SOVIET CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CAPABILITIES (NIE 11-11-69)

Created: 2/13/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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COHTDOLLCD DICOLrrT

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9

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

9 (Supersedes, Memorandum to Holder* of

and)

Chemical

HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Cono/atd in by rfca UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD

Atorarlsof

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COrfTROUCD Pi33EM

The following intelligence organizations participated in Ihe preparation of this estimate/

The Central IntelUgenc* Agency and th* Intelligance organizations of the Depart-ments of Stole ond Defsoie. ond tho NSA.

Concurring:

Or. R. J. Smith, for tho Deputy Doctor, Control Intelligence

Mr.ughes, Ihe Oooctor of Intelligence ond Research, Department of

It. Gen. Joseph F. Corroll. the Director. Defenio Intelligence Aoency

U. Gen. Marshall S- Carter, the Director, Nationol Security Agency

Mr.. Sommer. for th* Assistant Geneial Manager, Atomic Energy Com-minion

Abstaining!

Mr. William O. Creflar, tor the Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the subject being outside of Mi jurisdiction.

illi conntormaton olluhftU lliu +ioicfiaJ_Defenve of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws. Till* IB. USC,th*or revelation of which in any manner lo an unauthorized person Is

CONTENTS

THE ESTIMATE

I. TOXIC CHEMICAL WARFARE

Governing Use ..

Doctrine

D. Chemical Agents

Nerve Agents

Older Agents

Munitions

Ground Munition?

Naval Munitions

Air Munitions

Warfare

C. I and Organization of the Chemical

II. BIOlAOCICAL WARFARE

A. General

II. Doctrine Governing Use

of Biological Warfare Agents

Against Biological Warfare

SOVIET CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CAPABILITIES

THE ESTIMATE

I. TOXIC CHEMICAL WARFARE A. General

L Throughout its history (ho Soviet Union his placed heavy emphasis on Use development of chemical waif arc (CW) capabilities. In early years this emphasis derived largely from tlie disastrous effects of Worldhemical attacks against the Russians by the Germans. Although CW was nor wed during World War II. the Soviets had an ample supply of chemical munitions and required no assistance in this respect from their allies. Aflrr World War II, llie Sovieli continued their CW development, aided by the seizure uf German nerve agent production facilities and personnel.

In post-World War II years, the shaip eapansion of the Soviet CWwas probably due in large partag in nucleai weapons availability. Classified Soviet docufnesocs suggest that as late1 up to two-thuds of the warheads for taclu:al missiles and Frogs were chemical uthcr than nuclear.

In recent years tlie numbers of nuclear weapons' available to Soviet theater forces has increased sigmficantly and the proportion of chemical warheads (or tactical missiles and loekeJs has probably declined to aboul one-thud. However, continued stress on the import mice of chemical munitionsevident in Soviet military writings, organization, training, and armament, suggesting that tlie Soviets will continue toignificant proportion of ciSemical warheads in inventory.

B. Doctrine Governing Use

1 Soviet military documents and eacrcases indicate that the Sovietsboth tlie capabilities and limitations of toxic chemical weaiwns. Ihey appear to be satisfied that these weapons can play an important part in theaterdocuments and esesOse* stress their utilityuinber of specific tactical situations. On the oilier hand, we have no evidence of any cxmsidctaiiaii ol the use of cliciim.il munitions in long-range dclivciy systems, either independently or in conjunct son with stralegic nuclear weapons, and we believe that their usetrategicot now planned

SL'CttrF

S. While (he USSR appeals to have decided thai chemical weapons aretactical! weapons, toaic chemical agents have been regularly andgrouped willi nuclear weapons as "weapons of. mass destruction" in poUtical declarations and in classified military writings Soviet field servicecharacterize modern combat cither a* waged wild weapons of massincluding chemical weapons, or as waged with conventional means. Thus il appears that the Soviets think of these chemical weapons as subject to the same politicalain Is at those imposed upon the use of nuclear weapons. In other words, we believe that the initial use of either of Ihese types ot weapons wouldatter fee decision at the highest political level.

lauified and unclassified writings provide strong evidence that ihe Soviets see no restraints on the use of lone chemicals in situations involving the use of nuclear weapons on any scale. They would almost certainly use encmicat weapons in the event ol general nuclear war. We believe, however, thai (hey would not iniliale their useonvcnlional conflict against an opponent capable of retaliation in kind. They would almost certainly retaliate in kind If attacked with chemical weapons, and they might use toxic chemicalsonmiclcai warower incapable of retaliation in kind.

C. Tactical Doctrine

Soviet (actical doctrine for the use of "weapons of mast destruction"the employment of CW primarily in close coordination with nuclear weapons, so as to capitalize on the particular attributes of each. The doctrine indicates tliat CW may be used instead of nuclear weapons, for example, in an area of engagement where material damage to the target is to be avoided. Tlirough surprise and employment in mass, touc agent munitions arc intended to provide large-scale casualties and demoralization throughout the tactical zone of operations, thereby permitting rapid maneuver and seizure of criticalof fast-moving ground forces.

There is good evidence that, once ihe Soviet Government has decided to use weapons of mass destruction, the frontcommander will normally determine the operations in which chemical agents will be used, Ihe numbers and types of weapons allotted, and coordination with use of other munitions. To fulfill local tasks, chemical weapons would be used on the decision of divisional commanders.

Soviet GW doctrine provides foi chemical attacks against the "rear areasote extensive use of tone chemical weapons at greater distances behind fronl lines than is usually considered In Wcslom planning.oncept is noted particularly in Soviet doctrine for neuOalixa lion of enemy missile siles, including those for longer lange missiles designated

' I" the Soneteekpoicd ol metal fcrU mui Ahltough iimilarS army gioup. an not directly nmipaiablo

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as must

nd in the provision ol chemical warhead options lor jilts thai have range* upautical miles (nm.).

Targets for coverage by chemical weapons, designated in Soviet doctrine, include areas ol offensive or defensive combat, areas of troop concentration, coinmand posts, control poinls, miuile sites, and reserves- Chcnucal munitions are particularly useful when an attacking force withes to cause casualties, but to leave undamaged enemy facilities such as airfields, bridges, and toads, as well as combat equipment and auiiliary materials They can alvo be used to deny the use of terrain

According to Soviet doctrine, tube and multiple rocket type artillery are the major means of disseminating lorlc CW munitions in close combat. These means may be suppk-iriented by chcnucal bombs delivered by Kghlcr-bornber aircraft The fire offensive is to begin with "massed group and single strikes' delivering chemical as well as nuclear and conventional munitions. Chemical agents delivered by missiles as well as by aircraft would be used against enemy targets in the rear and also to prepare for the boding of amphibious or airborne forces in enemy territory. Coordination of nuclear and chemical weapons,in connection with missile delivery,ell published point in Soviet military doctrine. Operationally, (he chemical missile would be targetedoilometers (km) from the predicted impact pointuclear missile andod at the same timo. By this tactic, personnel thai have been(torn nuclear radiation and blast by the "shadow effect" of terrain features would be eipuied to the effect of the chemical agent.

deuce indicates that it risen was tlie Soviet practice to use the greater portion oTthe chemical warheads in operations luliterjucnl to the initial, predominantly nuclear, strike. Since 1'Jul, the ralio ol chemicaluclear warheads has declined decent evidence indicates the Soviets still intend to use tbe greater portion of chemical warheads subsequent lo the initial unkc

oviet CW docltinc seeks "practically Instantaneous annihilation ufthrough coverage of large areas by heavy, lethal concentrations of toxic agents- The Soviets envisage tlie delivery of such licavy coc>ceritrat>om by massive-fill missile warheads detonated at fairly high altitudes Soviet military literatiiiii refers to the achievement of up to SO percent casualties in impact areas, the SO porccrt figure constiasts sharply with Western CW concepts which visualiTc no re^uitcnscntchieve overcicent cniualtics Tliis Soviet CW doctrine probably reflectsraditional penchant lor massed fires and the earlier need ton- with nudear warhead* as "weapons of iun dcsl I" Ihelwi helps to ciplain large Soviet tTW agent vlockptict

D. Chemical Agents Nerve Agents

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Nerve agents have never been employed in majorutand field dating have shown them to be extremely toxic. Unlike the older agents, these organophosphorus chemicals aru practically odorless, and theol timely warning has not been solved. One class of nerve agents, known in the West as "C" agents because of their Ccrman origin, is relatively volatile andethal hazard by cither inhalationinute quantity orot unbtoken skin by about one gram ofamily of even more toxic nerve agents, known in tlvc West as "Vhas been developed since World War [I. Theseazard primarily by skin contamination because of their much lower volatility,ery small drop (on the oider1 gram) can be lethal. Since World War II. the Soviets have produced several of these nerve agents of increasing toxicity and effectiveness.

The Grst nerve agent developed and adopted by the Soviets wasgent, the quantity production of which probably began6 or shortly thereafter. Manufacture of the agent probably continued through, but stopped when emphasis shifted to other agents. Existing stocks of tabun. whether in bulk or in filled munitions, have gradually dirninished as the result of agent deterioration. Nevertheless wc believe that about half the Soviet tabun stock is still available-

gent, sarin, became known to the Soviets at the close of World War If, when they took over the German production facility. Quantityof sarin in the USSR probably beganroduction ofgent. soman, probably beganear later, ft is more toxic than sarin; no adequale therapy is known. Both of these agents arc now in the SovietSoman is available both in the normal liquid form andhickened agent.

At leastgent is in the Soviet arjcnal and available for employment. This type of agent may have been known to the Soviets as earlyut they definitely obtained informationgenls from Western sources5nder priority action and assuming Soviet knowledge of the existencegents-as earlygent production could have begun as earlyn any case, at least one agent of this type had probably entered stockpile by thes ors.

agent usedhemical Gil in tactical rockets, ballistic missiles,missiles is described in Soviet sources as an -agent of theype,"

The lack of evidence as to thenature of this agentajor gap in our knowledge of Soviet CW capabilidcs. It appears toersistent nerve agent or nerve agent mixture thai is at least two or three times more toxic than the Weiiem agent VX, andimes as toxic as sarin. According to Soviet sources,eaches the ground in va.sor. aerosol, and droplet form and is persistent

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for onehree days. To obtain this effect the Sov,cts mayhickener to retard evaporat.on during die (all. Ilo been suggested that VB-S5 mifhtixtureighlygent with an unknot, extremely toxic,gcn. The highlygent migh, retard the elation of .he moregcnts to permitgent lo reach the^round and supply the vapor hazard.

Older Agents

orldypc agents still in theckpilc includemustard, and phosgene. Hydrogen cyanideactical,Ihe Soviets claim the ability to produce and maintain an effectivelasting fromoinutes over angent form may be used since hydrogen cyaniderap.dly. Since the cyanides are common items produced by theindustry, mi|itary

production rather thanpecial facility.

The vesicant agent, mustard, either alone or mixed with lewisite, isimportant agent in the Soviet arsenal. Manufacture of mustard in .he USSR took pbee in both World Wars. There is no information which indicates current production.

Pil0fgCneanother Worldgen. that isin ,he Soviet stockpile. The dicmicai industry uses phosgeneommonnd the chemical is readily available. Although its toxicity is low compared to lha, of nerve agents andvolatility is high, its lack of persistence, cheapness. and ready availability seem to mfluence Soviet retention of fhc agent in their CW stockpile.

fncapacifanfs

USSR is working on CW incapacitants such as the USor an agent very closely rela.ed to it. as well as other types ofbcheve that the Sovietsood understanding of tho chemistry of these

.agents and then- mode of action, but there is no firm evidence tha. an incapaci.an. has been put into the Soviet CW stockpile.

Stockpile and Further Production

Sonets have an extensive stockpile of various toxic chemicalmunitmns des.gned for employmentariety of laebca! ground,naval weapons. Central chemical depots under national cont.ol are believed

lo beach military district We estimate that the Soviet agent stockpile is

T-ideniwhicrsuSes

uU tins figure may be high. We believe that ovc, halfckpilc,no< em nervend the remainder of older chemicals such smustard, and 6

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oviet toxic chemical production capacity li expanding. Current rfockpala appear adequate for wartime operational requirements, additional stocks may be deemed necessary by the Soviets on the assumption that some would be destroyed in the event of strategic attacks, or would be immobilized in their generally remote depots by Use disruption of transportation systems.

E. Chemical Munitions

ZS. The USSRide variety of modern ground, air, aod naval mo fictions designed to disseminate lethal and harassing agents, screening and signaling Smokes, and flame and incendiary agenls. During World War II, toxic CWincluded shells, mines, multiple ground-launched chemical rockets, massive-Gil and cluster bombs, and aerial spray tanks. Since then Ihe Soviets have been very successful in developing new toxic agents for dissemination by the most modem means, such as missiles, and also in adapting older agents forby modern weapons, such as highly mobile rocket aitillery.

Groundons

Tito Soviet ground forcesariety of toxic chemical delivery means including aitillery and mortar shells, multiple rail- and tube-launched rockets. Frog systems, and Scud tactical ballistic missiles. This array of offensive weapons would enable the Soviets tooxic environmentrge area. Any or aO of ihese weapons could also be used in defensive tactics and could be supplemented by the Soviet stocks of chemical mines, used alone or interspersed in high explosive (HE) minefields. Burning-type munitions, such as gieoadcs, pots, and candles, filled with irritant agents would also be used to produce casuallicft or to degrade (he enemy's combat capability by forcing troops to mask.

Smaller caliber tube aitillery rounds were toxic-filled up to and during the World War II years. Chemical rounds are probably now available for light and medium artillery andm mortar. Sarin, soman, mustard, and mustard-lev. bite mixtures would probably be used to EH Soviet artillery and morUi ihcUs, and hydrogen cyanideo be used. Chemical aitillery she Us are suitable for use oa small area or point targets and would be available as 'gas" (toxic) or "fragmentolion-gas" rounds. Fragnicnlalion-gas rounds have unthiekrned nerve agents or mustard as the fill and arc fitted wilh relatively large bursters so that the chemical agent is disseminated almost entirely as an aerosol or vapor.rounds with low order bursters aod pouit detonating fuzes are used topersistent chemical agents such as mustard for heavy liquidoa the target and to disseminate volatile nonpctsistenl agents such ascyanide at ground level Airhurst rounds with low order bursters are designed to obtain larger, mon- even area coverage than can be obtained with the groundhurst types, They are normally Gllcd with persistent typo ageuls such as mustard and possibly ihickcncd soman.

Bulk-fill warheads arc probably available for multiple-rail rocket launclters capable ofm.m rockets. Because of tlieir bagh

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rate of Hio and high ratio of chemical fillotal weight of round, these weapons are ideal for quickly covering large-area tactical targets with toxic coocen-tiationr of nonperiuteiit agents.

he Soviets consider chemical landmines especially useful in defensive situations. The USSR has pressure-activated and electrically detonated chemical landmines. During World War II these were filled wilh mustard or mustard-lewisite mixtures; while some mines may still haveillings, newer agents may be used now.

Uctical missiles and rockets withwarheads aremeans for delivering heavy concentrations ofhe Sovietslhut the optimal altitudeltitude providing maximum groundfor the detonation of Frog-delivered massive fill warheadsthat for Scud-dcliveredeters. Using thisresults obtained with die Frog warhead are described by the Soviets ascasualties over one-thirdquare mile; with the Scud waihead.casualties over three-fourthsquare mile. Lesser percentagesare claimed downwind from these areas of maximum agentThe Soviet description of effects obtainable with these techniquesbased on optimum weather conditions. The inaccuracies in theScud systems would also have to be taken into accountoviet decisionmassivc-ElL hich altitude CW attack. The Frog CWounds of agent, and the Scud warhead.

Naval Munitions

Soviet literature indicates considerable training emphasis on CW in tlie navy. Any nr all of the Soviet Navy's cruise missiles could carry chemicalbut shipboard storage might piove hazardous. Tlie most likely candidate for such warheads arc those cruise missiles used by naval coastal defense units.

The Shaddock cruise missile can carry an agcnl payload oloundsm. The warhead mayassive-fill type such as those for the Frogs and Scuds, and similarly detonated. The Soviets may also haveechnique for the release ol chemicalsineruise missile,

he Soviet Navy probably hasmm chemical shells for naval guns. Recent Information indicates the stockpilingm chemical shells (or destroyer!m rhemical shells for cruisers. Such shells arc stored in port and placed on ships only during ma for exercises or in wartime.

Air Munitions

oviel air munitions include massive-fill and cluster bombs, and possibly spray dissemination devices. The specific characteristics of Soviet chemical bombs are not known positively, but World War II types included Individual bombs and bocnblet dutfeis for disseminating lethal and harassing agents Soviet crop dusting activity intucales an excellent capability lor spraying toxic agents

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ccrarr ^ruvjrurr

from low performance aircraft. Spray tanks were developed in World Wat II for both fighters and bombers, but we have no evidence of such equipment for modem Soviet high porfoimancc aircraft. The Soviets have uir-to-surface missiles which are capable of carrying CW agent payloads. Soviet aerial incendiary bombs probably include individual bombs filled with while phosphorus, thennile, napalm-type agents.Pirogerixture of powdered metal and petroleumnd clusters of bomblets with thermile or thermitc-HE filings.

F. Chemical Warforo Defense

The Soviets possess Urge quantitieside range of equipment for use in chemical defense, much of it of recent design. Extensive training in its use is integral to military wcrciscs for all Sowet and East Europeannaval, anddilute toxic agents arc sometimes employed in this training. Equipment and training for CW defense are combined with that for radiological defense, and the special chemical troops are responsible lor both lypcs ofThe dual nature of such defense is stressed in military training, and thereumber of recent examples of Soviet forces donning chemical defense equipment following simuUted nuclear slrikei.

The single most critical weakness in Soviet chemical defense is theof nerve agent detection. The Soviets have some manual and automatic devKes for the detection of localf nerve agents, but we do not believe they are capable of giving timely warning of chemical attack.

We judge that the chemical defense equipment supplied the individual So viet combat soldier Is technically adequate to protect himoxic environmentimited time, depending on the nature and concentration of the agent. Soviel troops exposed to contamination would be treated al decontamination facilities established by chemical troops. The equipment and procedures to be used al these facilities appear to be technically adequate.

Chemical waifarc defense is stressed in Soviet dvil deiense indoctsination and exercises. Civil defense organizations are supplied with chemical defense equipment and gas masks are available for purchase by the general popuUce We believe itwcver. that any sigrufic.nl portion of the population has acquired protective equipment

We beueve that the Soviets will continue research and deseUjprnent on cherrrical defense, but we have no evidence resnudiog parricuUr uocs of de vcJopnsent. We presume that major attention will be devoted to problems of nerve agent detection, protection, and treatment.

G. Direction and Oraanization of Ihe Chemical Warfare Program

principal responsibility for Use program lies with the Chief ofTroops, subordinate dlicclly to the Commander in Chief of theAdminiiUadve control of Use Chemicalncluding those inDistrictl.on. i, maintained by ihe Chief ol Chemical Troops.

Othci activities under his supervision include various CW schools. The Centra! Chemical Proving Cround, at Shikhany. and other chemical test areas are directly under the Cruel of Chemical Troops. Filling plants and central depots for storage of CW munitions, bulk agents, and other CW material are probably his

and distinct from the administrative control responsibilities ofof Chemical Troops is tin- operational control of Chemical Troops,maintained by the commanders of military districts, groups of forces,and smaller units, through (he chiefs of chemical troops of tlieelements. The chemical officers so assigned advise theirthe use of CW weapons and other CW matters such as detectionThey also command the chemical troops, such as theassigned at the military district and army level. In peacetime acompany is in integral partivision,hemical platoon isa regiment. In wartime, appropriate chemical units are also assignedarmies, and battalions. The main duties of these personnel arcCW defense, including detection and decontamination, they arefor handling toxic munitions and agents in storage and transport.

II. BIOLOG1CAI WARFARE

Soviets ire conducting research and development programs onmilitary applications of biological agents. In previous years,available evidence could be related to Soviet work In epidemiology,and sanitation, and defensive aspects of biological warfare (BW),evidence points to the development of BW weapons.

Governing Use

l1 V.

Soviet documents indicate that the USSIl expect* NATO to employ BW in the event of war and is preparing to defend against it. We believe that political considerations would weigh heavily against Soviet initiation of BW. In -Soviet writings the subject is linked with nuclear and chemical warfare In terms thatigh degree of political conlrol and restraint. The Sovietof relative military advantages and disadvantages of the use of BW weapons, as well as the vulnerability of the population, would also impose restraint.

We believe it highly unlikely that the Soviets would employ BW In an initial strategic attack, although il might subsequently be used in the courseeneral war. BW Is especially suitable fur clandestine delivery. The Soviets probably believe that BW weapons are of doubtful efiectiveness in many tactical situations because of delayed and unpredictable effects. There is. however, some

vidence which indicates that /ron( couirnandcri would be authorized to employ

circumstance* in which Warsaw fact forces were being compelled

withdraw, and that the means to do so could then be provided to them.

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C. Availabiliiy ol Biological Warfaic Agents

o believe that, (brough their own research and Open US literature, the Soviets arc well aware of the propertiesariety of BW agents, and they have the technical capability to develop, produce, and stockpile ihem insignificant quantities. We have, however, insufficient evidence on which to base an estimate of the types and quantities of BW agents which might be available to Ihe Soviets for offensive use. The Soviets have done research on increasing agent virulence and maintaining high virulence for extended periods of time, retarding agrobiological decay, adapting agents to unusual vectors and testing the infcctivity of causative agents of diseases not endemic to ageographic area.)

Jsomc of these studies highly suspect of offensive agent research and development. In particular, there appears to be no other satisfactory explanation for Soviet work on the aerosolization of botulinum toxin.

D. Defense Against Biological Warfare

he Soviet military establishment Includes organizations charged with defense of troops against BW. The Chief Military Medical Directorate of the Ministry of Defense lias the prime insponiibilily for developing methods for defense of personnel and for numerous militaryn military medical research centers which work on BW defense matters. In addition to medical service troops for BW defense, epidemiological services exist al all military levels to preside sanitation and disinfection facilities.

oviet mililaiy forces arc known to undergo training in BW defensive measures- Defense against BW has been included6 in Soviet civil defense efforts which arcunder the control of the Ministry of Defense. Protective equipment is available and contingency plans haw been made for mass irn-munirMtOn. There have been some joust civil-miUtary BW defense exercises These effort? however, are notcale to indicate any meaningful BW civil defense posture

t present uV Soviets rely on conventional laboratory techniques for detection and identification of biological agents. There are no indications that Soviet military forces arc equipped with automatic UW alarm systems, bul a. number of prototypes continue tn be evaluated

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