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Soviet Military Power 1987 - Strategic Defense And Space Operations

Soviet Military Power 1987 - Strategic Defense And Space Operations



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Published by jb2ookworm
Soviet Military Power was a publication of the United States Department of Defense which used to
provide an estimation of the military power and strategy of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Its purpose
was to provide an estimation of the capabilities of the Soviet Armed Forces.
Soviet Military Power was a publication of the United States Department of Defense which used to
provide an estimation of the military power and strategy of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Its purpose
was to provide an estimation of the capabilities of the Soviet Armed Forces.

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Published by: jb2ookworm on Nov 15, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SOVIET MILITARY POWER 1987Strategic Defense And Space Operations
Since World War II, the Soviets have pursued wide-ranging strategic defense programs ina clear and determined effort to blunt the effect of any attack on the USSR. These programs arereflective of Soviet military doctrine, which calls for equal attention to defensive as well asoffensive capabilities. The USSR today maintains the world's only operationalantisatellite(ASAT) and antiballistic missile (ABM) defense systems. This two-layer ABMstrategic defense system has been continually improved over the past 2 decades.As early as 1965, the Soviets were writing about an anti-space defense mission, whichthey described as a component of their strategic defense program. To the Soviets, the main purpose of an anti-space defense would be to destroy space systems in orbits that were beingused by the enemy for military purposes. The principal means of destruction would be specialaircraft and vehicles controlled either from the ground or by crews onboard a space vehicle.During the past decade allocated resources equivalent $400 billion to both strategicdefensive programs in almost equal amounts - about $20 billion per year for each program.During the same time, the cost of Soviet military space programs approached $80 billion.Soviet writings on the nature of future war suggest that strategic defenses will beexpanding to include defense against cruise missiles and precision-guided conventionalmunitions that could be targeted against Soviet strategic forces in any protracted conventionalwar. As a result of this view of global conventional war fought under the constant threat of escalation to the use of nuclear weapons, the Soviets are likely to continue to enlarge their strategic defense and space operations beyond the extensive structure and investment existingtoday.In addition to its ABM system, the USSR has a multifaceted operational strategic air defense network that dwarfs that of the US, as well as a wide-ranging research and development program in both traditional and advanced defenses. This active program employs various weaponsystems to protect territory, military forces, and other key assets throughout the USSR.Moreover, the Soviets' passive program includes civil defense and structural hardening to protectimportant political, economic, and military leaders and facilities.Recent activities in the Soviet strategic defense program are as follows:- upgrading and modernizing the operational ABM defense, which is around Moscow;- continued construction of a large phased array radar (LPAR) at Krasnoyarsk for ballisticmissile early warning and tracking, in violation of the ABM Treaty;- construction of three additional LPARs, bringing the number to nine;- further modernization of strategic air defense forces;- construction of a new over-the-horizon radar in the Soviet Far East for detecting long-range aircraft operating over the Pacific Ocean;
- continued extensive research into and development of advanced technologies for  ballistic missile, ASAT, and air defense, including laser, particle beam, and kinetic energyweapons; and- improving passive defenses by constructing and maintaining deep underground bunkersand blast shelters for key personnel and enhancing the survivability of some offensivesystems through mobility and hardening.Since the beginning of the nuclear age, the Soviets have placed great importance onlimiting the amount of damage the USSR would suffer to key targets in a global war. They haveorganized and structured their strategic defense forces accordingly. For example, the National Air Defense Forces, which include missile and space defense, became an independent service in thelate 1950s and have generally ranked third in prominence within the military, following theStrategic Rocket Forces and the Ground Forces. During the 1960s, the Soviets established thestrategic defense missions for ASAT operations and ABM defense.Soviet strategic defense forces play a role equal to that of offensive forces. In the event of war, nuclear or conventional, Soviet offensive forces are to:- destroy or neutralize as much of the enemy's air and nuclear assets as possible on theground or at sea before they are launched; and- destroy or disrupt enemy air and nuclear associated command, control, andcommunications.Soviet defensive efforts, designed to enhance the credibility of offensive forces, are to:- intercept and destroy surviving retaliatory weapons aircraft and missiles before theyreach their targets; and- protect the Party, state, military forces, industrial infrastructure, and essential working population with active and passive defense measures.As in a conventional conflict, if a war escalates to the use of strategic nuclear weapons,Soviet military doctrine calls for their forces to seize the initiative. Passive and active defensivesystems would try to negate much of the US and allied capability for retaliation. The Sovietmilitary holds defense from nuclear attack as a key, integrated component of their militarystrategy. From this Soviet perspective, any measures the West would take to defend itself areseen as potentially denying the achievement of key objectives within Soviet war-fightingstrategy. For these reasons, the Soviets strenuously oppose the US Strategic Defense Initiative(SDI). At the same time, with consistency and vigor, the Soviets maintain their balancedoffensive-defensive strategy in order to fulfill their strategic objectives.

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