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Russian Strategic Forces Under START II


elimination of MIRVed ICBMs and Ihe questionable status of the heavy bomber force reduce Russia's options fororce closearheads. However, ICBM provisions negotiated late in the process give the Russians additional flexibility to achieveorce.

Russia's cheapest option in the short term would be to keep older SLBMs,arge force of single-RV ICBMs, and attempt to retrieve all of its bombers from Ukraine. If this option were pursued, significant portions of the strategic nuclear forces would be obsolete0

The more likelycost effective in the longbe tomaller, but more modern, forcearheads or less.

We expect the Russians to deploy three new missiles in the nextears:^

This memorandum was prepared by ihe National Intelligence Officer for Strategic Programs. Ii ii based on discussions among Intelligence Community analystseeting heldt was coordinated with representatives, DIA. Siate/INR. NSA. Air Force and Navy.




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Russian Strategic Forces Under START II

nuclear arms reduction agreement signed3 by Presidents Bush and Yel'tsin accelerates cuts in strategic nuclear forces. Moreover, it requires3 the elimination of all land-based MIRVcd ICBMs. includingreentry vehicle (RV)eavy ICBM.

military and political dements expressed dissatisfaction with Yd'tsin's agreement in June to eliminate all MIRVcd ICBMs. Their desire toore robust ICBM force and to give Russia the option to reacharhcad limit probably led the Russians to insist on the right to convert someilos currently housing MIRVcd missiles for anlass single-warhead ICBM. and to download some six-RVinglc-RV missile.

The START II Agreement

Under the lerms of START II. Russia and the United States are required to reduce their strategic offensive nuclear forces tn rwo phases:

Phaseean after START entry into0 MIRVed ICBM0 reentry vehicles on heavy ICBMsLBM warheads


-Reductionsarheads -All land-based MIRVsIJiM warhead sublimit

Russians, as evidenced by their efforts late in the negotiations, want to maintain as large an ICBM force as possible, as cheaply as they can. START II allowsilos to be converted to houselass missiles and permits the downloadingix-RVingle RV



/nd II do not preclude

the Russians from converting other ICBMs

Conversion ofilos

Under START II, conversion ofilosive-meter reduction in the usable depth of the silo-to be accomplished by pouring concrete in the bottom of thethe installationollar near the top of the silo with an aperture diameter no greatereters. These measures would make it impossible to install anithout reversing the conversion:

Moreover, START II requires the elimination of all deployed and nondeployedissiles andany converted for space-launch purposes-prior to January

rovisions illowaximum of four warheads. Because (heasix-RV system, downloading this systemingle warhead was not permitted. It is permitted by START II, however. (SNF)

lass ICBMs

Silo-Based. Russia plans to base anlass ICBM, now in development, in existingndilos. Such plans reflect the desire totrong ICBM force-traditionally the heart of Soviet strategic forces-by using the existing silo-based infrastructure, rather than incurring the high resource and manpower costs associated with significant additional mobile basing.

The right toubstantial number of its hardest silos for new ICBMs and to retain downloadedill enable Russia to deploy, at relatively loworceilo-based, single-RV ICBMs-inilosilos in Russia, r

A larger forceilo-bascd ICBMs is also possible.

To go, Russia would probably

build new silos, an option the Treaty does not preclude. However, we believe construction of new silos is unlikely because of the significant new investment that would be

Mobile. The current road-mobile force consists

expect these

to De replaced'

Nevertheless, some Russians have discussed the possibility of deploying as manyCBMs under START II. Such numbers would require new ICBM silos or additional road-mobile bases./

In any case, weorce of moreobile ICBMs highly unlikely because of high manning and materiel costs.

Downloading theCBM

The Russians will be able to retainilos-ofould house downloadedissiles. With refurbishment, these missiles could remain in the operational force well into dienexiitecade/

The Russians probably viewownloadeds an effective way to postpone the expense of producing another hundred or so new missiles]-




mililary officials have stated thai they have plansew common missile, presumably for land-based and sea-based platforms. The sea-based version of this common missile and the solid-propel lam missile for the new SSBN may be one and the same.

We are uncertain whether the Typhoon will retain itsRVissile orew six-RV missile. I

n the short term, it wouldand cheaper to retain the currentissile.

Anotntr racior inai coma influence tne russians U) icqruks the possibility of another deeper reduction in strategic forces afterarheads. In this case, they might choose to eliminate the Typhoon SSBN.

In the absenceajor modernisation program in, however, the Russian SLBM force will face block obsolescence in00 period. We believe it unlikely that the Russians would be capable of sustaining production and deployment programs to modernize both missile systems ^jniutianeously, and to deploy new SLBMsew SSBN.


Heavy Bomben

bomber force under START II willigher percentage of the total warheads than under START I; however, we judge its role will not match its share of the weapons.

START II will count heavy bombers as equipped, ratherthe weapons, as under START 1.

START II allows upon-ALCM-equipped heavy bombers lo be reorientedonventional role. This provision was designed for US heavy bombers, but it could be used lo reconfigure theombers in Russia to carry conventional armaments. Wc do not expect Bear Gs to be nuclear-equipped

Limited Options For Russian Leadership

Under the START II agreement, Russia will preserve its traditional force mix in which ICBM launchersajority. But with the elimination of MIRVed ICBMs, half the warheads will be on SSBNs andercent on single-RV ICBMs. The future composition of Russia's strategic nuclear forces has not ycl been finalized, and the provisions of START II were designed toumber of options. Nevertheless, the Russian emphasis on silo-based provisions in START IIoncerted effort by military planners totrong ICBM force as cheaply as possible. Russian strategic forces3 will still have the yield and accuracy needed to engage hardened targets.

START II is likely to be ratified by the parliament but onlyontentious debate. Adjustments in the START II agreement made during endgame negotiations probably will make the deal more acceptable to tbe Russian parliament, but the Treaty will continue to serveightning rod for Yel'tsin's more extreme opponents and traditionally minded military officers.

Since the announcement of the agreement in principle last June, START II has attracted broad criticism from opponenis who argue that ihe agreement is inequitable and too costlymplement. Miliury commentators also argued that the Treaty would force Russia to surrender its historical advantage in MIRVed ICBMs in favor of SLBMs and mobile missiles, while the US will be permitted to keep its advantage, aTridem SLBM force of MIRVed hart-target-capable missiles.

Opponents of the Treaty could seize on such arguments as those presented onecember in The Washington Post, which editorialized, "STARTuts unequally, shearing Moscow--and Moscow alone-of its first-strike capability. In short, the new treaty confirms American strategic superiority."

The biggest impediment to START II is the ratification ofy

Even if START II were not ratified, or if Ukraine did not accede to START I, the Russians probably would unilaterally reduce toward theevels of START II, including reducingeavy ICBMs, by thee judge, however, that Russia would not unilaterally implement key provisions of START II, particularly the elimination of all MIRVed ICBM. [

Although Russian officials have advocated deeper force reductions-downotal weapons. Moscow is unlikely to do so unilaterally, even ifnd STARTere implemented smoothly. Negotiations on reductionsrobably would be linked to continued US adherence to the ABM Treaty (and the non-deployment of space-baseds well as the inclusion of Chinese, French, and British strategic nuclear forces.

How Likelyarhead Forcer

It was politically and practically important for the Russians to negotiate provisions that would enable them toorcearheads-equal to that permitted the United States. The Russians could demonstrate to their parliament, during the ratification process, that they were capable of achieving such a

Thus, wcore likely, cost-effective choice in the long run wouldore modem, (hough smaller, force--al oreapons. Defense Minister Grachev has admitted that the Russians are unlikely to reach the upper limit, and economic constraints will ultimately drive their decision.

niiistrative Russian Strategic3

The following projections represent varying force structures under the constraints of the START II Treaty. We have uncertainties aboul:

The number of ICBMs Russia will deploy;

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