NEW EVIDENCE ON THE SOVIET SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT (RR IM 67-28)

Created: 5/1/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL F

Intelligence Memorandum

New Evidence on the Soviet Supersonic Transport

EVIDENCE OK THE SOVIET SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT*

Summary

information indicates that the USSR is pressingdevelopment of theupersonic transport (SST) with some urgency.

engine tests in February suggeststage ha*irst flight in7 or the first halfand propaganda are undoubtedly key elements in the Sovietthe USSR can be expected to make every effort to have theprecede the initial flight of thc Anglo-French SST, thus giving the Soviet Union "the world's first SST.first flight inf it can be accomplished, would haveto Soviet leaders in connection with celebration of Ihe SOthof the Bolshevik Revolution. Even if the SST is not readythe USSR may be able to announce the completion ol the firs!by that time. II is almost certain, however, that theppear at the Pansiate May or early June.

The SST ttnginoaftHesignKuybyshev.t is likely (La! th: prototype ai

Kuybyshci Airfmrnr-S. The cDmpLat4Uj protoivN*-i' rjIr

This memorandum ivas prudnc-uu sot. thc Office of Ren<-nrt!l;r* ary; the estimateso rate ofoiMat i

IA. It vsas prepared bytlIh- Oflice of tl 'jndSr;ii_'nti:i,tof liit- Oirec-

I. CURRENT STATUS OF

mc USSR is pressing ahead with Ihe development

oi tlieircraft.

thengine for thisbeing tested in Kuybyshev in7 and, although theof development is not entirelyegree of urgency Kuybyshev is Ihe location of both thc KuznetsovDureauhich is developing thengine, andEngineonly known producer of Kurenetsovaddition,m, framebelieved to bc thesite for the construction of therototypes.

hc length,arp cjiitr iur the Concorde, and loading, favorable* for nc ra 1. The passcm1.

idn'i:

square feet. Tho Urijcquar*pecifiedconcept ol low wing iil and for subsonicplemcintgiven as. an increase of

c previously announced Soviet figure.

is possible that the

urc may represen[ high-densuy seating in an aircraftlarger than the Concorde!

I- PROSPECTS FOR INITIAL FLIGHT

Several Soviet sources have stated unofficially that theill be diaplayed for the first time during thc anniversary celebration inn appropriate occasion for the initial public display of the SST in flight, if it can be accomplished, or thc announcement of completion ofirst prototype, even if it was not yet ready for flight. Thc fact that Western electrical equipment ordered for the Tu-Hlis scheduled to be delivered in July is consistentirst flight ih7 ornd the urgency associated with the engine tests indicates that the program isight schedule. Inester ^businessman

markedMessage ofpril that uLerncd about time scale for development and deliverybe (irmly associated with the

SST programt could reler to another Tupolev aircraft but it is possible that thes the aircraft concerned.

A first flight'by then7 or8 would give theegitimate claim to "the world's first SST" the Anglo-French Concorde is not scheduled lo fly until late8 and this is believed toajor goal of thc Soviet SST program. Officials of Aeroflot, the Soviet suite airline, have indicated afor onlyrl these aircraft, and the USSR has not made significant efforts to promote the aale of thcn the West. Because thc production ofmall number of these aircraftbe justified solely on commercial grounds, it seems clear that prestige and propaganda are key,elements in the Soviet SST program.

Although thes being widelyhe Soviet display

at formeter model of the aircrafi -

Soi official!hai theill not be shown at the

Paris Air Showprlfiej {lbune), ddition,

ev-idCftCC. erier were just beginning

in laic Februaryy excludes lhe possibility that theould

be ready forast-minute appearance at Paris. This aircraft will require at least two or three months of preflight preparation, including checkouts of the numerous and complex aircraft subsystems, linal enginend taxi trials. Even if the engines were ready for installation by the end of March and the final assembly of the first prototype was completed in April, for example, it would be at least June or July before the aircraft was ready for its first flight, thus excluding the possibility of an appearance in Paris.

It is probable that the existenceompleted prototype will be detected before the aircraft is flown in public.

In addition, much ol themglu work must be carried out in the open, and the aircraft might be sighted even before it was ready tor flight.

Airframehasajor pro-

ducer of Tuput.. aircraft, is believed to be the most likely site lor the construction ofirototypcs. Prototype aircraft usually arelant closely associated with the designer's OK IS,

find lhe other plants with recent Tupolev associations are involved in programs that make the concui- production olrototypes unlikely. Plant No. s one ol lhe largest airframe plants in the USSR and would have adequate facilities for the construction ofrototypes in addition to the limited production and modificationfor other aircraft now in progress. The location in Kuybyahev of the Kuznetsov OKB and Aircraft Engine Plant No. lso favors the selection of Plant No. or the production of lherototypes.

KUYBYSHEV AIRFRAME PLANT9

r-E ShOivS APOROxiAi*T UOUNDARlCS)

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