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The Soviet Challenge in Space: Illustrating the Threat

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The Soviet Challenge In Space: Illustrating The Threat

When forming national security policy or conducting foreign affairs during times of peace as well as war, our leaders need to know the military capabilities and intentions of other nations. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) serves as the nation's chief collector and producer of foreign military intelligence.

During the Cold War, DIA analysis focused on the Soviet military. One product of this effort was a series of illustrations depicting Soviet weapons systems and advanced technology, which were made for official briefings and publications. The artists and intelligence analysts who created them drew upon eyewitness accounts, photography, overhead reconnaissance, and other sources. Many of the illustrations remain classified.

Most of the 12 paintings displayed here have never been seen in public. They depict Soviet systems in four areas of Cold War competition: manned space flight, offensive weapons, defensive weapons, and reconnaissance.


Manned Space Flight
Offensive Weapons
Defensive Weapons
Reconnaissance Systems
Manned Space Flight
Offensive Weapons
Defensive Weapons
Reconnaissance Systems

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The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

The Secretary of Defense established the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1961 as the nation's primary producer of foreign military intelligence. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the DIA supports the intelligence requirements of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and military commanders, providing timely, objective, and accurate foreign military intelligence.



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