Accession Number:

ADA193561

Title:

Soviet Airborne Forces and the Central Region: Problems and Perceptions.

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.,

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMBINED ARMS CENTER FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SOVIET ARMY STUDIES OFFICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1987-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

37.0

Abstract:

Use of massive amounts of airpower and conventional surface-to-surface missiles in lieu of nuclear strikes will allow the Soviets to break into NATOs operational rear with force-tailored, highly mobile formations called operational maneuver groups OMG. The OMGs would be of division or armycorps size at army and front level respectively. They would conduct raiding actions once in NATOs rear area to disrupt C3 and logistical functions, capture key facilities such as airfields and destroy nuclear weapons facilities and launchers. The goal of this operational concept is to present NATO military and political leaders with a fait-accompli by Day 3 or 4 in which the destruction of nuclear delivery means and the intermixing of Soviet and NATO units in the rear area preclude a NATO nuclear response to the offensive. All of these writers posit the massive Soviet employment of airborne and air-assault formations to support the advance of combined arms forces generally and in particular the OMGs as they penetrate beyond tactical 50 km defenses into the operational depths. As the air defense environment in Europe is the densest of anywhere in the world this would seem to pose some problem to Soviet leaders tasked with employment of these forces in support of such an offensive. The purpose of this paper is to examine in some detail the capabilities and limitations of Soviet airborne forces in a specific context, that is, in support of a theater offensive. To properly analyze this issue it is necessary to examine current Soviet views on employment of their airborne forces.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE