ROCKET TROOPS IN SUPPORT OF FRONT OPERATIONS
The following information is based on extracts from various lectures
and is provided for the reader's information pending preparation of a complete
chapter on the subject.
The strategic rocket (SSM) troops
The Front offensive operation is part of the strategic operation in the
theater of strategic military action (TSMA), and is conducted in close
coordination with adjacent Fronts and the operational formations of
other services of the armed forces.
In Front offensive operations employing nuclear weapons, the decisive
role is played by the actions of strategic nuclear forces, which destroy the
enemy's main grouping of forces, as well as vital targets and areas in the
theater of strategic military action.
In this connection, an important role is played by strategic rocket troops. The
enormous destructive power, great accuracy, and practically unlimited range of
fire of strategic rockets insures: inflicting decisive casualties and losses on
the enemy's nuclear forces; destruction of the enemy's military and economic
potential; interruption of the enemy's governmental and high military command
and control system; and the inflicting of heavy casualties and losses on the
enemy's main grouping of armed forces in the theater of strategic military
During the initial nuclear strike the strategic rocket forces, in cooperation
with long-range aircraft and naval nuclear forces, destroy the following
targets in the theater of strategic military action:
- Missile and air force bases;
- Strategic and tactical airfields where nuclear-armed aircraft are
- Operational-tactical rocket positions;
- Nuclear weapons depots;
- Troops and means employed in the enemy's air defense, antiship defense, and
antirocket defense systems;
- Large army units in assembly areas (second-echelon troops and reserves);
- Troop mobilization areas;
- Naval bases, ports, and political, industrial and administrative centers;
- Government and military command and control systems and other important
Front rocket troops
There is one rocket (SSM) brigade organic to each army equipped with P-300
surface-to- surface missiles. The total number of P-300 rocket (SSM) brigades
in a Front depends on the number of armies organic to the Front. There
can be a total of four to five P-300 SSM brigades in a Front. The one to
two Front SSM brigades have 12-24 pieces launchers with 2 rounds each.
The three to four army SSM brigades have 27-36 pieces with 2 rounds each. The
combat composition of the Front's rocket troops includes the division's
as well as the army's and Front's missile (SSM) units.
There is one P-65 surface to surface rocket (SSM) battalion organic to each
division for a total of 22 to 25 in the Front. The divisional SSM
battalion is organized into three to four missile launch positions. The combat
capabilities of each launch position are: - Each position has three to four
- Their yields are three, ten, and 20 kilotons;
- They can destroy three to four targets, such as enemy command posts, two tank
- The depth of their destruction is up to 50 km.;
- Rearming for launch can be completed in one-and-a-half hours.
The total number of rockets which can be employed in an operation is 342 to
The basic principles of the employment of rocket troops are the following:
- Mass employment;
- Surprise employment;
- Employment on the targets, clearly discovered, and accurately disclosed by
- Employment of SSMs in support of accomplishment of important tasks
(destruction of enemy's nuclear delivery means and its main grouping of
- Employment in close coordination with other services of armed forces, weapons
and combat arms.
The methods for accomplishment of missions (tasks) include:
- Massive strike (initial nuclear strike);
- Group strike (employment of nuclear rounds on one target, for example 2
rounds on a battalion-size unit and 12-16 rounds on a division);
- Individual nuclear strike.