately at the middle of the0) projected as the Soviet force goal foi Ihe. Thc Soviets will almost certainly build additional launchers; on ihe other hand, they will at some point almost certainly phasc out some or all of the older launchers, which arc far more vulnerable lo attack than lhe newer ones. Tlie total figure will be tho net of Ihese iwo development*.

It is quite likely that thc Soviels have not yd fixed on definite force goals for the next decade. They still mighl for political, economic, and strategicdeckle to stabilize their force of ICBM launchersumerical level roughly equal to that of thc present US force. Or ihey might goubstantially larger number than the US- Wc would continue as in8 to put this

"In addiUon to the ICDM launchers discussed above, eachndoraple. contains one additional silo and conirol facility not associated with any group in the complex. These are believed lo be crew trainini: fadl-lies. There areuch sites al thet theomplexesnder construction at dieomplex.the Soviets have aboutompleted launchers and aboutthers underat Tyuratam and PlcseUV which we associate with ICBM development.believe (hat most of them, as well as the traininrj sites, could bc readied to fire at the US. We are unable to make any valid estimate of tbe time required to ready them, their reaction times, or the availability of missiles for them.

rj9-

TOP SlXftET ffUfr-

ilumbci alhis figure dues, noi of course represent llw limil ofi:ij Indeed. |msI performance al linns of moll mlcitsivci.it they could proceedery iiiuch higher nlc llsui lhc figmc implies. Oui pi.ifiiakes mlo account ollicfeconomic covin, problems of rcscni'cc .illoc.il ion, and our belief that live Soviet Icadcisi wii.litlie USm race ol large scale.

nless there is ft cliange in tlie deployment patterns observed thus far. the hulk of this force will be crsiripcacd of small ICBMs suitable cliiefly for attacks on urban targets and other soft targets Tlse total megatoniiagc of theorce, however, is much greater, and thc number of svarhcads potentially usable ngai.ist hard targets would increase significnnlly il any Suable proportion of tireorce was given Ml It Vs. The inventory ofndilos is three times as large as tlieotal and if present trends continueroportion of smaller missiles will increase. Because theore expensive system, its cleploy-ment lias cost about lite same as tlie much largereplcryment. ic. the equivalent of aboulillion for each program.

t is clear that lhcoice will exceedhat we projected inut there Is nothing as yet lo establish that the total number of small ICBMs will exceedhat we protected. This projected force included0 fixed launchers for thee now question whether there will be much if any deployment of this system beyond tlieow operational or under construction. If the Sovieis decide lo build toward the high side of our projections, wc believe lhermall lollow-on ICBM. mayetter candidate than the SS-ia

t Ls also dear ihai lheorce will cacccd the high side ofG launchers projected inf. however, therogram should level ofl and if thc So virtu do not develop ther its equivalent, the Soviet force of large, liquid-propelled ICBMs will piobably fall short ofaunchers protected inhichaunchers for thcf Ihe programs for one or both of these systemsorce of this size can lie

- Mrughei.eOo. ofeseatarae-eM of So Sr. Vic* Adm. Vtmoo L. Lownma. Actio* Dhccum. Detente IntrAjwce Agency; Mai. Gen JosephOinstun. thr Assistant Ourt" of Staffiterpartrncnl ot UWapt Fianklrn C. Dabbtll. for thc Assistant Chief of Navalntelligence),nf Uie Navy- and Drift. Ceo. Finest F. John, for the Assistant Chief of StaO, Intelligence, United Stales Air Force, believe lhal for lhe period of this estimale (he Soviet ICBM launcher fax* goal may notauncheri providing lhe USSR operationallyaable number of ICBMs with multiple re-entryOtherwise, and parn view of the number ofn the US aadd I'S ABM capaUl.tv. the Sonet Unka* probably wdl hava com-te; ably anoreaw-then by thes. Awhich added Onlyauncheisearole alieadywouldy

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