Created: 12/5/1962

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Capabilities of the Soviet Theater Forces



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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

Gross Capabilitiesampaign Against Western Europe

Gross Capabilities for Campaigns In Other


Large Scale Limited

Distant Limited Military



Table I: Estimated Strength of Soviet Ground2 .

Tablestimated Strength of Soviet Tactical Aviation byand2 and

Tableoviet Aircraft Close Support

Tablestimated Soviet Tactical Nuclear MissUes and

Tablestimated Stocks of Soviet Ground Force Weapons,

Tablestimated Strength of European Satellite Ground Field


Tabicstimated Strength of European Satellite Air Forces.


Map: Deployment of Soviet Ground Divisions and Tactical18



To estimate thc role and capabilities of the Soviet theater forces, especially against thc NATO area in Europe, at present and over the next two years or so.


As considered In this estimate, the components of the Soviet theater forces include: thc ground forces and their weapons; tactical aircraft and missiles; supporting and logistical elements such as transport aircraft; and major portions of tho surface naval and submarine fleets. The roles and capabilities of those Soviet forces which would perform other primary militarynotably long-range striking forces and air and missile defense forces, are the subject of other National Intelligence Estimates.

Ln recent years, Soviets have debated at greater depth than in thc past the probable natureeneral nuclear conflict between the Bloc and the West, and the information available to us reflects this increased attention. In this estimate,innd IV, wc consider mainly thcof Soviet theater forces in general nuclear war, taking some account of tlie way in which Soviet plans might be affected if operations were begun on short notice, oreriod ofIn Chapter V, we consider at much shorter length the possible employment of these forces in limited nuclear orwarfare under the threat of escalation.

It should be emphasized that, in discussing Soviet theater forces and their capabilities, we do not take account of thc actions of opposing Western forces. In particular, we do not assess the


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.


A. Soviet military doctrine for general nuclear war stresses the use of all types of forces, and not strategic forces alone, from the outset of hostilities The requirements for general nuclear war, as the Soviets see them, include forces prepared for actionelatively brief strategic exchange, and forces suitable for protracted theater warfare involving extensive campaigns. Although this position imposes heavy demands on Sovietit is still being sustained after extensive debate within the political and military leadership. We beheve that for at least the next few years the Soviets will continue to regard large theater forces as essential. (Poms. IS)

doctrine continues to assume thc full-scaleof theater forces from the outseteneral war,ultimate objective of armihilatlng 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. Theconcept of combined arms operations has provided agearing modernized tactical air and missile support toand armored ground forces.

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

'aaUtant Chief of Sue.SAF. dlsscnu from major aspects of Oil- "lUmilf Pot his vlcwa, seernmedUtelT following the SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.

ine divisions, approximatelyf them considered to be combat ready and the remainder at low and cadre strength. The strongest concentrations arc in East Germany and in the western and southern border regions of the USSR It 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 thc artilleryof major Soviet theater commands. Tacticalbeen sharply reduced in quantity,rime currentis the small number of modern aircraft,bombers. However, thero 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 thc 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 bcthe next several years. Amphibious assault capabilitieslimited, and there are no indications ofimprovements. )

nuclear support ls 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 kiloton range,ypical fron!on the quantity and variety of nuclearto theater forces will have eased by thcs.arc probably developing subkiloton weapons, but wcpresent evidence of work on delivery systems designed spe-

ront Is ro uglily comparable lo aarmy croup.



cifically for such weapons. Wc believe that chemical warfare munitions available in ni'.iiy Mid wouldused eje-tensively in conjunction with nuclear and conventional weapons in general war.

tactical nuclear delivery systems arc integraltheater forces, the nuclear weapons themselves doto be in their custody. Such weapons arc normallydepots operated by the Ministry of Defense and locatedUSSR. Soviet procedures for controlling these weaponsthc national, leadership that they will not be usedExisting procedures, together with deficienciessupport, appear to penalize the Soviets in termsreadiness and rapid response for tacticalemployment. )

Soviots probably consider the East Europeantoizable but problematic asset, because oflevels of effectiveness and reliability. In, the eventhowever, the USSR would probably employ somein combined combat operations, by integratingdivisions, corps, or even field armies directly Intocommands. Other Satellite units would be retainedcommand for security, reserve, and)

principal operations of Soviet theater forces inwar would be directed against NATO in Europe. Theto move massive forces rapidly toward the Channelthe initial days ofar. This campaign wouldbc augmented by operations in Scandinavia,the Mediterranean, and operations toward the exitsBaltic and Black Seas. Thc Soviet submarine fleetto thc campaign against Western Europe byoperations against thc higlxly important AtlanticOther peripheral areas, notably the Far East,lesser priority for theater force operations. Sovietto conduct theater force operations against Northlimited to minor airborne and amphibious attacksand other Arctic bases.



J. Although Soviet theater forces are formidable, 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 command 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 underconditions,triking force could be built up in East Germany and western Czechoslovakia withinays,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 thc 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 lo think that limitedconflict in the NATO area would almost certainly escalate to general war.


Views ol Ihe Assistonl Chief of Slaff, In/eiYrgoncc, USAF:

The Assistant Chief of SUII, Intelligence, USAF. dissents from major aspects nt this estimate. First, hc considersarge body of recent Soviet doctrinal material has not been propeily reflectedumber of tundamcntal judgments in this estimate.esult, he considers that this estimate,onsiderable decree, depicts Soviet military concepts and doctrine ol several years ago and give improper weight to the prospects for further changes In Soviet thinking on these subjects over thc period of the estimate. Secondly, in his view, the current capabilities of operational weapon systems and the tactical options available for their employment have not been given due weight In this estimate.

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

Its Judgments of Soviet thinking on the Importance of surprise Inwar and the decisiveness of Uie initial phase; the role of nuclearIn all phases of general war; thc possibility of nonnuclear.war between the nuclear powers; and whether the debate overand doctrine has ended.

Its Implications of thc over-all capabilities of Soviet UcUcal aviationtheater forces, both In general nuclear war and nonnuclear.war.

the Assistant Chief of Staff. Intelligence, USAF, wouldSummary 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 ofar may be decisive taIts outcome. Hence, the Soviet emphasis In doctrinal statements onof surprise and preemption. This doctrine has not been questioned.

tho present Ume the combined arms doctrine eonUnues to benuclear weapons and delivery systems have been assigned to tactical asstrategic forces with priority given to the latter In nuclear weaponsIncreasing attcnUon has been given to thc prospectshortcontinuing possibility of protracted military operaUons. In addition torequirements of the InlUal phase, have necessitated maintainingforces. Large armies are still considered Important to assist Inand exploiting the results of Soviet nuclear attack and consolidatingattention, however, ls being given to the need for forces to carry outand control operaUons within the USSIl following nuclear exchanges.doctrinal considerations have already had considerable Impact on thestructure of Soviet theater forces and on their operaUonal doctrine, andeven greater Impact ln the years ahead.

possibility of limited war Involving Soviet forces has been no moreln Soviet wrlUng. Ho doctrine of limited war. whether nuclearhas been discussed. On the contrary. Soviet doctrine expUclUythe enemy the lntenUon of using local warcreen for Surprise attack-view has been maintained that local wars between nuclear powerslikely escalate Into general war. Soviet leaders apparenUy believe thatnuclear war could not be fought ln Europe. They also probablypossibility of conducUng large-scale nonnuclear opcraUons ln EuropeThe Soviets have shown an appreciation of the risks Incurred lnthe enemy the lnlUaUve for sudden resort to nuclear weapons, especiallyshouldonsiderable scale.


D. Tho extensive Soviet donate on military doctrine ol lhc last lewhile it accorded primacy lo nuclear weapons and missiles, lias not resolved thc central Soviet militaryconfrontation wllh the US Soviet leaders no ioniser make claims o( strategic superiority. The Cuban episode may well have been an attempt to Improve Soviet strategic posturehort cut II so, thc dilemma of strategic inferiority haa come to Use lore again Because of this, and the lacl lhat satisfaction Of priority economic ob)rcUvcs la beingby defense requirements, difficult choices in resource allocation may be required.

E The Soviets still assume In their operational doctrine tlie full-scaleot theater forces from Uie outseteneral war, with the ultimate objective of annihilating enemy military capabilities and occupying territory. Effort* arc being made to adjust organisation and training to the requirements of rapid advance and flexible maneuver, to coordinate the employment or tactical nuclear support and to ensure destruction of the nuclear means of the enemy.

P. The over-all capabilities of the theeUr force have Increased over Use past few years These capabilities continue lo be improved through the development and deployment of new equipment and Unougli the appbcallon of more modem training and operational techniques. Theater ground and air equipment for nuclear warfaie have been continually modernized without Impairment of the nonnuclear capabilities of theater lorces.

ground elements of Soviet theater forces, containing nearly twosnd 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 arc considered to be combat-ready and lhelow cadre strength. The strongest concentrations are In East Oermanythe western and southern border regions of the USSR. If thc SovieUco mobilise forays before the Initiation of hostilities, they couldtotal forces toombat-readyon-ready divisions,would be deficiencies In training, equipment and supporting units.

H. Short raugn rockets and road-mobile, tactical ballistic missiles with ranges upautical miles have been Incorporated into thc support structure of major Soviet theater commands. Concurrently, and with furthern the support environment, the number of aircraft assigned to Sovietaviation has been reducedurrent level ofnd we expect further numerical reductions At the same Ume. however, new higher performance, more versatile aircraft have been and continue to be Introduced. Air transport ls 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.

Soviels are unlikely to Jeopardise achieving strategic surprise In awar by uitdertaklng extensive mobilization. The concept ofInlUaUon of general war Is currenUy under discussion In military litersnew view questions the possibility of extensive mobilisation and at beatonly replacement of losses.

J. The Govlet nuclear stockpile baa Increased markedly over the past few years. Because of the Increasing availability of tactical nuclear weapons, Soviet military planners arc nowosition to think in terms of committing upew hundred nuclear weapons, virtually all with yields in the kllolon range, to


o typical frontxIsUng limitations on the quantity and variety ofapons available to theater forces will hare eased by theius. Thc Soviets arc probably developing subkiloton weapons for useariety of tactical delivery systems. We believe Uiat chemical warfare munitions arc available and would be used In conjunction with nuclear and conventional weapons in support of /rone operations.

K. Although tactical nuclear delivery systems ore 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 thc naUonal leadership thc decision for their use. ExUUng procedures, together with dellctenctcs In logistical support, appear to penalize the Soviets ln terms of operaUonal readinessow alert poslure; however, we estimate that thc Soviets would take the necessary steps to deploy tacUcal nuclear weapons to theater forces during periods of heightened tension.

L. The principal operations of Soviet theater forces In general war would be directed against NATO In Europe. The Soviets plan to move massive forces rapidly toward Uie Channel coast ln Uie InlUal days ofar. Thiswould probably be augmented by opcraUons In Scandinavia. operaUons toward Uie Mediterranean, and operaUons toward the exits of Uie 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 InterdlcUon operaUons against the highly Important AUanUc supply lines. Naval air forces and Uie submarine fleet In Uie Soviet Par East would defend against the nuclear threat posed by VS. sea and shore-based nuclear capable forces in Uiat Uieater. Other'peripheral areas have lesser priority for theater force opcraUons. Soviet capabilities to conduct other than strategic operaUons against North America are limited to minor airborne or amphibious attacka against Alaska, Canada and Greenland.

M. Although theater forces ore formidable, especially In Uie area facing NATO In Europe, they continue to have problems related to Uie conduct of oflenslve operaUons. The highly mechanized ground forces are lo 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 thc widely extended deployment required on thc nuclear batUe-field. Finally, some of the Soviet tacUcal fighter units ore equipped and trained only for the Interceptor mission. However, most of the tacUcal fighter units are trained and equipped to perform bath ground attack and Interceptor missions and could be used In either role depending on Uie operaUonal requirements of Uie moment: defending against air attack; providing close support to thc ground forces; or assisting ground offensive operaUons by striking ground targets In the enemy's rear. Thus, considering the substantial capabilities of tacUcal air support forces, we conclude that Soviet tacUcal aviation ls capable of providing requisite air support to theater forces cither in general war or nonnuclear. large-scale limited war.

N. The SovieU probably consider the East European Satellite forces toizeable but problemaUc asset because of Uielr varying levels of cffecUvencss and reliability. In the event of war. however, the USSR would probably employ some Satellite forces In combined combat operaUons. by Integrating selected Satellite ground and air elements directly Into ma)or Soviet commands. Other Satellite unlU would be retained under national command for security, reserve and other-functions.

A iron! is roughly comparableestern army group.

n'e'aunch an allack against Western Kuiope without prior buildup, employing theoviet line divisionsactical aircraft In Kast

a"d t Cl'rU,lnHowever, tho Sovielsn ees- speaking, r. force of upivisions. , 0 day peilod

" thCal'rProvided. We consideruildup highly



wiih the great attention given to the development oicapabilities in recent years. Soviet military doctrine continuesgreat emphasis upon large-scale war in Europe. Thcmodern weapons has significantly modified but not supplantedemphasis. Although current doctrine recognisesimportance of the initial strategic exchange, il 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 Uiat. In any case, victory requires notdestruction of US long-range power but lite defeat of enemyand the occupation of enemy territory, especially In

Trends in Theater Warfare Concoph

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 thc Initial periodeneral war, Soviet doctrine stresses thc use of all types of forces, and not strategic attack forces alone, from its outset. From these considerationsequirement for large and modern theater forces in being. These forces also serve toormidable capability for conventional or limited nuclear war and to strengthen the hand of the national leadership Ln pursuing foreign policy objectives. But in the Soviet view,for general war are the principal factors determining thcand size of theater forces.

Soviet military doctrine Is subject to continuing review andln the Ught of evolving strategic and military teclinological factors. Russian belief In the need for large standing forces for war in Europe Is still being sustained through sucharticularly intensive debate was precipitated3 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-

Assistant Chlel ot SUIT. Intelligence. USAF. dissents Irom major upccU of this estimate. For his views. wemmediately following the SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.


milledariety ol high-priority programs Thus, inew military policy Ine stressed the deterrence?by nuclear-armed missiles and disparaffcd the effectiveness of more conventional arms. His program originally callededuction of one-third in military manpower and alterations in thp structure of the Soviet Armed Forces, particularly at lhe expense of ground, tactical air. and surface naval forces.

uring the period following Khrushchcv'e announcement, extended debate among senior Soviet officers resultedore penetrating reconsideration of thc nature of modern war and the role and doctrine of theater warfare. This debate was sparked by the Initiative of thc political leadership, and gave encouragement 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 "modem" school with thc 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 lo meet the general war contingencies, both of relatively brief and largely stralegic nuclear action, and of protracted military action involvingtheater campaigns.

soth political and military leaders accept the fact that new and costly demands for advanced weapon systems arc superimposed upon Soviet resources without casing tho burden of maintaining large theater forces. The efiort lo modernize and strengthen all 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 in resources devoted to theater forces on lhe grounds that growing nuclear capabilities will permit this cutback without endangering SovietDevelopments within the Soviet leadership, changes in thc 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.

Currcnf Operational Doctrine

oviet military doctrine docs not address itself in any depth to the variety of circumstances ln 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 operaUons. 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 lhat 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 place and time, rapid commitment of 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. Thc enemy's potential for massive nuclear strikeseed for manouverabllity and flnxlbillty In deployment and control of one's own nuclear weapon systems,eed to seek out and destroy rapidly the comparable nuclear means of the opponent. Soviet doctrine now recognises this, and eflorts are under way to adjust Soviet organization and training accordingly.

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

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

venlional and low-yield nuclear rocket support, is the key element of maneuver, and missiles with ranges upautical milesith low to medium-yield nuclear warheads, form tlie chief element of firepower.

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


program to reduce the Soviet Armed Forces byby Khrushchev lnarked thu opening ofof extensive reorganization and adjustment. Inalf 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 ln 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 com position of the Sovietwill continue over the next few years.

Ground forcei

Soviet ground forces, which represent the largest port ofestablishment, are well-trained and equipped withCombat troops are distributed amongilitarythe USSR and three groups of forces In the Kuropeanstrongest concentrations are in Kast Germany and Uie westernborder regions of theesser concentration is Inarea of the Soviet Far East. Most Soviet ground forcesInto field armies with combat and service support for Uierifle and tank divisions. Combat and scrvlco support isstretched thin, and thereow ratio of nondivislonal support

to thc present divisional force. However, there arc 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 ls provided by units of TacUcal AvIaUon. organised into tactical air armies under thecontrol of the military district or group-of-forces commander.

Of Uie nearly two million men in the Soviet theater grounditUe over half are in line divisions and the remainder are in combal and service support elements. We estimate that, ashereinef 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 beginning0 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.*

The program of modernization and reorganization has involved (he introduction over the last several years of more advanced designs of pratically all types of equipment, including surface-to-surfacemissilesjn. range, tanks, armored personnelnuclear-capable free rockets with ranges up tojn.,guided missiles, artillery and antiaircraft guns, recoilless antitank weapons,ide variety of transport vehicles. In some Instances, there have been two successive generations of equipment since World War II. Thc Increasing number of tracked and wheeled amphibians and amphibious tanks has greatly improved Soviet river-crossingand we expect extensive equipping with thc 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-flyingield antimissile system, air-trans -

"The namber of divisions confirmed since January 1M1 is lit; moat of the addlUonal divisions Included ln our estimate are under strength units located In areas from which Information Is received only sporadically- Taking account of this and other factors, we conclude thai the current total ot divisions could heange of IM to ISO, with the most probable figure being.etailed eitlmate of ground divisions by IocaUon and type, ace Annex. Table 1.

"All rifle and mechanized divisions have been converted into motortzod rifle and tank units.


portable weapons and equipment, weight reduction of 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 Missile 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 ranges of.nd SS-1A).ave been available for several years* Although nuclear warheads arc probably thc 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, thc Soviets probably will soon begin replacing theith an improved follow-on system of similar range, as they have done with thc SS-1.

The number of aircraft in Tactical Aviation was reduced by half0ince that lime, 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 Aviation 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 the remainder is in western and southern USSR. Tactical Aviation will continue to receive new models and to decline in numbers ofobably fromo lessver the next twohe estimated current and future numbers of Soviet tactical aircraft appear low In relation to total ground forces.

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

'For the estimated performance of Soviet tactical missiles and rockets, see Annex, Table 4.

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


Soviet oflcmuve tactical ail support is still the obsolescent HKAGLE subsonic li|;lit bomber. However, theupersonic tactical fighter bomber. Is now entering service Most current Soviet lighters 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 nuclearverercent of the fighters in Tactical Aviation arc obsolescent FAOOTs, FRESCOs, and FARMERS, but the Introduction of modern supersonic fighters has been accelerated. Among the newer fighter types, the FISHBED. FITTER, and FIDDLER (the last of these not yet in units) appear lo be suitable for carrying nuclear weapons andground support missions. The Soviets have conducted some training in fighter delivery of nuclear weapons.

Tactical Aviation now has some. surf ace-lo-surf ace 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 Aviation has been sharply reduced in quantity,rime current deficiency ts the small number of modern aircraft, particularly fighter bombers. However, there have been qualitativeln aircraft and their armament, and this trend willIn addition, tactical ballistic and antiaircraft missiles are now available, and theater support could also be oflorded by MRBMs and IRBMs in western USSR. These developments wouldet increase in thc firepower available to support theater forces in thc event of general war, but at thc expense of some flexibility.

locficol Nucloot Weopons

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 level.for 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 thc air army of thc

'For the estimated performance of Soviet fiehters In close support roles, sec Annex, Table 3.


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

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

The existing procedures for controlling nuclearheater insure the nalional leadership that employment of nuclear weapons will not be Initiated without political authorisation. In addition, weapons allocation procedures give Uie national leadership substantial control over the numbers and yields of weapons employed by major theater force commands. The direct channel of olkx-aUon and of operaUonal orders from thc Ministry of Defense to the front commanders limits Uie 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 operaUonal 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.

Thc broad range of nuclear tests12 points to an efiort to Improve the nuclear capabiliUes of all arms of the Soviet rnlli-tary establishment We believe that limitaUons 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 ls now available, virtually all of them with yields in Uie kiloton 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 /or such weapons.

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

'The front Is Uie largest wartime Soviet field command, roughly comparableestern army group but Including lacUcal aviation, it has admlnblraUve as well as tactical responslrjUlUes.

weapons allocations during that phase. The primary targets In all phases ot 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 Wait are

Soviels consider CW munitions as an integral pari ofarsenal for extensive use in conjunction with conventionalweapons in tlie event of general nuclear war. Theybe used, after initial authorization by Moscow, on decisionfront commander in accordance with his estimate of theChemical munitions might bc used in meetingfor ground combat on tbc line of contact, and againstconcentrations, command posts, and missile launch sites,key targets withiniles of the battle front. Thecontemplate CW delivery by aircraft, short-range missiles, andartillery. [[

"Iwc estimate that thc USSR possesses an inventory of atons of toxic agents in 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 ofgent type. We do not believe that thc Soviets plan to use BW agents for tactical field combat.

Miliiary Air Transport

Soviet military transports are under the administrative authority of Military Transport Avialion, 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 Dcfcnso, 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.

ight 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

sufficient 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 thc 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, thc CAT and COOT turboprop mediumand limited numbers oi theurboprop heavyaircraft have an airlift capability of nearly two additionalassault echelons. We believe that the two new hightransports, theet and theurboprop, may beginthe outmoded and uneconomical CAB, COACH, and

Naval Suppori

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 thc navy in 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 the Soviet Bloc. Submarine-launched missile attacks against Weslern territory could also suppori Soviet theater operations.

During the last few years the surface and submarine fleets have been pared of obsolescent units. Hew 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 thc elimination of its fighter and most light bomber elementsesult of transfers and deactivations. Medium bombers equipped with alr-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 greatly increased the range at which they can engage opposing naval forces, but their usefulness

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

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

2'fy motorized rifle divisions

BalUcmotorized rifle divisions

Black otorized riflemotorized rule divisions

Soviets may seek to further develop their amphibiousbut significant improvement will depend upon theirof additional amphibious craft, extensive training, anda reliable logistic support system. There ai 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 ln 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, f


jombat units have sometimes beenrom the nature and extent of this training activity, we judge that the Soviets probably intend to employ some Satellite forces in combined combat operations In the event of war.

We believe that in wartime, East European Satellite miliiary forces would be under the control of the Soviet High Command, and thc 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 held armies or fronts. Others would bc retained under national commaud for 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 of supporting elements.

The total personnel strength of lhe 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 tb bemanned and equipped for commitment to combat as part of an overall effort against NATO. Ol these, somere Polish, East German, and Czech and the rcmabilngre Bulgarian and Rumanian divisions. Hungarian divisions are not Included because of equipment shortages and Inadequacy of higher unit tralnbig.10

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 tbe 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 in Europe. Satellite ground divisions are of varying degrees of effectiveness; more than half of ihem could probably be committed to combat without mobilization, but they suffereneral shortage

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

"etailed estimate of Uie strength of East European Air Forces, see Annex, Table 7.

of nondivisional support. Satellite air lorces consist primarily ot older model Soviet lighters and arc intended mainly for air defense. The role of Satellite naval forces is limited to coastal defense The Satellilcs 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 unils and nationalities, anddepend on the cause and nature of the hostilities, thcof 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 tliat these forces will be able to survive the massive employment of nuclear weapons by tho enemy and to fight effectively In conjunction with the USSR's own nuclear and missile strikes. During tlie 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 operaUons In general war would be to defeat enemy ground forces and to occupy strategically important territory.

Thc statements of Soviet leaders, as well as the deployment and training of Soviet theater forces, make it clear that Uie 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 Uie Scandinavian area, to secure the exit of the Baltic and acquire advance bases for theFleet. The Soviets evidenUy also contemplate operations toward the Mediterranean, and to secure Uie exit of the Black Sea. Other peripheral areas, such as Uie Middle and Far East, are apparentlyas having lesser priority for theater force operations. Soviet capabilities to conduct theater operaUons against North America arc


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

Principal Strengths and limitations ol Soviet Theater Forces

longstanding Soviet concern with concepts and forces forin adjoining theaters, especially in Europe, has resulted lntheater force strong in armor, battlefield mobility, andbeing. The tactical nuclear delivery capabilities of these forces,Improving, are limited in both quantity and quality atin the Initial phaseeneralignificant portionfighters of Tactical Aviation would need to be assigned tous well as to ground attack missions. In offensivehighly mechanized ground forces are in constant danger oftheir logistical tail, which is 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.

Sovief Forces Available lor Employment Againsi NATO

Therereat many factors which have decisive bearing on the size of the forces which tho Soviets could and would employ in operations against NATO, and their effects cannot be estimated with assurance. Some of the most important of these arc: <a) the question of thc 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 thc current number of divisions.wc 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 lcvels.,,

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

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



Germany. Poland, and Hungary, have been given the highest level of support of any major Soviet ground formations. These Soviet forces in East Europe have almost half the Lola! slrcngth of Tactical Aviation, andonsiderably higher ratio of combat and service support units than forces Inside the USSR lUelf."

Soviet divisions available for employmentare currently stationed as follows:




Group of -Soviet Forces. Germany (GATO)orthern Group of Forces. Polandouthern Group of Forces. Hunnary tSOFl l

Western USSK . 11

Northwest 1


* Includes four divisions opposite eastern Iran and Aignanisian.

If the Soviets were able to mobilize forays before thc Initiation of hostilities, some of theoviet low-strength divisions west of thc Urals could bc 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.




the Soviets were able lo mobilize forays before theof hostilities, they could expand their total forces to aboutreadyonready divisions. Ofollowing would be in areas from which they could beNATO:





Western USSR NorUiwest USSR Southwest USSR Southern USSR"


Includes divisions opposite eastern Iran and Afghanistan.

"For thc gcoeraplilc dlstrlbuUon of Soviet ground divisions and tacUcal air-craft, sec Annex, Map.


Soviet Tactical Aviation now liaset light bombersighters in Eastern Europe. The Satellites together have about ISO light bombers andighters, the latter intended primarily for air defense. In the entire European USSR, there are in Tactical Aviation anight bombers andighters; also available for employment against NATO arc aboutight bombersighters in the Transcaucasus 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 thcsummary table:



Black Sea 31

* Does not include medium-range submarines designed for operations In closed seas;uch submarines are currently In Ihe BalUc, and four are In thc Black Sea.

Of the submarines In the Northern Fleet, with unrestricted access to the open seas, aboutincluding thc 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 tho eastern North Atlantic, but their operations would probably be confined to the radius of land-based air cover. There arcADGER 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. Wc estimateorce of medium and intermediate range missiles whichmoreperational launching pads deployed withinNATO targets.

Giots Capabilitiesampaign Against Western Europe

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

area o( operations, provided that in thc aggregate these forces do not exceed thc total strength which the USSR is likely lo be able to marshal. Our estimate of these gross capabilities, moreover, does noi take account of thc actions of opposing military forces, nor docs il allow for the effectstrategic nuclear 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.

Thc size of thc ground and tactical air forces the Soviets could employ Initially against Weslern Europe in general war would depend in part on whether operations were begun on short notice oreriod of preparation. Thc 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 in this campaign would clearly be into West Germany. Considering current Soviet doctrine for combatand echelonment, as well as thc geography of the area, we believe that the striking force forampaign could comprise three frontsotalround divisions, with air support totalingactical aircrafl. In addition, some theater reserve forces would probably be called for by Soviet doctrine.

In addition to Soviet forces in East Germany and Poland, thcombat ready Soviet divisionsactical aircraft in western USSR could be moved forwardampaign against Western Europe. Todivision striking force, however, the Soviets would have to employ additional divisions, which they could draw from aof sources, Of theatellite ground divisions of East Gennany,and Czechoslovakia, we believe that up toould make reasonably early contributions. After some delay, thc Soviets could also bringortion of thcivisions In weslern 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 for movements extending from the Soviet border through Poland and Czechoslovakia, or about two division slices

daily lor movements extending through East 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 bc 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 thc reinforcement rate.

Under noncombal conditions, thc 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, byays of covert preparation and reduced scale reinforcement followed byays of open, maximum scale reinforcement. If thc Bloc followedlan, It could probably alsoheater reserve of aboutecond-line Soviet and Satellite divisions in Poland and eastern Czechoslovakia aboutays after the start of thc 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 insufficient 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 bc 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 Otber Areas

The major drive across central Europe would probably beby lesser thrusts in other miliiary theaters, employing the ground divisions adjacent to them and thc limited numbers ot tactical aircraft not committed to the main westward thrust.

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


northern Norway.oviet divisions in Hungary mighl form thc initial echelonront moving toward Italy.ampaign into Greece and Turkish Thrace, the USSK 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. Thc position of Yugoslavia as neutral, ally, or enemy wouldey factor influencing thc strategy of Soviet campaigns against eiLhcr Italy or Greece and Turkey.

the initial stageeneral war, limited operationslaunched against Iran and eastern Turkey. Twelve combatare stationed in southern USSR lacing eastern Turkeybecause of logistic limitations, somewhat less than half thisof divisions could be employed against eastern 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.


targe Scale tinu'fect Wor

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 lo nuclear weapons from the beginning ofampaign. More recent indications of US interest in building NATO's capability for an initial nonnuclear response do not appear thus far to have altered the Soviet expectations that any majorin Europe would cither be nuclear from the start or would probably escalate.

There are indications in their recent writings, however, that thc Soviets have given recognition to thc 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 tbis option.


hc adjustments in Soviel theater forces in the past few years have not materially impaired ihcir capabilities lo 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 lactical aircraft has decreased.

fn the event of military action in the NATO area without the employment of nuclear weapons, thc 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 lo disperse again beforeuclear target.the traditional Soviet doctrine of echelonment would permit Soviet forces toreat concentration of combat power throughout the depth of the enemy formations.

As 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 ln 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

Soviet theater forces are primarily designed for operations in areas contiguous to the Bloc. Thc 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, scalift, and naval support suitable for distant actions. Moreover, in many areas it lacks politicalto insure that it can provide adequate logistic support,

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



its existing forces. It is possible thnt over the next few years the vlets will seek to Improve their capabilities for distant, limited military operations through the designation and training ot 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.

Table I






Low Strength

Eastercorthwestern USSR


n 12


Wentem USSR

Southwestern USSR

Southern USSR

Centra) USSR

Par Ewtem

All airborne dirUionamaledOrobat ready,

Ttie DLtmhcr Of divitfi








-ficcner -

Table 2


















D. E

















Table 3


Ramus (nm)

Speio at SL (kUI









JXKtndS (internal

ounds (internal only).

oundsxternal Unk).

ounds (Internal

ounds (externalounds (internalOounds (internal


ound*xternal fuselage tank*).

ounds (iutcrual ooly)

O pound*



oundi (internal ouly)

ounds (internal only).

xm gun.

xm Runt

ound bomb*.

xm gun.

xmound7 mm gun.

3 mmound bomb.

m gun.

xm guns.

ound bomb).

iemm rockets

xm0 mm gunm rockets.

0 mmani rocksound0 mmm0 mmoundmound0 mmm0 mmound0 mmound bomb0 mmound bombound bomb load.

mission proSle: (I) Taka oflinutes at normal ratedlimb on course at miliiaryruise to target at speed aod altitude for maximum range. Drop externalescend to Urget, five minutes at miliury power at teab'mb at military power, return ro base at speed aod altitude for maximumeserve allowance ofinutes loiteranding pattern at base. Actualperformance iriU vary depending on load carried and mission proflle (Iowa. Tbe radius nil! be considerably lees if flown at low level

All aircraft considered to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

All bomb and rocket lead* arc carried externally except forhich cariiw bombs internally.

air-lo-air rooket pocks are carried and contain multiplemound rockets. The number of these air-lo-air rockets per pack could be

m air-to-ground rocket weighsound*.

' Four pylons for carrying external stores are provided. Two are under Uie wings and two are under the fuselage.

a high level bombing mission tlie combat radius wouldim. with Internal fuel,m. with external lueL






Radio Inertial,all Inertial

Si nm CEP

CW, HE or nuclear)



ours afterat prteur-veyed cite. Can be heldour forperiods and5 minutrA forperiods.


Has oroef-eouiilr* mobility In uo-fuejed condition

CW or5 (nuclear)

Storable liquid...

Allin CEP.


On laum

percent In fllfbt-


2 hour* afterat preaur-veyedslts. Can be held0 mii.utes for ex-lend ed period!.


Somemobility in fueled condition

Nonitorablc liquid...

Radio Inertia) about.

H nm CEP




our* afterat presur-vayed sits. Can be heldour for extended periods,6 minutes forperiods.


Mobile on goodmobility



Aerodynamic, low altitude, low

Turbojet, JP fuel, atmospheric

wn.adio link

m ngainst knownm

uclcitr. (HE, CW)






free flinhi solid fuel


hour afterat prejut-veyed site

7,Or I:

minutesiles per hour

From arrival at presutveyedminutes


Oood on highways,

limited on

ondary roads I

There I* evidence of an Improved model designated SS-lC, whichangemuclear warhead. Otherics ore unknown but they will probably bc similar to, or improvements of those of th* SS-lB.

1 We esUmate lhat the USSR hasehicle-mounted, tactical cruise missileanee ofom for delivery cf HEtofids. Other characteristics are unknown.

Tobfc S



Tlte ealimstsd totnb o( majorarc tiased upon caUmalod eurau-

lative producUon. Th- evident* oooor todepending on Iho particular category ol weapons md Uio eomt-limm spotty quality of direct evidence. Tbo quantities ol armament wilb troops ore bawd on observation and known tables ot orfianlsnlion and equipment of Soviet unlta extrapolated for those units where obser-ration ia not possible. Tbo estimated quantity iaased entirely upon eubtractioo ol equipment io the linads of troops, attrition of inch equipment, and eiports from tbe total caUmsted eumulaUve production. There is, therefore, considerable uncertainly about loot estimates,ol armaments In depot*.







RCL Weapons:

m RCL gun


m cun

m gun

m How

an) Run

m gun/How

m Bow

m cun/Sow


m AT (towed)

m fldd/AT

Antitank missile


m AA

m AA

m AA

m AA

m AAflocks! Launehrri)

HO mm SL

un BL

un RL

'.'SO mm RL

RL, tried, amph. FROG

iSurfaoe-to-Sutfau LauncMri)




(Surface-tO'Air LauncAora)



Whb Taoore











nknown unknown






Itku or Gouipubht





Lt antpk. U. PT-7S



(AitmuU Omni)





wUld. ampb.

l-moand unim (lad.8


Motor Transport:

Truck* ud command

Trnctoes/traekcd prtrac mover*

Amphibian (Ufcd. and

antitankill probably atari to replace conventional antitank run* during.

" Newm antiaircraft gun will probably *Url lo replace conventional aatialxrafl cum daring period

Additional0 nm) nuMOea win be allocated to major commands during period

Somenit* have been deployed In aupport of Soviet field force* la. East Germany and possibly In th* USSR. Sea,


Duringortet medium tank* expected to be modiGnd at faetorlea.

Newrobably wiD be phased Into Soviet ground foroea during.


Table a





ti si: Division

Germany .



Tabic 7










D. E





Tho status ot about hall ol theseot clear, since thc East German Airrginited to handle onlylrcralt.




document woi diiieirii noted by the Control Intelligence Agency.ii for the oifocmolion and uio ol lhe recipient and of percenteed lo know boils. Additional eiientiol aatieminalionouthorixed by the following officio It wilhin iheir reipecliva deportments;

of Intelligence and Research, for Ihe DepcnmeiYi of SlOle

Defense Inielligence Agency, for lhe Office of Ihe Secretary of


ssistant Chiof of Sloff for Intelligence. Deeort-neni ol ih* Army, for

the Oeparlmenl of tho Army d. Auiuont Chief erf Noval Operartontor Ihe Dcportmonl ol ih* Novy

ssistant Chief of Slofl, Intelligence, USAF, for the Department of the Air Forco

foroint Sloff, for Ihe Jo-nl Sloff

of Intolligance, AEC, for lhe Atomic Energy Commission

Direcior, FBI, for lhe Federal Bureau of Invoitigaiion

of NSA, for Ihe Nalional Securily Agency

j. Atsiitanl Director for Control Reference, CIA. (or ony olher Department or Agency

Ihit copy may be reioined, or defrayed by burning in occordonce with applicable securityr returned to the Cenfol Inielligence Agency by arrangement with tho Offieo of Control Reference CIA.

When mil document it diuemUmiod ovomooi. Ihe o'eiteot recipients moy retoin ileriod noi in excel* of one year. At Ihe end of Ihii pailod, Ihe document ihould either be devioyed, returned lo the (or-ording agency, or per-minion ihould be requeued of iho forwoidlng ogency lo retoin it in acco'dance with

title of Ih'n document when mod sepoioiely from the lexl ihould bo dot-



Notionol Security Council

Doporimenl of Slot*

Deportment of Dof onto

Atomic Energy Commission

Federal Bureau of in veil Ration


Original document.

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