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Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Cuban Armed Forces I 'e Soviet., ',W-11.itary Presence Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Cuban Armed Forces and the Soviet Military Presence Summary Cuba has by far the most formidable military force in the Caribbean basin with the single exception of the United States. In terms of size, its forces are larger than any other Central American or Caribbean nation. In all of Latin America, only Brazil-a country with a population 12 times that of Cuba-has a larger military establishment. The quantitative and qualitative improvement of the armed feces and increasing Soviet-Cuban military ties have en- d Cuba to assume a far more influential role on the world scene than its size and resources would otherwise dictate. Since 1975 the USSR has undertaken a major mod- ernization of all branches of the Cuban military, transform- ing it from a home-defense force into the best equipped military establishment in Latin America, one with signifi- cant offensive capabilities. Equipment delivered to the ground forces has enhanced both its mobility and firepow- er. The Air Force now is.probably the best equipped in Latin America, possessing some 200 Soviet-supplied MiG jet fighters. The Navy has acquired two torpedo attack submarines and a Koni-class frigate, all of which will be able to sustain operations throughout the Caribbean Basin and will enable Cuba to project power far beyond its shores, posing a threat to shipping in the Caribbean as well as intimidating and threatening neighbors. As a result of this modernization program and Cu- ba's combat experience in Angola and Ethiopia, the Castro regime possesses a significant regional intervention capa- bility. Havana has increased the size of its airborne-trained forces to a current level of some 3,000 to 4,000 troops, and has significantly improved its airlift and sealift capability as well. Although this capability is modest by Western stan- dards, it is impressive in the Central American or Caribbe- an context. This capability would be most effectively em- ployed in aiding an ally in the region against an external Sion or in the suppression of internal conflict. Cuba Os snot have the wherewithal to conduct an outright inva- sion of another nation in the region except for the Caribbe- an micro-states. Havana does not have sufficient amphibi- ous assault landing craft or aircraft capable of transporting heavy equipment. Cuba has on occasion demonstrated some reckless- ness in the utilization of its capabilities. The most recent example occurred May 10, 1980, when Cuban Air Force jet fighters attacked and sank a clearly marked Bahamian pa- trol vessel inside Bahamian territorial waters in broad day- light. Four crewmembers died in the attack. The following day, Cuban MiGs buzzed for a prolonged period a populat- ed island belonging to the Bahamas. In addition, a Cuban helicopter carrying Cuban troops landed on the same is- land in pursuit of the surviving crewmembers of the sunk- en patrol vessel. The Cuban Military Since the mid-1970's, when Cuba intervened in An- gola on a large s.:ale and the Soviet Union began to mod- ernize Cuba's armed forces with new equipment, the Cu- ban military has changed from a predominantly home-de- fense force into a formidable power relative to its Latin American neighbors. The deliveries of Soviet military equipment that have taken place in recent months are the latest in a surge of deliveries to Cuba over the past year. During 1981, Soviet merchant ships delivered some 66,000 tons of military equipment, as compared with the previous 10-year annual average of 15,000 tons. The large amount of weapons delivered in 1981 represents the most signifi- cant Soviet military supply effort to Cuba since a record quarter of a million tons was shipped in 1962 (see chart 1 in appendix). There are several reasons for this increase: -the beginning of a new five-year upgrading and replace- ment cycle; -additional arms to equip the new Cuban territorial mili- tia, which Cuba claims to be 500,000 strong but which Cuba expects to reach 1 million; -increasing military stockpiles, part of which is passed to Nicaragua; -a convincing demonstration of Moscow's continuing sup- port for the Havana regime. In addition to major weapons systems, large quanti- ties of ammunition, small arms, spares and support equip- ment probably were delivered. Cuba's armed forces cur- 1 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 rently total more than 225,000 personnel-200,000 Army, 15,000 Air Force and Air Defense, and 10,00() Navy-in- cluding both those on active duty either in Cuba or over- seas and those belonging to the ready reserves, subject to immediate mobilization. With a population of just under ten million, Cuba has by far the largest military force in the Caribbean Basin and the second largest in Latin America after Brazil, which has a population of more than 120 mil- lion. More than 2 percent of the Cuban population belongs to the active-duty military and ready reserves, compared with an average of under 0.4 percent in other countries in the Caribbean basin (see charts 2 and 3). In addition, Cu- ba's large paramilitary organizations and reserves would be available to support the military internally. The quantitative and qualitative upgrading of the armed forces since the mid-1970's, and their recent combat experience in Angola and Ethiopia, give the Cuban military definite advantages over its neighbors in Latin America. Cuba is the only country in Latin America to have under- taken a major military effort abroad since World War II, giving both Army and Air Force personnel recent combat experience in operating many of the weapons currently in their inventories. About 70 percent of Cuban troops that have served in Africa have been reservists who were called to active duty. Cuban reservists generally spend about 45 days per year on active duty and can be readily integrated into the armed forces. Cuba has effectively used its civilian enterprises, such as Cubana Airlines and the merchant ma- rine, to support military operations. Havana has dedicated significant resources to modernize and professionalize its armed forces and to maintain a well-prepared reserve. Cuba has demonstrated that, when supported by the Soviet Union logistically, it has both the capability and the will to deploy large numbers of troops, and can be expected to do so whenever the Castro government believes it to be in Cuba's best interest. The cost of Soviet arms delivered to Cuba since 1960 exceeds $2.5 thousand million, and all of the deliveries have taken place on a grant basis. Soviet arms deliveries, plus Cuba's $3 thousand-million annual Soviet economic subsidy, are tied to Cuba's ongoing military and political role abroad in support of Soviet objectives. Equipment delivered to the Army since the mid- 1970's, such as T-62 tanks, BMP infantry combat vehicles, BRDM armored reconnaissance vehicles, anti-tank guns, towed field guns, BM-21 multiple rocket launchers and ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, have begun to alleviate earlier deficiencies in Cuba's mechanized capabili- ty, as well as providing increased firepower. In addition to its qualitative advantage, the Cuban Army has an over- whelming numerical superiority in weapons over all of its Latin American neighbors. The Cuban Air Force is one of the largest and prob- ably the best, equipped in all Latin America. Its inventory includes some 200 Soviet-supplied MiG jet fighters, with two squadrons of FLOGGERs (exact model of second squadron recently delivered is not yet determined). The MiG-23s have the capability to reach portions of the south- eastern United States, most of Central America and most Caribbean nations (see chart 4). Cuban-based aircraft, how- ever, would be capable of conducting only limited air en- BMP infantry combat vehicle. gagements in Central America on a round-trip mission. Cuba's fighter aircraft could be effectively employed in either a ground-attack or air superiority role, however, if based on Central American soil-a feasible option given the closeness of Cuban-Nicaraguan relations. A similar ar- rangement would be possible in Grenada once Cuban workers complete the construction of an airfield with a 2,700-meter runway there. If the MiG-23s were based in Nicaragua and Grenada, their combat radius would be expanded to include all of Central America, including the northern tier of South America. Cuban defenses have been strengthened by the ad- ditions of mobile SA-6 missile launchers and radars for that air defense missile, additional SA-2 transporters, SA-2 mis- sile cannisters, new early warning and height-finding radar stations, and electronic warfare vans. The Cuban Navy, with a strength of about 10,000 personnel, remains essentially a defensive force, although its two recently acquired FOXTROT-class submarines single Koni-class frigate, once fully integrated into operational force, will be able to sustain operations throughout the Caribbean Basin, the Gulf of Mexico, and, to a limited extent, the Atlantic. The Koni, for example, has an operating range of 2,000 nautical miles without refuel- 2 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 MiG-23, shown here shortly before shipment to Cuba, is one of some 200 Mig jet fighters supplied to Cuba by the Soviet Union. ing or replenishment. The FOXTROTS have a range of 9,000 nautical miles at seven knots per hour and a patrol duration of 70 days. * The primary vessels for carrying out the Navy's de- ive missions are Osa- and Komar-class missile attack boats whose range can extend well into the Caribbean. They are armed with SS-N-2 STYX ship-to-ship missiles (see chart 5). Cuba has received, in addition, Turya-class hydrofoil torpedo boats, Yevgenya-class inshore mine- sweepers and a Sonya-class minesweeper. Although not equipped for sustained operations away from its main bases, the Cuban Navy could conduct limited interdiction missions in the Caribbean. In addition to the Navy, Cuba has a 3,000-man coast guard organization. Cuba's capability to intervene in a hostile environ- ment using its indigenous transport assets is modest by Western standards, but considerably more formidable in the Central American context. As in 1975, when a single battalion of Cuban airborne troops airlifted to Luanda at a critical moment played a role far out of proportion to its size, a battle-tested Cuban force injected quickly into a com- bat situation in Central America could prove a decisive factor. Moreover, since the Angolan experience, Havana has increased the training of airborne-qualified forces, which now number some 3,000 to 4,000 troops and consist of a Special Troops Contingent and a Landing and Assault Brigade. In addition, Cuba has improved its airlift and sealift capability. Cuba continues to lack sufficient transport aircraft that can support long-range, large-scale troop movements and would have to turn to the Soviets to achieve such a W bility. Cuba does have the ability to transport large bers of troops and supplies within the Caribbean re- gion, however, using its military and civilian aircraft. Since 1975, the Cuban commercial air fleet has acquired seven IL-62 long-range jet transport aircraft and some TU-154 medium-to-long-range transport aircraft, each capable of carrying 150 to 200 combat-equipped troops. (By compari- son, Cuba conducted the airlift to Luanda in 1975 with only five medium-range aircraft, each having a maximum ca- pacity of 100 troops.) Cuba has recently acquired the AN- 26 short-range transport. The most effective use of this aircraft from Cuban bases would be in transporting troops or supplies to a friendly country, but it is capable, with full payload, of airdropping troops on portions of Florida, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, and most of the Dominican Republic (see chart 6). If based in Nicaragua, however, the AN-26s would be capable of reaching virtual- ly all of Central America in either role. In addition, more than 30 smaller military and civilian transport planes, in- cluding the aircraft of the Angola conflict, also could be used to fly troops and munitions to Central America. Introduction of sophisticated Soviet weapons geared toward mobility and offensive missions has improved Cu- Soviet T-62 tanks, shown here during Warsaw Pact maneuvers. Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 ban ability to conduct military operations off the island. The recent Soviet military deliveries, specifically, could im- prove the effectiveness of Cuban forces already abroad. In Angola the mobile SA-6 surface-to-air missile system oper- ated by Cubans could provide a valuable complement to other less effective air defense systems. They also would enable Havana to continue assistance to Nicaragua. The MiG-23 and MiG-21 fighters probably would be most effec- tive in aiding the Sandinista regime. The deployment of a few dozen MiGs would not seriously reduce Cuba's de- fenses, and Cuban-piloted MiGs would enable Nicaragua to counter virtually any threat from within the region. In early 1982 Cuba received some Mi-24 HIND-D helicopters. This is the first true assault helicopter in Cuba's inventory, although Cuba also has Mi-8 helicopters. Pri- marily a gunship, the Mi-24 is also designed to carry a combat squad of eight men. It is armed with a 57 mm cannon, mini-gun and rocket pods. It will provide Cuba with improved ground support and offensive combat oper- ations capabilities Cuba's ability to mount an amphibious assault is con- Osa-class missile attack boat. strained both by the small number of naval infantry per- sonnel and by a dearth of suitable landing craft. Cuba would, however, be capable of transporting significant numbers of troops and supplies-using ships belonging to the merchant marine and navy-to ports secured by friendly forces if the United States did not become in- volved. Cuba's Paramilitary Organizations Cuba's several paramilitary organizations involve hundreds of thousands of civilian personnel during peace- time who would be available to support the military during times of crisis. Although these groups would be far less combat-capable than any segment of the military, they do provide at least rudimentary military training and disci- pline to the civilian population. The primary orientation these paramilitary organizations is internal security and cal defense (see chart 7). The extent to which the military is involved in the civilian sector is further reflected by its activity within the economic sphere. In addition to uniformed personnel, the 4 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 SA-6 surface-to-air missiles on display. Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) has over 30,000 civilian workers employed in factories and repair facilities in Cuba and in building roads and airfields .Wfrica. Many are employees of MINFAR's Central Di- orate for Housing and Construction which, in addition to military construction, builds housing and apartment complexes for military and civilian personnel of both MIN- FAR and the Ministry of the Interior. The Youth Labor Army also contributes to economic development by engag- ing in agricultural, industrial and construction projects. The Soviet Presence The Soviet military presence in Cuba includes a ground forces brigade, a military advisory group and an intelligence collection facility. There are 6,000 to 8,000 So- viet civilian advisors and 2,000 Soviet military advisors in Cuba. Military deployments to Cuba consist of periodic visits by naval reconnaissance aircraft and task groups. The ground forces brigade, located near Havana, has approximately 2,600 men and consists of one tank and three motorized rifle battalions, plus various combat and service support units. Soviet ground forces have been pres- ent in Cuba since shortly before the missile crisis in 1962. Likely missions of the brigade include providing a small symbolic Soviet commitment to Castro, implying a readiness to defend Cuba and his regime, and probably providing security for Soviet personnel and key Soviet fa- cilities, particularly for the Soviets' large intelligence collec- tion operation. The brigade almost certainly would not have a role as an intervention force, although it is capable ctical defense and offensive operations in Cuba. Un- such units as airborne divisions, the brigade is not structured for rapid deployment, and no transport aircraft capable of carrying its armed vehicles and heavy equip- ment are stationed in Cuba. The Soviet Military Advisory Group in Cuba con- The Mi-8 helicopter, shown here during 1980 Warsaw Pact maneuvers. sists of at least 2,000 military personnel, who provide tech- nical advice in support of weapons such as the MiGs, sur- face-to-air missiles, and the FOXTROT submarines; some are also attached to Cuban ground units. The Soviets' intel- ligence collection facility-their largest outside the USSR- monitors U.S. military and civilian communications. Since the naval ship visit program began in 1969, 21 Soviet task groups have been deployed to the Caribbean, virtually all of them visiting Cuban ports. The most recent visit occurred in April and May 1981 and included the first by a Kara-class cruiser-the largest Soviet combat ship to have ever visited the island. Soviet intelligence collection ships operating off the U.S. East Coast regularly call at Cuba during their patrols, as do hydrographic research and space-program support ships operating in the region. In addition, the Soviet Navy keeps a salvage and rescue ship in Havana for emergency operations. Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Cubans in Africa: Top, Cuban artillery unit in front-line position in Ethiopia. Below, Soviet-built tank manned by Cuban troops guards road junction in Luanda, Angola, during civil war in 1976. Soviet TU-95 Bear D reconnaissance aircraft have been deployed periodically to Cuba since 1975. These aircraft are deployed in pairs and stay in Cuba for several weeks. The flights use Cuban airfields to support Soviet reconnaissance missions and naval maneuvers in the Atlan- tic, and to observe U.S. and NATO naval maneuvers and Soviet naval visits to Cuba began in 1969. Here, from left, a Kildin-class guided-missile destroyer, a Kynda-class guided-missile cruiser and a Kashin-class guided-missile destroyer at port in Havana. sea trials. The flights have historically been associated with periods of increased international tension, such as the An- golan and Ethiopian wars. The Soviets apparently sent a significant number of pilots to augment Cuba's air defense during two periods- early 1976 and during 1978-when Cuban pilots were sent to Angola and Ethiopia. The Soviet pilots filled in for Cu- ban pilots deployed abroad, and provided the Cuban Air Force with enough personnel to perform its primary mis- sion of air defense of the island. Threat to Hemispheric Strategic Defense Cuban military ties with the Soviet Union, the Soviet presence in Cuba, including the presence of a large Soviet intelligence-gathering facility, and the periodic Soviet air and naval presence pose significant military threats to U.S. security interests in the Hemisphere. Because of Cuba's proximity to vital sea lanes of communication, the Soviets or Cubans, in wartime, could attempt to interdict the move- ment of troops, supplies and raw materials in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and could strike key military and civilian facilities in the area. ^ 6 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 APPENDIX Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 cart 1 USSR: Seaborne Military Deliveries to Cuba 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 110 1970 110 1971 1 10 1972 110 1973 110 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1 20 1979 1980 1981 Chart 3 Relative Military Strength of Selected Caribbean Basin Nations Percentage of Population in Armed Forces 2.5 Chart 2 Country Population People in Military Percentage of Population Cuba (in thousands) 9,900 (in thousands) 226.5 in Military 2.29 Argentina 27,000 139.5 .51 Bolivia 5,285 23.8 .45 Brazil 126,000 272.55 .22 Chile 11,200 88.0 .79 Colombia 26,520 65.8 .25 Ecuador 7,900 38.8 .49 Paraguay 3,300 16.0 .48 Peru 17,400 95.5 .55 Uruguay 3,300 30.0 .91 Venezuela 15,400 40.5 .26 Dominican Rep. 5,620 19.0 .34 Guatemala 6,950 14.9 .21 Honduras 3,700 11.3 .31 Mexico 71,500 107.0 .15 Chart 4 Optimum High-Altitude Combat Radii of Cuban Mig-21s and Mig-23s 0 400 800 Miles Boundary representation is not necessarily authoritative 0, eV a oaJ Otis ?"'? I Key: + Mig.21/23 Base Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Chart 5 Operating Areas of OSA- and Komar-class Guided Missile Patrol Boats from Cuban Ports* 0 400 800 Miles Boundary representation is not necessarily authoritative -Operating areas shown are based on each craft's normal tactical speed, and could be up to 50 percent less if high-speed operations were being conducted. The maximum speed of the OSA is 35 knots and that of the Komar 40 knots. Chart 6 Range and Radius of AN-26s from Havana Pacific Guatemala (supplies) Honduras Paraaro I with o Payload ro I Normal ~ { Ran t t 1 mexico l ...... Radius Combat with with 0 400 800 Kilometers -? i BOOorita. ,, Boundary representation n is is not necessarily authoritative ' -Combat radius is the outbound distance attainable on a flight carrying payload to a destination, with sufficient onboard fuel reserves to return to point of origin. For a paradrop mission, stated radius allows for sufficient time-on-station to airdrop paratroops. For the delivery of supplies, stated radius allows for landing and take-off at destination, and assumes that entire payload is delivered before return. Combat range is the total distance attainable on a one-way flight carrying payload the entire distance. OSA 1/11 Radius: 400nmat25kts Atlantic Ocean The Bahamas s Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 ? ? Chart 7 Strength and Missions of Cuba's Paramilitary Organizations Organization Subordination Strength Youth Labor Army MINFAR (Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces Territorial Troop MINFAR Militia Border Guard Troops MININT (Ministry of the Interior) National Revolu- MININT tionary Police Department of MININT State Security Chart 8 Cuban Advisors More than 500,000 at present; still forming 3,000 full-time, plus unknown number of civilian auxiliaries 10,000, plus 52,000 civilian auxiliaries Total Number (Estimated) Military Civilian Angola 20,000 6,000 Ethiopia 11,000-13,000 600 Nicaragua 1,800 3,500 South Yemen 200-300 100 Grenada 30 300 Civic action force, receiving little military training in peacetime. One wartime mission would be to operate and protect the railroads. "Military" units would assist in providing local defense; non-military would provide first aid and disaster relief. Regional security/local defense. Help guard Cuban coastline. Responsible for public order in peacetime; could help provide rear area security during wartime. Counterintelligence and prevention of counter- revolutionary activities. Photos: Front Cover, Department of Defense. 2, Department of Defense. 3, top-Gamma-Liaison/ J.P. Quittard; bottom-Sovfoto. 4, top-U.S. Navy (2); bottom-Department of Defense. 5, top-Department of Defense; bottom-Camera Press. 6, top left-Gamma- Liaison/Bernard Couret; top right-Wide World; bottom-TASS from Sovfoto. Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9 Approved For Release 2007/11/05: CIA-RDP85M00363R001403210024-9