Created: 12/5/1962

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CONTRo/eD dissem





Capabilities of the Soviet Theater Forces


Concurred* In by hSo UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD Al indicotad overleaf





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Capabilities of the Soviet Theater Forces








Trends in Theater Warfare

Current Operational




Tactical Missile and Air

Tactical Nuclear


Military Air




Principal Strengths and Limitations of Soviet Theater

Soviet Forces Available for Employment Against NATO

Gross Capabilitiesampaign Against Western Europe

Gross Capabilities for Campaigns in Other


Large Scale Limited

Distant Limited Military




Tablestimated Strength ol Soviet Ground2 .

Tablestimated Strength ol Soviet Tactical Aviation byand2 and

Tableoviet Aircraft Close Support

Tablestimated Soviet Tactical Nuclear Missiles and Rockets

Tablestimated Stocks of Soviet Ground Force2

Tablestimated Strength of European Satellite Ground Field


Tablestimated Strength of European Satellite Air Forces.



Map: Deployment of Soviet Ground Divisions and Tactical18



effect on Soviet theater forces of an initial, strategic nuclearWe believe, however, that the effect of such an exchange couldrincipal factor governing the ability of Soviet theater forces to carry out their assigned missionseneral war.


military doctrine for general nuclear waruse of all types of forces, and not strategic forces alone,outset of hostilities. The requirements for generalas tho Soviets see them, include forces prepared fora relatively brief strategic exchange, and forcesprotracted theater warfare involving extensivethis position imposes heavy demands on Sovietit is still being sustained after extensive debatepolitical and military leadership. We believe that forthe next few years the Soviets will continue to regardforces as essential. )

doctrine continues to assume the full-scaleof theater forces from the outseteneral war.ultimate objective of annihilating enemy militaryoccupying territory. The prospect of nuclear warfareto many modifications but no radical revisions infor theater forces. Efforts are being made toand training to the requirements of rapidflexible maneuver, to coordinate the employment ofsupport for Soviet forces, and to ensure destructioncomparable nuclear means of the enemy. Thoconcept of combined arms operations has provided agearing modernized tactical air and missile support toand armored ground forces.

'The Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, USAF, dissents from major aspects of this estimate. For his views, sm0 immediately following tbe SUMMARY AND CONCLCSIONS

ground elements of Soviet theater forces,two million men and representing the largest part ofmilitary establishment, are well-trained and equippedmateneL Present trends pointontinuingon firepower and mobility. We estimate that there are

ine divisions, approximatelyf them considered to be combat ready and the remainder at low and cadre strength. The strongest concentrations are in Bast Germany and in tne western and southern border regions of the USSR. If the Soviets were able to mobilize forays before the initiation of hostilities, they could expand their total forces toombat readyonready divisions, although there would be deficiencies in training, equipment, and supporting units.)

rockets and road mobile missilesautical miles are now in the artilleryof major Soviet theater commands. Tacticalbeen sharply reduced in quantity,rime currentis the small number of modern aircraft,bombers. However, there have been qualitativein aircraft and their armament, and this trend willIn addition, tactical ballistic and antiaircraftnow available, and theater support could also beMRBMs and IRBMs in western USSR. Thesea net increase in the firepower available to supportin the event of general war, but at the expense of )

air transport is now sufficient to airliftonly one airborne division or the assault echelonssuch divisions; we believe that this capacity may bethe next several years. Amphibious assault capabilitieslimited, and there are no indications ofimprovements. )

nuclear support is still Limited in quantitybut it has improved markedly over the past fewmilitary planners are nowosition to think incommitting upew hundred nuclear weapons,with yields in the kilo ton range,ypical fronton the quantity and variety of nuclearto theater forces will have eased by thes.are probably developing subkiloton weapons, but wepresent evidence of work on delivery systems designed spe-

oughly comparableestern army group.

clflcally (or such weapons. We believe that chemical warfare munitions are available in quantity and would be usedin conjunction with nuclear and conventional weapons in general war.

O. Although tactical nuclear delivery systems are integral to Soviet theater forces, the nuclear weapons themselves do not appear to be in their custody Such weapons are normally stored in depots operated by the Ministry of Defense and located within the USSR Soviet procedures for controlling these weaponsthe national leadership that they will not be used without authorization. Existing procedures, together with deficiencies in logistical support, appear to penalize the Soviets in terms of operational readiness and rapid response for tactical nuclear weapons employment. )

H. The Soviets probably consider the East European Satellite forces toizable but problematic asset, because of their varying levels of effectiveness and reliability. In the event of war, however, the USSR would probably employ some Satellite forces in combined combat operations, by integrating selected Satellite divisions, corps, or even field armies directly into major Soviet commands. Other Satellite units would be retained under national command for security, reserve, and other functions.)

L The principal operations of Soviet theater forces inwar would be directed against NATO in Europe. The Soviets plan to move massive forces rapidly toward the Channel coast in the initial days ofar. This campaign wouldbe augmented by operations in Scandinavia, operations toward the Mediterranean, and operations toward the exits of the Baltic and Black Seas. The Soviet submarine fleet would contribute to the campaign against Western Europe byoperations against the highly important Atlantic supply lines. Other peripheral areas, notably the Far East, apparently have lesser priority for theater force operations. Sovietto conduct theater force operations against North America are limited to minor airborne and amphibious attacks against Alaska and other Arctic bases.

J. Although Soviet theater forces are foimidable. especially in the area facing NATO in Europe, they continue to have certain limitations beyond those of tactical nuclear support. In the initial periodeneralignificant portion of the tactical fighters would need to be assigned to interceptor as well as to ground attack missions. In offensive operations, the highly mechanized group forces are in constant danger of outrunning their logistic support. Finally, existing cornmand and control systems do not permit the Soviets to exercise their traditional strict supervision over subordinates in the widely extendedrequired on the nuclear battlefield.

K. The Soviets currently haveine divisionsactical aircraft stationed in East Germany and Poland.ituation in which surprise or pre-emption were overridingthey could launch an attack against Western Europe without prior buildup. If circumstances permitted, however, the USSR would seek toonsiderably larger striking force, primarily of Soviet but probably including some Satellite units. This force could comprise three frontsotalactical aircraft We estimate that under non-combat conditions,triking force could be built up in East Germany and western Czechoslovakia withinlays,heater reserve could be provided for backup. The ability of these and other Soviet theater forces to carry out their assigned general war campaigns could be governed principally by the effects of the initial nuclear exchange. )

L. The adjustments in Soviet theater forces in the past few years have not materially impaired their capabilities to conduct nonnuclear operations. The USSR's highly mechanized forces have favorable characteristics for the dispersed operationsbecause of the constant possibility of escalation to nuclear warfare. Over the past two years, the nonnuclear firepower of ground units has not been significantly altered, but thenonnuclear firepower which can be delivered by tacticalhas decreased. There are indications that the Soviets have recently given recognition to the possibility of nonnuclear war with NATO forces in Europe. They probably intend to retain capabilities for conventional warfare against NATO, but they do not appear to have revised their expectation that any major

conflict with NATO would be nuclear from the start or would probably escalate. )

M. The Soviets have evidently not elaborated any doctrine for limited nuclear warfare by theater forces, involving the use of tactical weapons only. We think they would be severelyin any attempts to conduct such warfare at present. Moreover, thus far the Soviets appear to think that limitedconflict in the NATO area would almost certainly escalate to general war.

Views of the Assistant Chief ot Staff, Intelligence, USAF:

l. The Assistant Chief ot SUIT. Intelligence, USAF. dissents from major aspects of this estimate. First, he considersarge body of recent Soviet doctrinal material has not been properly reflectedumber of fundamental judgments In this estimate.esult, he considers that this estimate,onsiderable degree, depicts Soviet military concepts and doctrine of several years ago and

subjects over tho period ol the estimate. Secondly, In his view, the current capabilities of operational weapon fysteou and the tactical options available for Lhcir employment have not been given due weight In this estimate.

I. More specifically, the Assistant Chief of Staff. Intelligence, USAF considers this estimate deficient in the following principal respects:

lu judgments of Soviet thinking on the importance of surprise inwar and the decisiveness of the initial phase: (he role of nuclearIn ail phases of general war; the possibility of nonnuclear.war between the nuclear powers; and whether the debate overand doctrine hoa ended.

its implications of the over-all capabilities of Soviet tactical aviationtheater forces, both in general nuclear war and nonnuclear.war.

onsequently, the Assistant Chief of Staff. Intelligence. USAF. would recast the Summary and Conclusions In the following manner:

Soviet military doctrine, althoughtate of flux on otherthat nuclear weapons will play the dominant role in all phases ofwar and that the initial phase otar may be decisive lnits outcome. Hence, the Soviet emphasis in doctrinal statements onol surprise and preemption. This doctrine has not been questioned.

the present time the combined arms doctrine continues to benuclear weapons and delivery systems have been assigned to tactical asstrategic forces with prion ly given to the latter in nuclear weaponsincreasing attention has Deer, given to the prospectshortcontinuing possibility ot protracted militaryddition torequirements of the Initial phase, have necessitated maintainingforces. Large armies are still considered important to assist Inand exploiting the results of Soviet nuclear attack and consolidatingattention, however, is being given to the need for forces to carry outand control operations within the USSR following nuclear exchanges.doctrinal considerations have already had considerable Impact on thestructure of Soviet theater forces and on their operational doctrine, andeven greater impact In the years ahead.



possibility of limited war Involving Soviet forces has been no morein Soviet writing. No doctrine of limited war, whether nuclearhas been discussed. On the contrary, Soviet doctrine explicitlythe enemy the Intention of using local warcreen for surprise attack.view has been maintained that local wars between nuclear powerslikely escalate into general war. Soviet leaders apparently believe thatnuclear war could not be fought in Europe. They also probablypossibility of conducting large-scale nonnuclear operations in EuropeThe Soviets have shown an appreciation of the risks Incurred inthe enemy the initiative for sudden resort to nuclearspeciallyshouldonsiderable scale.



extensive Soviet debate on military doctrine of the last tew years,accorded primacy to nuclear weapons and missiles, has not resolved themilitaryconfrontation with the US. Soviet leadersmake claims of strategic superiority. The Cuban episode may wellan attempt to improve Soviet strategic posturehort cut. It so,of strategic inferiority has come to the fore again. Because ofthe fact that satisfaction of high priority economic objectives Is beingby defense requirements, difficult choices in resource allocation may

Soviets still assume In their operational doctrine the full-scaleof theater forces from the outseteneral war. with theof annihilating enemy military capabilities and occupyingare being made io adjust organization and training to therapid advance and flexible maneuver, to coordinate the employment ofsupport and to ensure destruction of the nuclear means of the enemy.

over-all capabilities of the theater force have increased over theyears. These capabilities continue to be improved through thedeployment of new equipment and through the application of moreand operational techniques. Theater ground and air equipmentwarfare have been continually modernized without impairment ofcapabiliUes of cheater forces.

ground elements of Soviet theater forces, containing nearly twoand representing the largest part of the total military establishment,trained and equipped with excellent materiel Present trends point toemphasis on firepower and mobility. We caninebelieve that the total of such divisions liesangeivisions are considered to be combat-ready and thelow cadre strength. The strongest concentrations are In East Germanythe western and southern border regions of the USSR. If the Sovietsto mobilize forays before the initiation of hostilities, they couldtotal forces toombat-readyon-ready divisions,would be deficiencies in training, equipment and supporting units.

a. Short range rockets and rood-mobile, tactical ballistic missiles with ranges upautical miles have been incorporated Into the support structure of major Soviet theater commands. Concurrently, and with farther Improvements In the support environment, the number of aircraft assigned to Soviet tactical aviation has been reducedurrent level ofnd we expect further numerical reductions. At the same time, however, new higher performance, more versatile aircraft have been and continue to be introduced. Air transport is now sufficient to airlift simultaneously only one airborne division or the assault echelons of two such divisions; we believe that this capacity may be doubled In the next several years. Amphibious assault capabilities are extremely limited, and there are no indications of significant future improvements.

I. The Soviets are unlikely to Jeopardize achieving strategic surpriseoviet-initiated war by undertaking extensive mobilization. The concept of mobilization after Initiation of general war is currently under discussion In rnihtaryew new questions the possibility of extensive mobilization and at bestonly replacement of losses.

J. The Soviet nuclear stockpile has increased markedly over the post few years. Because of Che Increasing availability of tactical nuclear weapons, Soviet military planners are nowosition to think ln terms of committing upew hundred nuclear weapons, rtrtually all with yields in the klloton range, to


3 typical frontxisting limitations on the quantity and variety of nuclear weapons available to theater forces will have eased by the. The Soviets are probably developing subklloton weapons for useariety ot tactical delivery systems. We believe that chemical warfare munitions are available and would be used in conjunction with nuclear and conventional weapons In support of front operations.

K. Although tactical nuclear delivery systems are integral to Soviet theater forces the nuclear weapons themselves do not appear to be in their custody. Such weapons are normally stored in depots operated by the Ministry of Defense and located within the USSR. Soviet procedures for controlling these weapons retain for the national leadership the decision for their use. Existing procedures, together with deficiencies in logistical support, appear to penalise the Soviets in terms of operational readinessow alert posture: however, we estimate that the Soviets would take the necessary steps to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to theater forces during periods of heightened tension.

L. The principal operations ot Soviet theater forces In general war would be directed against NATO in Europe. The Soviets plan to move massive forces rapidly toward the Channel coast In the initial days ofar. Thiswould probably be augmented by operations In Scandinavia, operations toward the Mediterranean, and operations toward the exits of tbe Baltic and Black Seas. The Soviet naval air forces and submarine fleet would contribute to the campaign against western Europe by attack of seaborne nuclear forces and interdiction operations against the highly important Atlantic supply lines. Naval air forces and the submarine fleet in the Soviet Far East would defend against the nuclear threat posed. sea and shore-based nuclear capable forces In that theater. Other peripheral areas have lesser priority for theater force operations. Soviet capabilities to conduct other than strategic operations against North America are limited to minor airborne or amphibious attacks against

m_ Although theater forces are formidable, especially in the area facing NATO In Europe, they continue to have problems related to the conduct of offensive operations. The highly mechanized ground forces are in constant danger of outrunning their logistic support. Also, existing command and control systems do not permit the Soviets to exercise their traditional strict supervision over subordinates In the widely extended deployment required on the nuclearFinally, some of the Soviet, tactical fighter units are equipped and trained only for the Interceptor mission. However, most of the tactical fighter units are trained and equipped to perform both ground attack and interceptor missions snd could be used in either role depending on the operational requirements of the moment: defending against air attack: providing close support to the ground forces; or assisting ground offensive operations by striking ground targets in the enemy's rear. Thus, considering the substantial capabilities of tactical air support forces, we conclude that Soviet tactical aviation is capable of providing requisite air support to theater forces either In general war or nonnuclear. large-scale limited war.

N. The Soviets probably consider the East European Satellite forces toizeable but problematic asset because of their varying levels of effectiveness and reliability. In the event of war. however, the USSR would probably employ some Satellite forces In combined combat operations, by integrating selected Satellite ground and air elements directly into major Soviet commands. Other Satellite units would be retained under national command for security, reserve and other function*.

ront Is roughly comparableestern army group.



with the great attention given to the development ofcapabilities in recent years. Soviet military doctrine continuesgreat emphasis upon large-scale war in Europe. Themodern weapons has significantly modified but not supplantedemphasis. Although current doctrine recognizesimportance of the initial strategic exchange, it rejects thethat the outcomeeneral war fought with nuclear andwill be entirely dependent upon the exchange ofon the Soviet and American homelands, or that the strugglebe short Instead, the Soviets assert that generalcould be protracted and that, in any case, victory requires notdestruction of US long-range power but the defeat of enemyand the occupation of enemy territory, especially in

Trends in Theater Warfare Concepts

Milshief of Staff. Indulgence. USAF. dissents frora major aspects of thisor big views, seenmedlately following the SUMMARY AfD CONCLUSIONS.

Based on this strategic concept, the Soviets hold that strong and balanced forces are essential to the USSR's military posture.the critical importance of the initial periodeneral war, Soviet doctrine stresses the use of all types of forces, and not strategic attack forces alone, from its outset. From these considerationsequirement for large and modern theater forces ln being. These forces also serve toormidable capability for conventional or limited nuclear war and to strengthen the hand of the national leadership in pursuing foreign policy objectives. But in the Soviet view,for general war are the principal factors detennining theand size of theater forces.

Soviet military doctrine is subject to continuing review andin the light of evolving strategic and military technological factors. Russian belief ln the need for large standing forces for war ln Europe is still being sustained through sucharticularly intensive debate was precipitated9 by Khrushchev, whobelieved that existing doctrine and force structure had not been revised and streamlined in ways appropriate to nuclear and missileHe was evidently concerned about the heavy costs of advanced weapons, and the prospective burden on an economy already fully com-


ml tiedariety of high-priority programs. Thus, inew military policy ine stressed the deterrenceby nuclear-armed missiles and disparaged the effectiveness of more convenUonai arms His program originally callededuction of one-third ia military manpower and alterations in the structure of the Soviet Armed Forces, particularly at the expense of ground, tactical air, and surface naval forces.

During the period following Khrushchev's announcement, extended debate among senior Soviet officers resultedore penetrating reconsideration of the nature of modern war and the role andf theater warfare. This debate was sparked by the initiative of the political leadership, and gave ericouragement to those military men who believed that more drastic changes in doctrine, strategy, and force structure were called for in the missile age. By the fallhis intensive review resultedompromise of the more radical "modern" school with the conservative or "traditional" one. Thusith its stress on deterrence and its concern primarily for the political uses of military power, has been modified0 to meet requirements seen by the military for waging general war should one occur. These requirementseavy demand for forces to meet the general war contingencies, both of relatively bnef and largely strategic nuclear action, and of protracted military action involvingtheater campaigns.

Asoth political and military leaders accept the fact that new and costly demands for advanced weapon systems are superimposed upon Soviet resources without easing the burden of maintaining large theater forces. The effort to moderruze and strengthen ail arms of the Soviet forces simultaneously squeezes hard on resources available for Investment and consumption goals to which the leadership is strongly committed. Thus Khrushchev may once againeduction ln resources devoted to theater forces on the grounds that growing nuclear capabilities will permit this cutback without endangering SovietDevelopments within the Soviet leadership, changes In the level of international tension, and other factors might also contributeeopening of this question. We believe, however, that for at least the next few years the Soviets will continue to regard large theater forces as essential.

Current Operational Doctrine

oviet rnilitary doctrine does not address itself in any depth to the variety of circumstances in which general nuclear war might begin. Most Soviet military writings assume thatar would be initiated by Western strategic attacks on the USSR or by Soviet pre-emptive strategic blows against the West In such circumstances, thesecall for large-scale theater force operations, primarily in Europe,

beginning simultaneously with or immediately after the outbreakeneral war. While Soviet strategic planning must take account of the possible effect on theater force operations of an escalating localthe operational doctrine for theater forces, described In theparagraphs, assumes full-scale employment from the outset of the war.

In developing new guidance for the employment of their theater forces under modern general war conditions, Soviet military planners have proceeded byongstanding and comprehensive body of doctrine. The essential elements of that doctrine have changed little: the enemy's military capabilities are to be annihilated and his territory occupied by means of decisive offensive operations. These operations are to be facilitated where possible by surprise and deception. In addition. Soviet military doctrine calls for concentration of decisive force at the critical piace and time, rapidf secondand reserves, and developmentreakthrough with powerful, sustained pursuit.

The prospect of nuclear warfare has led to many substantial changes in tactical implementation of this doctrine. The Soviets no longer expect to conduct breakthrough operations against the kind of massive enemy ground force concentrations which they faced in World War II. The enemy's potential for massive nuclear strikeseed for maneuverability and flexibility ln deployment and control of one's own nuclear weapon systems,eed bo seek out and destroy rapidly the comparable nuclear means of the opponent. Soviet doctrine now recognizes this, and efforts are under way to adjust Soviet organization and training accordingly.

The traditional Soviet concept of combined arms operationson infantry forces hasasis for gearing modernized tactical air and missile support to motorized and armored ground forces. Artillery armed with short-range rockets and missiles isan increasingly important role for tactical fire support, although tactical aviation continues to have an important role in both tactical fife support and reconnaissance. Soviet planning for the coordination of tactical nuclear support by aircraft and missiles appears to be well advanced. However, the problem ot coordinating the operations of medium and intermediate range missiles and medium bombers, held under centralized national command, with the operations of theater forces, appears not to have been resolved.

Soviet operational doctrine callsorm ofconditions of nuclear warfare and against opposition, of upkilometershour day. Traditional concern over openencircled and bypassed enemy forces has receded.ast-moving armored leading edge and heavy con-


ventional and low-yield nuclear rocket support. Is the key element of maneuver, and missiles witn ranges upautical miles ' with low to medium-yield nuclear warheads, form the chief element of firepower

enormous firepower of raultimegaton nuclear weaponsled the Sovteia to consider concepts for theateras rendering very large areas radioactive, which go farwithin the current framework of Uoctnne. It is evident,that the mainstream of Soviet military thinking currentlya radical approach Moreover. Soviet poll tic al leaders, withconcern for the political objectives and political outcome ofbe unlikely to base their planning on so drastically revised


program to reduce the Soviet Armed Forces byby lUirushchev inarked the opening ofof extensive reorganisation and adjustment. Inah* of the projected reductionillion men InArmed Forces had been made, the program of reductionsallegedly in response to the US military buildupSoviet pressures on Berlin. Later in that year, selectedrecalled and men due for routine discharge were retained onof these extended duty tours were permitted to lapse duringIncreases In military manpower for certain branches of service,missile associated personnel, have probablyetthe strength of1 but below that ofethat the force level now stands at5 million men. of2 million are in the theater ground forces. While there mayfluctuations or moderate decline in this general level, weroughly the present strength and composition of the Sovietwill continue over the next few years.

Ground force*

Soviet ground forces, which represent the largest part ofestablishment, are well-trained and equipped withCombat troops are distributed amongilitarythe USSR and three groups of forces In the Europeanstrongest concentrations are ln East Germany and the westernborder regions of theeaser concentration is inarea of the Soviet Far East. Most Soviet ground forcesinto field armies with combat and service support for therifle and tank divisions. Combat and service support isstretched thin, and thereow ratio ot nondivisional support

to the present divisional force. However, there are large numbers of artillery, missile, and antiaircraft artillery brigades and regiments which are either allocated to field armies or retained under higher command headquarters. Combat air support is provided by units of Tactical Aviation, organised into tactical air armies under thecontrol of the military district or group-of-forces commander.

Of the nearly two million men in the Soviet theater groundittle over half are in line divisions and the remainder are in combat and service support elements. Wc estimate that, ashereinof these, approximatelyre considered to be combat ready (atercent of authorized personnel strength ornd the remainingre at low and cadre strength (estimated to range betweenndercent of authorized strength and hence requiring substantial augmentation beforetohe reductions since the beguining0 have cut the number of combat ready divisions by aboutnd of low strength divisions byontinuing Soviet preference forery large and partly skeletal ground force capable of rapidly being fleshed out with mobilization. At present, there are an estimatedankirborne divisions,otorized rifle divisions-1

The program of modernization and reorganization has involved the introduction over the last several years of more advanced designs of praticaily all types of equipment, including surface-to-surfacemissiles. range, tanks, armored personnelnuclear-capable free rockets with ranges up toguided missiles, artillery and antiaircraft guns, recoilless antitank weapons,ide variety ol transport vehicles. In some Instances, there have been two successive generations of equipment since World War i: The Increasing number of tracked and wheeled amphibians and amphibious tanks has greatly improved Soviet riser-crossingand we expect extensive equipping with the new amphibious armored personnel carrier.

Present trends in the ground weapons development program pointontinuing emphasis on firepower and mobility. Specific areas of concentration probably will include light gun and missile weapons to defend against low-dyingield antimissile system, air-trans-

'Tb* number of dirisiors corJlrmed sine* January 1M1: most ol Use additional divisions included in our estimate are under strength units located in areas from which information Is received only ipo radically 7along account of this and other factors, we conclude that the current total of divisions could lieange of ISO to ISO, with the most probable figure being aboutetailed estimate of ground divisions by location and type, see Annex, Table 1.

'All rifle and mechanised divisions have been convened Into motorized rifle and tang units.


portable weapons and equipment, weight reduction ot existingand improved reconnaissance and communications- Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) are replacing medium and heavy antiaircraft guns; guided antitank missiles are being introduced and will probably replace some antitank guns.

Tactical Muilm and Air Support

Soviet development of guided missiles has greatly improved the fire support available to field forces Road mobile surface-to-surface ballistic missiles with maximum rangesm.nd SS-IA)ave been available for several years* Although nuclear warheads are probably the primary armament of these missiles, operational considerations might prescribe the use of chemical (CW) and high explosive (HE) warheads. Thendissiles are intended primarilyround support role, and missile units are assigned to direct operational control of field commanders. Although there is little direct evidence on their deployment, we estimate that aboutrigadesaunchers each) andattalionsaunchers each) are now operational These missile units are believed to be In the artillery support structure of major Soviet theater force commands, although none have been firmly identified. Wethat the numbers ofndnits will remain fairly stable. However, the Soviets probably will soon begin replacing theith an improved follow-on system of similar range, as they have done with the SS-1.

The number of aircraft in Tactical Aviation was reduced by half0ince that time, It has been generally stabilized in overall strength, with phasing in of new model aircraft and continuing reductions in older models.esult of reductions and transfers, Soviet Tactical AviaUon is now mainly located in the areas adjoining major potential land theaters of combat. About half Its total strength is with Soviet forces in Eastern Europe, and most of tho remainder Is ln western and southern USSR. Tactical Aviation will continue to receive new models and to decline in numbers offromo lessver the next twohe estimated currant and future numbers of Soviet tactical aircraft appearelation to total ground forces

A prime current deficiency of Soviet TacUcal Aviation is the lack of modern aircraft, particularly fighter bombers. The mainstay of

the estimated performance of Soviet tactical missiles and rockets, see Annex, Table *.

'For the estimated strength of Soviet Tactical Aviation by location and type, see Annex. Table 2.

Soviet offensive tactical air support is still the obsolescent BEAGLE subsonic light bomber. However, theupersonic tactical fighter bomber, is now entering service. Most current Soviet fighters were designed primarily as interceptors and have Limited load-carrying and range capabilities. However, they canariety ofin support of ground forces, and can be equipped to deliver nuclear bombs- Overercent of the fighters In Tactical Aviation are obsolescent FAGOTs, FRESCOs. and FARMERS, but the introduction of modern supersonic lighters has been accelerated. Among the newer fighter types, the FISHBED. FITTER, and FIDDLER (the last of these not yet in units) appear to be suitable for carrying nuclear weapons and per-fonnlng ground support missions. The Soviets have conducted some training in fighter delivery of nuclear weapons.

Tactical Aviation now has. surface-to-surface cruise missiles (SHADDOCK,or the present at least, the Soviets have evidently decided not to assign0issiles or medium bombers to the theater fieldmall number of medium bombers were assigned to Tacticalew years ago. but have since been withdrawn. All medium-range missiles and bombers are now believed to be assigned to the Strategic Rocket Troops and to Long Range and Naval Aviation, respectively.

In sum. Tactical AviaUon has been sharply reduced In quantity,rime current deficiency is the small number of modern aircraft, particularly fighter bombers. However, there have been qualitativein aircraft and their armament, and this trend willIn addition, tactical ballistic and antiaircraft missiles are now available, and theater support could also be afforded by MRBMs and IRBMs in western USSR. These developments wouldet increase in the firepower available to support theater forces Ln the event of general war, but at the expense of some flexibility.

Tactical Nuclear Weapons

nuclear weapons do not appear to be physicallyfield forces under peacetime conditions, delivery systems forare found at the field army and higher levels; divisionalapparently now includes nuclear-capable free rockets. Therenuclear weapons delivery systems below divisional levelfor use of nuclear weapons are restricted to front and in somearmy commanders, with orders for their employmentthrough the corresponding deputy commanders forin the case of tactical air delivery, through the air army of the

"For the estimated performance of Soviet fighters in close support roles, see Annex. Table 3.



front* Allocations to fronts would be made by the High Command, and within and among these tactical levels by the front commander, in accordance with established guidelines and weapons availability.

* The front Is the largest wartime Soviet field command, roughly comparableestern army group but including tactical aviation. It has administrative as well as tactical responsibilities.

In peacetime, nuclear weapons are stored in depots operated by the Ministry of Defense. As far as we can determine, these depots are located within the USSR; none have been identified in East Germany. Release and delivery of nuclear weapons to fixing units, by air or ground transport, would be made upon order from the Minister of Defense.

The existing procedures for controlling nuclearheater insure the national leadership that employment of nuclear weapons will not be Initiated without political authorization. In addition, weapons allocation procedures give the national leadership substantial control over the numbers and yields of weapons employed by major theater force commands. The direct channel of allocation and of operational orders from the Ministry of Defense to the fronf commanders limits the freedom of field commanders to select targets. It appears that, as part of the effort to insure central control, special units have been created throughout the chain of command to hold physical custody of nuclear weapons. Existing procedures appear to penalize the Soviets in terms of operational readiness and rapid response for use of tactical nuclear weapons. We have no evidence indicating at what stage of readiness for combat these weapons would be turned over to field forces.

The broad range of nuclear tests12 points to an effort to improve the nuclear capabilities of all arms of the Sovietestablishment. We believe that limitations on allocation ofweapons to theater forces will have eased by thes, and these forces will thenreater variety of nuclear weapons at their disposal. We believeariety of tactical nuclear weapons is now available, virtually all of them with yields in the klloton range, but possibly including some in the low megaton range. The Soviets are probably developing subkiloton range warheads, but there is no present evidence that they are developing delivery systems specifically for such weapons.

Soviet military planners are nowosition to think in terms of committing upew hundred nuclear weaponsypical front operation. Initial preparatory nuclear strikes are considered crucial to anigh volume of concentrated nuclear strikes is called for Ln the preparatory phase, prior to offensive thrusts by ground forces, with theater forcesarge percentage of their nuclear

weapons allocations during that phase. The primary targets in all phases of theater operations remain enemy nuclear delivery systems. Target priorities also are assigned to major troop formations, command and control complexes, and logistical Installations. We believe, however, that shortfalls in organization, equipment, and logistic support would hamper the actual execution of Soviet doctrine for use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Chemical Warfare

he Soviets consider CW munitions as an integral part ofarsenal for extensive use in conjunction with convenUonalweapons Ln the event of general nuclear war Theybe used, after Initial authorization by Moscow, on decisionfront commander in accordance with his estimate of theChemical munitions might be used in meetingfor ground combat on the line of contact, and againstconcentrations, command posts, and missile launch sites,key targets withiniles of the battle front The

viets contemplate CW delivery by aircraft, short-range missiles, and

'gnUonal artillerywe estimate that the USSR possesses an inventory of atons of toxic agents Ln bulk and in filled munitions. About half the Soviet stockpile could consist of nerve agents, with the remainder consisting of various older standard agents. For tactical missilethe primary CW munition would probably be nerve gas olgent type. We do not believe that the Soviets plan to use BW agents for tactical Aeld combat

Military Air Transport

Soviet military transports are under Che administrative authority of Military Transport Aviation, which coordinates military air transport activity and furnishes airlift support to all Soviet military forces except the navy. Military Transport Aviation hasight and medium transportselicopters, almost all of which are operationally assigned to the Ministry of Defense. Long Range Aviation. Air Defense Forces. Tactical Aviation, Rocket Troops, and Airborne Troops.assigned to Airborne Troops and the Ministry of Defense alsoeneral purpose pool for the support of all major cargo and personnel lifts.

gh; transports of the CAB. COACH, and CRATE types, aboutonverted BULL piston medium bombers, andedium turboprop transports of the CAT, CAMP, and CUB types, are assigned by Military Transport Aviation to support of airborne troops. The assigned transports of the airborne troops are


sufflclcnt to airliftingle airborne division or the assault echelons of two airborne divisions. Each divisional assault echelon would be limited toroops, including headquarters elements, nine rifle battalions, and light regimental support elements. Divisional combat and service support as well as transport vehicles of the infantry would not beecond sortie of the entire fleet would be needed to deliver the balance of the two divisions.

probable addition in the near future of more transportsSoviet capabilities to lift large numbers of troops or cargoareas. We believe that in several years, transportssupport of airborne troops may have twice the present liftairlift capabilities also could be augmented byettransports now in civil aviation; these Include themedium transport, the CAT and COOT turboprop mediumand Limited numbers of theurboprop heavyaircraft have an alruft capability ol nearly two additionalassault echelons. We believe that the two new hightransports, theet and theurboprop, may beginthe outmoded and uneconomical CAB, COACH, and

Naval Support

The Soviet Navy was traditionally viewed primarily as aelement to the land field forces on their maritime flanks. In recent years, however, the role of the navy Ln support of theater operations has come to emphasize the Interdiction of Western sea lines ofand operations against Western naval forces, in addition to defending the littoral of tbe Soviet Bloc Subrnarine-launched missile attacks against Western territory could also support Soviet theater opera tions.

During the last few years the surface and submarine fleets have been pared of obsolescent units. New guided missile destroyers,and mine warfare ships, and missile launching patrol boats have augmented the coastal defensive capabilities of the Soviet Navy. Naval Aviation has been drastically reduced by the elimination of its fighter and most light bomber elementsesult of transfers and deactivations. Medium bombers equipped with air-to-surface missilesnd others equipped for reconnaissance, have increased the effectiveness of Naval Aviation. In addition, there is evidencerogram to re-equip the Soviet Navy's coastal artillery and antiaircraft artillery units with missile armament is well under way. Guided missile armament on destroyers and patrol craft has greaUy Increased the range at which they can engage opposing naval forces, but their usefulness


against land targets is questionable. The Soviet Navy is capable of mining in the closed seas, and of some aerial or submarine mining of Western ports and their approaches.

Soviet amphibious assault capability is limited tooperations over short distances. Using all available navaland craft, the maximum lift wouldattalion inattalion In the Pacific Fleetegiment inegiments in the Baltic. The Sovietsotallift in all seas which is theoretically sufficient tootorized rifle divisions; however,ift wouldor other extensive off-loading faculties in the landing area.all Soviet merchant ships were available for use in theirof registry, their approximate lift capability would be:

nits divisions

motorized rifle divisions

moromed rifle divisions

motorized nfle divisions

Soviets may seek to further develop their amphibiousbut sTgruncant improvement will depend upon theirof additional amphibious craft, extensive training, anda reliable logistic support system. There are no current indicationsan improvement.


Sinceoviet and East European Satellite forces have been partnified military command established under the Warsaw Pact The headquarters of the command is in Moscow, and itsin Chiefarshal of the Soviet Union as wellirst Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR Satellite defense ministers are designated Deputy Commanders in Chief, but there is no evidence that they regularly participate in the functions of the unified command, which are evidently handled almost exclusively by Soviet staff officers.

In addition to its obvious roleolitical counter to NATOymbol of Bloc solidarity, the Warsaw Pact military command has servedonvenient Instrument for the further standardization of Satellite doctrine and procedures along Sovietelatively large amount of combined training of Soviet and Satellite units has been held under its auspices.]

combat units have sometimes been involvedairly substantial scale. From the nature and extent of this training activity, we Judge that the Soviets probably intend to employ some Satelliteombined combat operations In the event of war.



We believe that; in wartime. Bast European Satellite military forces would be under the control of the Soviet High Command, and the Warsaw Pact command as such would have little or no operational role.Satellite divisions, corps, or even field armies would be integrated directly into Soviet field armies or fronts. Others would be retained under national command lor such missions as defense against NATO air attack and sabotage, theater reserve, and line of communications security. The manner and extent to which Satellite forces would be employed would be determined by the Soviet estimate of their reliability and effectiveness, and by the availability ot supporting elements.

The total personnel strength of the Satellite ground forces was augmented by nearlyercentesult of the Berlin crisishe increased strength was primarily in the line divisions, which had previously been manned at betweenndercent of wartime strength. Unlike the Soviet increase, which was subsequently offset through normal releases from service, the Satellite increase has in part been retained. Strength remains at.

Aboutf theatellite divisions are considered to bemanned and equipped for commitment to combat as part of an overall effort against NATO. Of these, somere Polish, East German, and Czech and the remainingre Bulgarian and Rumanian divisions. Hungarian divisions are not included because of equipment shortages and inadequacy of higher unit training.1*

Satellite field forces have very little tactical air support, because the primary mission of Satellite air forces is air defense. These air forces are made up almost entirely of obsolescent aircraft. However, more advanced fighters are being furnished to the Satellites and we believe this trend will continue, thereby Improving the capabilities of Satellite air units. Certain key cities of East Europe are now defended by SAMs of theype, but the Satellites still depend heavily onighters for air defense. At least in the initial stageseneral war. It is unlikely that Satellite fighter aircraft would be released from this role in large numbers to provide close support for ground forces or to perform other offensive missions."

Thus the Soviets probably consider the Satellite forces toizable but problematic asset to their theater force capabilities against NATO ln Europe. Satellite ground divisions are of varying degrees of effectiveness; more than half of them could probably be committed to combat without mobilization, but they suffereneral shortage

etailed estimate of East European ground divisions by location and type, see Annex. Table 6.

etailed estimate of the strength of East European Air Forces, see Annex. Table 1.


of nondl visional support. Satellite air forces consist primarily of older model Soviet fighters and are intended mainly for air defense. The role of Satellite naval forces is limited to coastal defense. The Satellites have dual capable weapons of various types, but the Soviets have not been willing to provide them with nuclear bombs and warheads.

is probablyritical factor in Sovietthe employment of the East European Satellite forces. Therisk would vary widely among units and nationalities, anddepend on the cause and nature of the hostilities, theof the opposing forces, and the fortunes of war. Underconcern over political reliability might even causeto consider some of the Satellite forcesiabilityan asset. By careful selection of courses of action andthe Satellite forces, the USSR could tap much of their potential,could not count upon them for the full range of operations


atter of simple military necessity, the Soviets are preparing their theater field forces for the contingency of general nuclear war. Their primary concern is to insure that these forces will be able to survive the massive employment of nuclear weapons by the enemy and to fight effectively in conjunction with the USSR's own nuclear and missile strikes. During the initial nuclear exchange, the role of theater field forces would be secondary to that of strategic attack and air defense forces, but theater forces would be expected to contribute to Soviet offensive and defensive action by engaging the enemyroad front and by neutralizing nuclear weapons and bases where possible. The ultimate strategic objectives of Soviet theater operations in general war would be to defeat enemy ground forces and to occupy strategically important territory.

The statements of Soviet leaders, as well as the deployment and training of Soviet theater forces, make it clear that the principalof these forces In general war would be directed against NATO in Europe. The Soviets plan to move massive theater forces rapidly toward the Channel coast in the initial dayseneral war. This campaign would probably be augmented by operations in the Scandinavian area, to secure the exit of the Baltic and acquire advance bases for theFleet. The Soviets evidently also contemplate operations toward the Mediterranean, and to secure the exit of the Black Sea. Other peripheral areas, such as the Middle and Far East, are apparentlyas having lesser priority for theater force operations. Soviet capabilities to conduct theater operations against North America are

limited to minor airborne and amphibious attacks against Alaska and other Arctic bases.

Principal Strengths and Limitations of Soviet Theater Forces

longstanding Sonet concern with concepts and forces forin adjoining theaters, especially in Europe, has resulted intheater force strong in armor, battlefield mobility, andbeing. The tactical nuclear delivery capabilities of these forces,improving, are limited ln both quantity and quality atIn the initial phaseeneralignificant portionfighters of Tactical Aviation would need to be assigned toas well as to ground attack missions. In offensivehighly mechanized ground forces are in constant danger oftheir logistical tail, which ts heavily dependent onthe Soviets have traditionally exercised very strictthe actions of their subordinates, but existing command anddo not permit the strict supervision over the widelyrequired on the nuclear battlefield or under the threatof nuclear weapons.

Sovier Forces Available for Employment Against NATO

Therereat many factors which have decisive bearing on the size of the forces which the Soviets could and would employ in operations against NATO, and their effects cannot be estimated with assurance. Some of the most important of these are: (a) the question of the extent to which the Soviets would have the Initiative, or be able to achieve surprise; (b) the number of units which would be retainedobilization and training base; <c) the extent of employment and the combat effectiveness of Satellite divisions; and (d) forcein other areas. In addition, we are not certain as to the quantities of weapons and equipment available for mobilization purposes. The Soviets have evidently satisfied their mobilization requirements inall categories of conventional artillery and tanks, evenobilization which would double the current number of divisions.we believe that shortages of other combat and support equipment (such as communications ands well as of trained specialists for support units, would impede the expansion of force levels.11

Soviet theater forces are disposed inanner that the bulk of their combat ready forces are available for use against NATO. We estimateotalivisions,f them combat ready, are located west of the Urals. Theombat ready divisions located in

etailed estimate o( Soviet stocks of ground force weapons, see Annex, Table 5.


East Germany, Poland, and Hungary, have been given the highest level of support ot any major Soviet ground formations. These Soviet forces in East Europe have almost half the total strength of Tactical Aviation, andonsiderably higher ratio of combat and service support units than forces inside the USSR itself.11

ombat-ready Soviet divisions available for employment against NATO are currently stationed as follows:


Location Mtc. Rifle

or Soviet Forces. Germany iGSFG) 10

Group of Forces, Poland <NGF> I

Group of Forces, Hungary (SGF) 1







Includes tour divisions opposite eastern Iran and Afghanistan.

If the Soviets were able to mobilize forays before the Initiation of hostilities, some of theoviet low-strength divisions west of the Urals could be brought up to strength and thereafter used to augment forces in the combat areas. However, these divisions would betrained and their commitment to combat would deplete the cadres necessary for mobilizing and training additional divisions. Hence their use would be problematical.

f the Soviets were able to mobilize forays before theof hostilities, they could expand their total forces toombat readyonready divisions. Of0 divisions, the following would be In areas from which they could be employed against NATO:







Southern USSR



divisions opposite eastern Iran and Afghanistan.

"For the geographic distribution of Soviet ground divisions and tactical air-craft, see Annex, Mao


Soviet Tactical Aviation now haset light bombersighters in Eastern Europe. The Satellites together haveight bombers andighters, the latter intended primarily for air defense. Lo the entire European USSR, there are in Tactical AviaUon anight bombers andighters; also available for employment against NATO are aboutight bombersighters in the Tronscaucasus and Turkestan. Nearlyercent of the light bombersmall percentage of the fighters havereconnaissance roles.

The Soviet Navy has large numbers of modern, long-range(including missile launching types) and major surface ships assigned to its three fleets in the European area, as shown in thesummary table:



BalUc .

Black Sea

- Does not Include medium-range submarines designed for operauons ln closeduch submarines are currently In the Baltic, and four are is the Black Sea.

Of the submarines in the Northern Fleet, with unrestricted access to the open seas, aboutincluding the missile subs) are capable of operating off the US coasts, while the remainder were apparentlyfor operation in the eastern North Atlantic. The surface ships of the Northern Fleet are also capable of operations in the eastern North AUanUc. but their operations would probably be confined to the radius of land-based air cover. There areADGER medium bombers, the bulk of them equipped with ASMs, and aboutADGE seaplanes assigned to the three European Fleets.

uropean-based medium bombers of Longwould be committed to strategic attack missions ineneral war. some of them could be employed forof theater campaigns in the NATO area. We estimateorce of medium and Intermediate range missiles whichmoreperational launching pads deployed withinNATO targets.

Gross Capabilitiesampaign Against Western Europe

of our uncertainty regarding many critical factors,express the gross capabilities of Soviet theater forces only Ln termsrnaxUnurn forces which could be built up and supported In each

area of operations, provided Uiat in the aggregate these forces do not exceed the total strength which the USSR is likely to be able to marshal. Our estimate of these gross capabilities, moreover, does not take account of the actions of opposing military forces, nor does it allow for the effectstrategic nuciear exchange. We believe thateneral war the initial nuclear exchange couldrincipal factor governing the ability of Soviet theater forces to carry out the campaigns described in succeeding paragraphs.

The size of the ground and tactical air forces the Soviets could employ initially against Western Europe inould depend in part on whether operations were begun on short notice oreriod of preparation. The Soviets currently haveine divisionsactical aircraft stationed in East Germany and Poland. If surprise were the overriding factor or the Soviets concluded that they must quickly initiate pre-emptive operations, they could launch an attack against Western Europe without prior buildup. Such an action would not be consistent, however, with Soviet doctrine concerning the necessity for numerical superiority in the area of engagement.

Soviet doctrine and recent military exercises strongly suggest that if circumstances permitted, the USSR would seek to assemble alarger striking forceampaign into Western Europe. The major drive contemplated ln this campaign would clearly be into West Germany. Considering current Soviet doctrine for combatand echelonment. as well as the geography of the area, we believe that the striking force forampaign could comprise three frontsotalround divisions, with air support totalingactical aircraft. In addition, some theater reserve forces would probably be called for by Soviet doctrine.

In addition to Soviet forces In East Germany and Poland, theombat ready Soviet divisionsactical aircraft in western USSR could be moved forwardampaign against Western Europe. Todivision struong force, however, the Soviets would have to employ additional divisions, which they could draw from aof sources. Of theatellite ground divisions of East Germany.and Czechoslovakia, we believe that up toould make reasonably early contributions. After some delay, the Soviets could also bringortion of theivisions in western USSR which are normally at low strength, or could draw upon units in northwestern, southwestern, or southern USSR.

For assembly and support of forces in the forward area, the rail net of Eastern Europe could probablyeinforcement rate of up to three division slices daily tor movements extending from the Soviet border through Poland and Czechoslovakia, or about two division slices



daily for movements extending through Ease Germany.ivision sliceivision of men and equipment plus its share of combat and service supporthese maximum daily reinforcement rates could be achieved after about seven days of preparation. They would be reduced as soon as resupply shipments reached significant size, but large-scale resupply would not need to be initiated until after theof hostilities. Road and water transport could also be used for movement of men and material, but would probably not add significantly to the reinforcement rate.

Under noncombat conditions, the Bloc could buildivision striking force in East Germany and western Czechoslovakia withinays. This force could be assembledanner designed to giveinimum of warning and reaction time, for example, by about IS days of covert preparation and reduced scale reinforcement followed byays of open, maximum scale reinforcement. If the Bloc followedlan, it could probably alsoheater reserve of aboutecond-line Soviet and Satellite divisions Ln Poland and eastern Czechoslovakia aboutays after the start of the buildup.

The Soviet submarine fleet could contributeampaign against Western Europe by operations against the highly important sea lines of communication from North America. The capability of Sovietto interdict these supply lines would dependumber of factors: endurance of the submarines, transit time to station, repair and overhaul requirements, logistic support, and the extent ofInterdiction operations against North Atlantic supply routes would be accomplished largely by submarines of the Northern Fleet; this force includes aboutubmarines which have ^sufficient radius to operate in US coastal areas but which could operate in the Norwegian Sea and eastern Atlantic. Not considering combat attrition, aboutorthern Fleet submarines could be maintained on stations continuously in the eastern Atlantic approaches to the UK and Europe. This force might be augmented by submarines deployed from the Baltic prior to hostilities. Marginal coverage of the approaches to the Mediterranean could also be achieved. In addition, the Soviets could maintain0 long-range, torpedo-attack submarines on more distant stations for operations against shipping in the western Atlantic.

Gross Capabilities For Campaigns in Other Areas

major drive across central Europe would probably beby lesser thrusts in other military theaters, employingdivisions adjacent to them and the limited numbers ofnot committed to the main westward thrust.

or an initial campaign against Scandinavia, the USSR could useombat readynderstrength divisions facing Finland and

northern Norway.oviet divisions in Hungary might form the initial echelonront moving toward Italyampaign into Oreece and Turkish Thrace, the USSR hasombat ready divisions in the southwestern USSR and up toulgarian anddivisions; some ofoviet ready divisions in the Carpathian Military District, if not sent westward, could also be used in this theater. The position of Yugoslavia as neutral, ally, or enemy wouldey factor influencing the strategy of Soviet campaigns against either Italy or Greece and Turkey.

the initial stageeneral war, limited operationslaunched against Iran and eastern Turkey. Twelve combatare stationed in southern USSR facing eastern Turkeybecause of logistic limitations, somewhat less than half thisof divisions could be employed against eastern Turkeyln the Far Eastombat readyirborne division without adequate airlift.the Far Eastern capability for amphibious assault atbattalion. These theater forces have been substantially reducedyears, and it is doubtful that the Soviets would launch awith their own forces in the Far Eastern area


torgc- Scale Limited War

The Soviets have been especially concerned in recent years with developing concepts and capabilities for waging nuclear theaterThis appears to have been in responseATO policy which was frankly basedesort to nuclear weapons from the beginning ofampaign. More recent indications of US Interest in budding NATO's capability for an initial nonnuclear response do not appear thus far to have altered the Soviet expectations that any majorin Europe would either be nuclear from the start or would probably escalate.

There are indications in their recent writings, however, that the Sonets have given recognition to the possibility of nonnuclear warfare with NATO forces in Europe. They recognize the advantages to them if an engagement in the European theater could be kept nonnuclear,oviet objective inonflict would be to prevent escalation. But they also recognize the great risk, should hostilities reach any considerable scale, of leaving to the opponent the initiativeudden resort to nuclear attack. They probably Intend to retain the capability to conduct large-scale nonnuclear operations against NATO even though they do not count on being able to exercise this option.



he adjustments In Soviet theater forces in the past few years have not materially Impaired their capabilities to conduct nonnuclear operations. Offensive and defensive weapons have continued to be modernized. Over the past two years, the nonnuclear firepower of ground units has not been significantly altered, but the supporting nonnuclear firepower which can be delivered by tactical aircraft has decreased

n the event of military action in the NATO area without the employment of nuclear weapons, the possibility of escalation to nuclear warfare wouldonstant influence on the battle. Under theseSoviet forces have certain characteristics in their favor. Their highly mechanized, high-speed forces are well adapted to penetrating gaps in enemy formations and exploiting deep Into the enemy rear. Their high degree of mechanization would permit them to concentrate forces briefly while on the move to achieve local superiority in combat power, and to disperse again beforeuclear targot.the traditional Soviet doctrine of echelonment would permit Soviet forces toreat concentration of combat power throughout the depth of the enemy formations.

s far as we can determine, there has been almost no Soviet doctrinal discussion about limited nuclear warfare by theater forces, involving the use of tactical weapons only Thus far, the Sovietsto think that limited nuclear conflict in the NATO area would almost certainly escalate to general war. We think the USSR would be severely handicapped in any attempts to conduct such warfare at present. There are, at present, limitations in numbers of low-yield nuclear weapons, in accurate short-range delivery means, and in tactical nuclear air support. There are also strong indications that the Soviet command and control system does not have the speed and flexibility necessary for highly controlled, discriminating use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Distant Limited Military Action

oviet theater forces are primarily designed for operauons in areas contiguous to the Bloc. The USSR Is increasing Its concern withareas such as Cuba, Laos, and Africa, but in any present effort to deploy ground and tactical air forces rapidly to distant areas, and to maintain them once deployed, the USSR faces many disadvantages. It is severely limited In airlift, sealift, and naval support suitable for distant actions- Moreover, in many areas it lacks politicalto Insure that tt can provide adequate logistic support

here is no evidence that the USSR has established any special military component trainee! and equipped specifically for independent small-scale operations, although of course it could employ portions of

its existing forces. It is possible that over the next few years thewill seek to improve their capabilities for distant, limited military operations through the designation and training of appropriate forces, and the development of suitable equipment for their use and logistic support. They may attempt to overcome their geographicfor applying such forces by negotiating with neutralist countries to utilize available facilities for refueling and maintenance of Soviet military aircraft or naval ships.







r. -a

r. 9


s a





: h

:S S


2= 22 8



- a g


: 3


SSm '3



.& It


Table 3




s (nm!

t SL Iklii

pound* (internal only!.

nm gun.

it mm guii*.

pound* (internal only)

oundram gun.

1 23 : IV III!

poundixternal tank)

poundm nun.

A d

i D4



pound* (internal oniri. .

ound* (external fuel!

ound* (Internal only)

oundi (external fuel)

ounds (internal oolv)



xound bomb.

amJ mm gun*.

ound bomb*.

mm rockeu

mmm rocket*.

0 mmm rocket*.

pound*xternal fiiaeimje teaks J.

oundsxternal fuselage tank*).

ouudi (internal only

ouitd* (1 exlemitl fuwlane tank).

ound*xternal fuselage tank).


oundmmmound0 mm gun*.


pound0 mmm0 comound0 ramound bomb0 mmound bomb load.-on.b lo*!.

poundaxternal0 pound* (internal onlv).



ml*aloa prodle: (I) Take oil (two minutes al normal ratedlimb on course at militaryruise to target at speed aod altitude <or maximum reage. Drop externaleoeeod to target, five minute* at military power at seatkab at military power, return to be.sepeed aad altitude for maximumeaerre allowance ofinutes loiter in landing pattern at Oato. Actual combat performance nul vary depending on load corned aod mlssioa prodle ftowo. The radius will be considerably leaa if Hown al low leveL

' All aircraft considered to be eopable of carrying nuclear wempoo*.

bomb and rocket loads oro carried externally except forbicb carries bombs internally.

air-to-air rocket packs are carried and contain multipleoundhe number Of these rocket* per pack could be

m air-to-ground rocket weigh*ounds.

' Four pylon* for carrying external store* are provided. Two aro undue the wini* and two ure uitdvr ihe fuselage.

igh level bombing mU>ioii the combat radius would be 3b0 ujtl with internal fuel,un. with external fuel.




Radio incrilul.all medial Him CM ..

CW, II I' it mii-lum)

Oiker er ill


ni- a'lural pinur-veyrd heldour forriod* andur|icriodi.

Him cfoas-couulry mobility luled condition

5 (nuclear)

Sloiublv liquid...

ni CEP

OW ornuelcni)

On lapercent


2 Lour* uftcral pitsur-veyed tite. Can beheldO minute* forperiods.


Some crou-couii-Iry mobility In fueled condition

N untie* obi* liquid.

limbo inert imCEP





ioura afteral prsite.eldour (or extended ptiiodo,6 minutes for lim*periods


Moliilo on good loads

limited urost-coiin-

Iry mobility

Oiwd ononrondii

Iangef those of Ibc SS-IU.

Thcievidence of an Improved model deaignuttd SS-lC,l now ii but lliey will protiaMy be similar to, or improvements

We estimate Urnl Ihe USSR ba*l dele-mounted, laetlcal cruiseayloud*. Oilier churaciemtic* arc unknown.

i.i. OllividUi *ieaugu olonn lor delivery ol UK or nuclear

Table 5


The estimated total* ofariiuhkou are baaed upon estimated curnu-Uure pro-ulvion Theon productionront poor toceUettt.a Uie particular Calecore of wrapc-na aad toe tocac-umes tpottr quality at direct endrao* The quantities of armamenttroop* are baaed oa obaerviuoa aad known labia of orgiainnoncquiproeot of SoiMt unit* etUapotated for those units wtere otwer-eatioe la not possible. TV* eauoaaied quantity ia depot* i* beard murWy upon, subtraction of equipcrieal to the head*ope, attrition ofT.o; aod eiporU from the totalcumulative production. There it. therefore,ic rahU uncertainty about these eeurreues. jar-io.-larly of armament* in depot*.







RCI. Weapon*:

m RCT, fan

m RCLrtaiery-Ftetd:

UD sua

m fun

m How

am (ua

1S2 mmram How


m AT .

m Held/AT

Aoutank mcuul* *

> lUfmMi

m .

m AA

am AA

am AA

m AAAeciket Uuocaer.)

m RL

m RL

ur. RL

m RL






With Taoora











nknown unknown



aekoown uakaowa




Table S

uf Eouii'ment


mpn. tk.nliuint.aart



New SU-cUI'anoonel cnrr.en (tail


Mausapon: Truck* -ndraclorv trackM pr.m* moeer* Amphibian (trltd. and

inank miutlt- will probablyo replace conventional lutilaok Cub*ertod

> Newm antiaircraft (an wOl probably itart lo replace cootonalsou*.

Additional0 nmj nuluilue will be allocatedajor command! during period IW^-lve*.

Somenit* have been deployed in support oi Soviet fluid forces, in Eaat Germany nod pouibly in$ R. See NIK II10.


'medium tanasto be BMOiBed at faatonc*.

New ASL'-AS probably will b* pbaaed into Soeict froaod force* durinj

Original document.