THE SOVIET SA-5 DEPLOYMENT PROGRAM

Created: 6/1/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence Memorandum

Tie Sovieteployment Program

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SR9

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence9

INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

The Sovieteployment Prograrr.

Summary

Since thehe Soviet Union has steadily expanded its defenses against bomber attack. Despite the change in the nature of the primary strategic threat with the buildup of US ICBM and Polaris submarine forces and thein the US bomber force in, the Soviets have continued to augment their airwith new weapons, including bothand surface-to-air missiles.

The largest of the new air defense programs now under way is the deployment of theong-range SAM system, sometimes referred to as the Tallinn system. Investment costs alone for the projectedorce will total the equivalent of6 billion or nearly as much as those of the earlierrogram, the most expensiveweapon program ever undertaken by theUnion.

hen deployment of theegan,aunch complexes have been identified along the western and northern approaches to the European USSR and at many major command centers, military

Hote: This memorandum was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Strategic Research and coordinated with the Office of Scientific In-telliqence-

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facilities, and industrial areas. Somef these complexesotal ofaunchers are probably operational.

The pace of deployment has slackened from the peak achieved 7 but is expected to continueate of aboutomplexes per yearinal force level ofaunchers, the last of thum becoming operational

The mission of theystem is to improve Soviet defenses against high-performance aircraft and air-to-surface missiles at medium and high altitudes. Theas designed and developed when the US was planning to introduce8 supersonic bomber and the Hound Dog long-range air-to-surface missile and was developing advanced attack vehicles such as Soma of these threats never materialized, but continuing and planned improvements in US bomber attack forces probably have reinforced the soviet requirement forefenses.

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distance be--lmvcii lAsmpxexifb aim cue proximity of new low-altitudeAM units to someomplexes suggest that the system does not improve Soviet low-altitude defenses.

Earlier Soviet SAM systems have undergone evolutionary improvements after deployment, and therobably will be no exception. It is unlikely, however, that the Soviets will attempt to give theapability to defend against ballistic missiles. The changes required to give theignificant ABM capability would be so extensive that the result would almostew system. rogram to modify theor limited "point-in-space" intercept of some attacking ballistic missiles would require major An attempt to add an ABM capability probably would reduce theof the system for air defense.

Development

The Soviets designed theurface-to-air missile system during thend. The research and development launch sites for theystem were being constructed at the Sary Shagan missile test center0 and system testing began The system was still under development when construction was started on the first deployed launch complexes at Tallinn and Cherepovets in

Mission

Theas evidently designed to provide better rangereater capability against high-performance aircraft and standoff weapons operating at medium and high altitudes than the short-rangehich was being widely deployed while theas under development.

It was presumably thehich Marshal S. Biryuzov, then air defense commander, had in mind when he stated0 that "only by setting up systems of long-range antiaircraft missiles will it be possible to switch from the screening of individual targets to the organization of zonal defense for those very important regions which represent the basis of the military-economicof our country."

Early impetus may have been given to theby the fact that the US bomber forcethe main strategic threat to the USSR at the time theas conceived and developed. In the, when the first decisions aboutand deployment were being made, bombers bulked larger than they now do in the US strategic inventory, both absolutely and in relation to the emerging Minuteman and Polaris elements of the force. At that time the bomber force8 bombers. By theound Dog air-to-surface missiles (ASMs) had been added to the force.

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Since then the force has been cut back to lessombers andSMS. Otherthreats which almost certainly figured inplanning, notably0 and the Britishave been canceled.

Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of the marshals controlling Soviet air defense, the strategic air threatormidable one, both now and for. New systems, theomber and the short-range attack missilere scheduled to enter the inventory within the next two years. In thehe US plans to haveombers withSMs. The Soviets must also take into account the possible deployment of an advanced strategic bomber and new attack missiles in the mid- and.

To counter the large and diversified airborne threat, since thehe Soviets haveseveral new weapon systems. They now have four SAM systems andnterceptordeployed for strategic defense. None of these systems is optimized to meet more than part of the threat, and thes being deployed primarily to complement rather than replace other air defense systems.

Deployment and Likely Force Goals

hen deployment began,A-5have been identified in the USSR. Theinitially began buildingomplexes as barrier defenses on the western and northernto the Soviet European heartland from Kaliningrad to Leningrad and then eastward to the Ural mountains. (See foldout map.) At almost the same time, several complexes to defend Moscow and Leningrad were begun. At present,rotection is being provided for areas with nuclearproduction, and storage facilities, strategic ballistic missile complexes, large electric power facilities, and major military command centers.

The pace of deployment (see table, below) has now clearly begun to slacken, however. is known to have started onomplexes '

This wouldecline of almostercent from theomplex starts, the peak year in the SA-Sprogram.

Number ofomplexes, Launch Sites, and operational Launchers By Year,

lEach launch site has six launchers)

a/

or

b/

sites

Launchers (Estimated)

Total

Cumulative

0 30

120

726

ofune.

complexes are in early stages of construction. Itthey will have two or three launch sites.

with three sites and one with twoSary Shagan missile test center became operational twostart of construction

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The Soviets will probably add anotheroto theow identified, for anlevel ofomplexeslaunchers. H ' '

suggests that the Soviets will addore complexes to complete the barrier defenses in the western USSR, two or three more complexes around Moscow to complete the circle ofefenses there, and an additionaloomplexes to protect targets along the Volga River, in the southwestern USSR, and atTashkent, and Petropavlovsk.

leveling off at about this number is also gested bf-

anout ii new SA-5will probably be started each yearith the last one If the Soviets had intended toprotection to lower priority targets thangettingthey did with the SA-2rate of construction starts probably wouldmuch higher.

The deployment concept itaelf has changed since the program began. The first sevenomplexes, all started byach had five launch sitesotal ofaunchers (six launchers per site). Before deployment went into high gear in that year, however, tha Soviets evidentlythat this was an unnecessarily intensive (and costly) concentration of firepower. All of the subsequent complexos have no more than three launch sites and IB launchers, and at least four complexes contain only two launch sites andaunchers. Future complexes are expected to have two or three sites. (The three configurations arc illustrated in tha skatches, opposite page,

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These decisions resulted in substantial savings. If each of thedentified complexes contained five launch sites, investment costs alone would have increased by the equivalent of someillion.

Current Operational Status

Aboutf thedentifiedomplexes now have an operational capability. aveaunch sites withaunchers. Those complexes now under construction will probably all be finished

Most of theomplexes attain somecapability about two years afterbegins. Another six to twelve months isrequired to complete all of thethe remaining launch sites and fire control radarissile support area, and housing and administrative buildings. Twoomplexes at the Sary Shagan missile test center, however, were operational within two months after the start of construction. One of these is used for training, which may account in part for the rapid completion.

Costs

The equivalent of some S2 billion has beenon thep to the present, excluding research and development costs. Total expenditures for procuring and operating anorceomplexes5 would equal8 billion.

Therogram is one of the largestthe Soviets have made in an air defense weapon.

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Investment costs for theystem will be the equivalent of6 billion, nearly as much as those for the widely deployedystem, the most expensive advanced weapon program everin the Soviet Union, in the, wheneployment will have been completed, operation of the system will account for almostercent of the annual cost of soviet strategic defense.

Capabilities

Theystem was probably designed toaerodynamic targets at much longer ranges than other Soviet SAM systems.

suggests

that tne errective range of theay belessm. The distanceomplexes in those areas whereappears complete averages aboutm. when the Soviets were establishing barrier and areawith theystem, they positioned sites aboutmdistance equal to aboutercent of the system's maximum range. If the Soviets are using the same spacing ratio for theystem, the maximum range would be aboutm.

it is not being deployed for

defense.

The capability to intercept at long rangethat theystem employs improved missile guidance techniques or that theissileuclear warhead toatisfactory kill probability. Of the two, it is more likely that theystem uses some method of homing for final guidance to the 1 ' i

if

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The Soviets have the necessary technology, and have probably incorporated homing guidance into other surface-to-air missiles such as the mobileAM system now being deployed with the ground forces. The long-range Griffon missile, which wasew years before theut neveralso probably contained homing guidance in its forward section.

No feature of theaunch areas and missile support facilities has yet been identified with storage or handling of nuclear weapons. Nuclear warheads and associated facilities could, of course, bethey probably were to part of theystem in thecounter advanced aerodynamic vehicles.

Contribution to Soviet Air Defense

Soviet air defenses are being significantly strengthened by the addition of theystem. It extends the capability to engage at medium and high altitudes all aerodynamic vehicles now in or planned for the US inventory, particularly air-to-surface missiles. When completed, the sa-5along the Baltic Sea coast and from Leningrad to the Ural Mountains willarrier defense across the most likely approach routes to strategic targets in the western USSR.

Theystem probably is no more effective against low-flying aircraft at short ranges than the olderystem, and at longer ranges its minimum altitude capability is limited by line of sight. To counter the low-altitude threat, the Soviets have resumed deployment of theystem, including sites nearomplexes on theapproaches to the USSR. The Firebarhas also been deployed against this threat.

Two other new interceptor aircraft have also beenFlagon, designed for medium and high altitude operations, and the long-range Fiddler for defense against carriers of standoff missiles.

In addition, the Soviets are probably arming selected elements of theorce with nuclear

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warheads in an effort to bolster point defenses. Probable nuclear warhead handling facilities wore added to manyupport facilities afterwas completed.

TheAM system deployed around Moscow in theill probably be taken out ofservice when theefenses around the city are completed. Someattalions may also be retired, primarily from those areas wherondefenses are collocated. The defenseby theites in these locations is more than adequately assumed by theystem at low altitudes eet) and by the SA-5at medium and high altitudes. Reducing the force levels of oldar SAM systems would release manpower for theorce which, withomplexes, probably will absorb0 personnel.

Future System Improvements

Earlier Soviet SAM systems have undergone evolutionary improvements after deployment, and therobably will be no exception. Thoaunch sites at the Sary Shagan missile test center have remained active, and development work to improve thegainst high-performancewill probably continue for several years. The Soviets will probably attempt to maintain thes an effective system against present and future US standoff missiles, since theyarge portion of the strategic air threat to the

USSR.

It is unlikely that theill be modified to defend against ballistic missiles. The Soviets would find it difficult to provide theith any credible capability to intercept ballisticand any such changes would probably reduce its effectiveness as an air defense weapon. The heavy investment still being made in thend many other air defense systems indicates that the Soviets would be unlikely to make changes that would jeopardize that capability.

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Changes to theystem to enable it to reliably acquire, track, and intercept ballistic missiles would be so extensive that the result wouldearly new system, probably costing as muchystem specifically designed to intercept ballistic missiles. Theissile and radar would have to be changed significantly so that they could detect and engage ballistic missiles which have speeds and radar cross-sections which are at least an order of magnitude different from those of aerodynamic vehicles.

It is also unlikely that theould bepoint-in-space" intercept capability againstmissiles, particularly since exoatmospheric penetration aids would probably be effective against it. odification program would be technically difficult as well as expensive. To achieve even this limited kind of capability, theissile would have to be modified to operate outside theuclear warheadill radiusom would have to be added to the missile,ajor command and control network linkingomplexes with ballistic missile early warning radars would have to be established.

The coverage of Soviet radars known to be capable of detecting and tracking ballistic missiles is restricted at present to the northwestern USSR,other such radars are under construction which in the future will provide some coverage to the south. omplexes in other areas would lack the early warning and tracking necessary for an ABM role.

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