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December 22, 2016
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September 7, 2011
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April 14, 1950
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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 uLmonirn;NiiuN CONFIDENTIMNFIDENT , CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGEN RTI 50X1-HUM INFORMATION FROM FOREIGN DOCUMENTS OR RADIO BROADCASTS CD NO. COUNTRY USSR SUBJECT Military - Air HOW PUBLISHED Week . newspaper; monthly periodical WHERE PUBLISHED Hamburg; Geneva DATE PUBLISHED 2 Mar 1950, Nov 1949 LANGUAGE German IN $ 0000x111 CONTAIN. INTCO11nON "FICTINI TNI NAbONA1 O11ININ OF INK 0NITIO ITmr WITHIN TNI ^11xINI OP IIPIONAIA ACT 10 R. R. C., 1101111. AN All o' $10X ol 0I IT) 001111T/ IN ANT NANN/N TO AN ONAOTOONmO PINION II IRO 011.D NT ur. NIROOOOTWN OP T.I. I.R. 11 1NONUITIO. DATE OF INFORMATION 1949 - 1950 DATE DIST. Jq Apr 1950 SOURCE Die Zeit; Inter-Avia. Two divergent estimates of Soviet air power appeared re- cently in foreign publications, one in the Hamburg newspaper, Die Zeit, on 2 March 1950, and the other in the November 1949 issue of the Swiss periodical, Inter-Avia. The former article, by Nikolaus Eck, is summarized below, while the more signifi- cant statistics from the latter are included for purposes of comparison. The Soviet Air Force, although numerically strong in World War II, was backward in technical and navigational development. At the end of the war, the Soviet high command, therefore, set up five projects for the equipment and development of the Air Force. These were (1) development of faster fighters and bombers and their conversion to jet and rocket pro- pulsion; (2) development of new types of aircraft; (3) production of modern radio and electrical equipment for aircraft, airfields, and air defense; (4) requisite reorganization and expansion of the entire aircraft industry and enterprises which supply it; and (5) revision of flight and technical radio training for air and ground personnel. The most decisive measure, however, was the appointment of General-polkovnik Shtemenkc as chief of staff of all three branches of the Aimed Forces. In November 1948, Shtemenko, a specialist in modern warfare, began to coordinate and modernize the operational and technical plans of the three branches of the Armed Forces. He set up a Special Bureau for the Study of Modern Warfare consisting of an elite staff of about 100 officers. He ex- tended the scope of the Ministry Jf Aviation Industry to such an extent that it now has immediate_. influence over all industrial enterprises produc- ing air frames, engines, and all types of accessories. This ministry is headed by Air Force General Khrunichev, a very active and powerful man. Die Zeit's estimate of Soviet air power, as of the begin- ning of 1950 left column), is compared below with Inter-Avia's estimate for mid-1949 (right column). CD MAIN Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 600,000 men (in Eastern and and Western air fleets) 25,000 first-line operational combat aircraft, including 10,000 jet fighters, over 2,000 long-range bombers, and 18,000 piston-engine wartime aircraft in second-line re- serve Yak-9 -- 2,400 first-line fighters; resemble German Me- 109; top speed 600 km/hr La-7, La-9 -- 1,100 first- line figaters; resemble German FW-190 These three types are proved but obsolete. La-9, La-il -- in large num- bers; La-11 is probably latest pis- ton fighter to be adopted. 2,500 gas turbine jet fighters Yak-15, Mig-9 -- top speed 1,000 km/hr; developed from Ger- man Turbojaeger; both have proved successful. Yak-17 -- 600 jet fighters; unsuccessful: crash frequently, unable to glide, and tend to crash when landing speed drops below 200 km/hr; four crashed in Dec 1949, near Zerbst airfield. Mig-9 twin-engine type consti- tutes bulk of jet fighter strength; now supplanted by considerable num- bers of Yak-21 rocket fighters. Yak-15 -- built in large num- bers; still is first-line aircraft, but used largely for training Yak-17 has been issued to some squadrons. La-15 -- twin engines; will soor be issued to squadrons R-5 -- 100 rocket fighters, top speed 1,000 km/hr; patterned after German Me-263 Yak-21 fsee abov] CONFIDEP'T I. ? Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 U4t= MEtTIMt. All older models, chiefly Yak-9 About 5,700 light bombers and ground-attack aircraft, including 2,600 first-line and 3,100 second line 700 Tu-2 twin-engine bombers; re- semble old German Do-19 in performance and appearance Tu-2 twin-engine bombers are in use in large numbers Pe-2 -- resemble earlier German He-111; top speed 600 km/hr; bomb load 2,000 kilograms; radius of action 1,400 kilometers 11-10 -- 900 single-engine ground- attack aircraft; top speed 600-700 km/hr Tu-4 -- 200 twin-engine jet bomb- ers; top speed 800 km/hr 450 heavy four-engine bombers of which less than. 10 percent are jets: Tu-70 -- 420; top speed 500 km/hr; bomb load 4,000 kilograms; radius of ac- tion 5,000 kilometers; copied from Ameri- can B-29 Ilr-l -- 30 four-engine jet bomb- ers; top speed 800 km/hr; radius of action 6,000 kilometers; bomb load 4,000 kilograms Experimental jet bombers: Pe-16 -- four gas-turbine engines; radius of action 7,000 kilometers; bomb load 3,000 kilograms; developed from German Ju-287 I1-24-X -- swept-back wings; twin gas-turbine engines; top speed 1,300 hnn/hr; approaches performance of most modern US and British fighters; can be used either as fighter or bomber and can carry atom bomb; developed from DFS-8-346; has been referred. to as new Soviet super- sonic fighter Pe-2, I1-2, Yak-4 -- large num- bers still in service Yer-2 -- second-line attack aircraft I1-10 -- mainstay of ground- attack forces New twin-engine jet attack bomber developed by Tupolev Tu-70 -- increasing numbers of these four-engine bombers will be supplied to the Long-Range Air Force; copied Prot Super-Fortress. 11-16 -- four-engine jet bomber about to reach operational stage Bomber version of I1-1B trans- port reported, but not yet issued to squadrons Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 I 7l-12 -- widely used as para- troop and cargo transports Tu-70, Pe-8 -- also used as transports Trainers: two-seated version- of La-7 piston-engine fighter, Yak- 20 advanced. Yak-18 basic, Ut-2 primary trainers Western and Eastern -- subor- dinate to Army high command Arctic Air Fleet -- subordinate to Main Administration of Northern Sea Route Strategic Long-Range Bomber Fleet -- directly suborlinate to Armed Forces high command Western and Eastern air fleets, with total of 600,000 men, are divided into air divisions of vo to four regiments each -- there are 1.80 divisions made up of 500 regi- ments; each regiment has 40 aircraft including trainers and may be composed entirely of ground attack plan.;, fighters, bombers, reconnaissance planes, or a mixture of these Air signal troops are a part of the air regiments, while antiaircraft is subordinate to artillery and tank troops of the Army. 15 air armies with somewhat more than 1,000 operational air- craft each; account for over 60 percent of air strength; subor- dinate to ground armies or army- group commanders One division of Long-Range Bomber Force trained especially for Arctic regions; there are a number of large bomber and fighter bases and 81 air weather observa- tion pusts in the Arctic In addition to 15 air armies, there is a Long-Range Bomber Force and Fighter Arm of Air Defense Force 15 air armies are made up of about 350 air regiments with about 40 aircraft each. Airbornestrength (Jan 1949): 3,000 transport aircraft in service 150,000 trained parachutists The Western Air Fleet is made up of five air groups located in the Ukraine, the Caucasus, central USSR, Belorussia, and in the north (the Baltic area and Finland). Air Force units stationed in Poland, Eastern Germany, and Czecho- slovakia belong to the forward group of Belorussian group. Thus, the Air Force units are widely and loosely dispersed. They are concentrated around the Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 CONFIDENTIAL most important industrial, government, and transport centers. The chief arma- ment centers are protected by the newest Yak-17 jet fight'srs and a few R-5 rocket fighters. Even the military air fields, with few exceptions, are not modern in- stallations. There are only a few concrete runways, and the fields lack modern radar equipment as well as necessary radio installations. There is also a great scarcity of gasoline trucks, fire-fighting equipment, and snow plows. The Soviet Air Force also suff'rs from lack of technically trained ground personnel. It is significant that at most only 11 men are avail- able for maintenance of each plane, although the usual number is 20 men per aircraft. An air operation such as the Berlin airlift would at present be impossible for the Soviet Air Force in spite of its significant transport capacity. Such an attempt by the Soviets would without doubt result in a pile of wreckage in the middle of the home airfields within half an hour. The Eastern Air Fleet is composed of two large groups, which are dis- tributed throughout western, central, and eastern Siberia and in Central Asia, and which have the mission of protecting the most important industrial, and government centers. An especially heavy concentration of modern fighters is to be expected at the chief centers of the Soviet atomic in- dustry: Atomgrad I and II, near the southwest border of Siberia, the south- east border of European Russia, and the northwest border of Central Asia. The Arctic Air Fleet's mission is very important. It contributes to navigation science and navigation training in the Arctic, helps to determine the shortest air distance over the North Pole toward the American continent, and helps to defend the great Arctic sea route, naval bases, and new economic and government centers in the Arctic. Almost all torpedo aircraft are subor- dinate to the Main Administration of the Northern Sea Route and are within its area of command, except for about 100 aircraft on the Black Sea. The present strength of the Red Air Force in Eastern Germany is usually very highly overrated. There are a total of 860 fighters available includ- ing 520 Yak-9s, 180 La-Ts and La-9s and only 160 jet fighters. Of the lat- ter, 40 are Yak-15s, 70 Yak-17s, and 50 Mi6-9s. The Soviet Air Force has in Soviet Zone Germany a total of 200 bombers, all piston-driven twin-engine Tu-2s and Pe-2s. Although they are entirely obsolete, the Soviet Air Force still uses 100 old biplane fighters for training purposes. The air fields in the Soviet Zone are also in poor condition since the Soviets, after taking over such installations from the Germans, either dismantled them prematurely or employed them as quarters for armored troops. A large-scale construction program was begun in early 1949 by the Soviet-German construction organiza- tion, KETSCH, and should normally be concluded by early 1952. At present there are four air fields for jet fighters: at Zerbst and Koethen in Anhalt, where existing runways were lengthened, and at Rechlin and at Parchim in Mecklenburg, which were newly constructed. The completion of six more fields, at Hagenow, Waren, and Neubrandenburg in Mecklenburg, at Stasken near Berlin, and at Kochstedt and Dessau in Anhalt, is planned in 1950. Only about 15 per- cent of the airfields in the Soviet Zone have radar equipment. Since air fields in Poland and Czechoslovakia, as well as those in the Soviet Zone of Germany, belong to the forward group of the Belorussia air group, they have a rather large complement of aircraft. On the other hand, the number of aircraft maintained in the Balkans is'very low and serves only a connecting link. CONFIDE TIM. ? Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 CONF7DF.NTIALCo__" I(ILNTML The best de'enae of the USSR against air attack ie uuduub..ediy the tre- mendous expanse of its area. There is in addition, of course, very good Soviet antiaircraft artillery. However, its value in modern air warfare slDuld not be exaggerated since its effect is somewhat dependent upon the necessity for massing it in tremendous concentrations and limited by the extreme altitudes at which modern bombers are able to fly. Even such modern antiaircraft weapons as the German Wasserfall, which was developed further by the Soviets, and which automatically follows the flying target, can be effective only under certain :onditions. The value of radar in air defense was recognized late in World War II by both the Soviets and Cerro nc. Therefore in comparison with western developments, t1,e radar air-warning system, as well as the radar in- stallations on airfields, are still highly inadequate. In Austria, Czecheslo- vakia, Poland, and Soviet Zone Germany, only a few airfields have radar instal- lations. The Soviet radar net begins 60 kilometers east of Brest-Litovsk and extends in a great crescent from Liyepaya on the Baltic as far as Astrakhan' on the Caspian Sea; a branch of the net includes the Black Sea coasts and the Caucasus. The equipment of fighters and ground-attack planes, as well as bombers and transports with radar apparatus, is still relatively below western standards. As a consequence, navigation developments (blind flying, landing, and take-off by instruments) are adversely affected. Even such modern planes as the Yak-17, the R-5, and Tu-4 light bombers have not been fully equipped as yet. Navigation and radio-engineering training of flight and ground personnel, in spite of much progress, remains inferior to that of the western pown-s. The training period of pilots, for example, is only 1 1/4 years, while :er' man Air Force pilot training lasted 2 years. The 9 months' training received by radio engineers of the Red Air Force in the air and on the ground is also far less than that afforded such personnel in western nations. A great deal is being done, however, for future airmen. The Chkalov Central Air Club, under General-polkovik of Aviation Gromov, is a part of Osoaviakhim fDOSAy7. It trained 100,000 members as aircraft and glider pilots, and as parachutists and model plane builders during the year preceding the war. In addition to this premilitary and flight training, the Air Force it- self has four advanced flying schools and institutes and numerous flying schools. The Soviet aircraft industry was greatly strengthened as a result of the dismantling of German East Zone plants of the aircraft engine, frame, and equipment industries, as well as from such imports from the west as the eighty 1947 - 1948 model Rolls-Royce None gas-turbine engines. The materiel of the Berlin-Adlershof Aircraft Experimental Station, which fell intact into Soviet hands, was also a consi arable contribution. Such important enterprises as Junkers-Dessau and Teleiunken-Erfurt were removed and reconstructed in Kuybyshev and Voronezh. Die Zeit's estimate of current Soviet aircraft production capabilities left column) is compered below with Inter Avia's estimate for 1949 (right column). CaFtF 1, 0 EF.TI,!.' M Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 I. AIR FRAMk AIM Main part of aircraft industry is located in Volga basin; certain plants with proving facilities were moved underground in Siberia: 70 air-frame plants 50 aircraft-engine plants Larger number of accessories plants Number of aircraft-industry per- sonnel may well approach one million Main part of air-frame industry is in European USSR, chiefly in Volga valley: At least 25 major air-frame plants with 350,000 employees 12 major aircraft-engine plants with 90,000 workers Top production attainable at present: 7,000 fighters 4,000 light and ground-attack bombers 1,000 heavy bombers 4,000 transport and training planes 1949 production estimate: 25,000 aircraft including - 5,000 jet fighters, 2,500 conventional fighters 5,000 light bombers 7,000 utility aircraft, trainers, sports aircraft, and gliders The high degree of standardization in the Soviet aircraft industr, is noteworthy in comparison with the Briti-h and US industries. Advantages in the Soviet system are the possibilities for significant mass production and the ease of exchanging all parts. But the disadvantages are just as obvious: a certain inflexibility, limitation of progress, and imitation of western technical developments. Measured in numbers alone, the Soviet Air Force is the equal of the US, but in striking power the US is far superior. The number of Soviet jet fighters approaches the estimated strength of the ,sritish and UL air forces in this category. The number of Soviet jet bombers, however, is very small. Five years ago, at the end of the war, the Tu-70 heavy bomber was considered outmoded, whereas in modern atomic air warfare, a large fleet of atom bombers might well be decisive. The Soviet Air Force at present constitutes no long-distance threat. It might best be employed defensively as well-balanced fighter interception and offensively with ground-attack and light bombers in support of ground troops. MoIii-,,?? I Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7 CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL [Rote: Current Soviet air power and aircraft production are never mentioned in the available Soviet press. The most recent aircraft production statistics available from overt sources are those for the war years. A typical statement; taken from an article by Marshal of Aviation F. A. Astakhov in Slavyane, No 8, August 1947, revealed that "during the last 3 years of the war, the Soviet aviation industry produced about 40,000 planes annuauy. 7 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/09/08: CIA-RDP80-00809A000600300217-7