MEMORANDUM TO HOLDERS OF: "SOVIET CAPA-BILrTIES FOR LONO RANGEOP SECRET
SUBJECT: Revision of Estimated Soviet Strength Ln Heavy Bombers
A new assessment of Soviet heavy bombers and tankers Ln Long Range AvlaUon. conducted subsequent to the approval ofy the United States Intelligence Boardndicate* that the estimate of BEAR turboprop heavy bombers lnas too low. We now believe that there areEARS inunits, rather thans estimated ine also conclude, with respect to BISON Jet heavy bombers and tankers, that the rangeircraft in operational unitsetter estimate than the single figureiven in. On this basis, we now estimate that the USSR haseavy bombers and tankers in operational units as of
We continue to believe that production of BISONS and BEARS has ceased. We estimate that Soviet operational strength In thesewill remain fairly stable for the next year or so and than decline gradually through normal attrition. The Uble below revises andthe numerical estimates of Soviet heavy bombers and tankers In paragraphsndf:
AppnuamaU Totals ISO-ISO
J. All members of the USEB agree that Soviet strength In BISONS and BEARS is likely to fall within the foregoing ranges. As Indicated In his dissenting footnotes to paragraphsndf. however, the Assistant Chief of SUA. Intelligence. USAF, believes that total Soviet heavy bomber and tanker strength will remain at aprnrnri-.
ircraft, with the probable introductionollow-on supersonic heavy bomber into Long Range Aviation units beginningo the Uble above, he would addollow-on heavy bombers In0 In0 inndnhe majority of the USIB continues to believe that BISONS and BEARS will probably comprise the entire Soviet force of heavy bombers and tankers over the next five years.Original document.