Soviet Union had extensively used satellites to photograph Indian, Pakistani and southern Chinese border during 1971 India Pakistan war, says an US declassified report. Analysis of limited data from 10 orbiting spacecrafts of the Soviets during November 1971 indicated a high level of intelligence collection in the India-Pakistan area. The spacecrafts included three high-resolution photo reconnaissance and seven electronic intelligence satellite’s .
The data indicated ‘a primary photographic collection effort of airfields in India and Pakistan. Other major military targets were Pakistani Army headquarters at Peshawar and Rawalpindi, Pakistani naval facilities, and an oil refinery and storage facilities at Karachi.
The Soviets also observed the southern Chinese border to include the subdistrict headquarters at Jihkatse near the Sino-Bhutan border and the Gilgit Road, which crosses the Chinese-Pakistan border through the Khunjerab Pass. A Soviet consul in Kabul, Afghanistan had revealed that the Soviet Embassy had received satellite observations indicating that China was ending a large number of trucks into Pakistan over the road.
This was also the first evidence indicating that the Soviets disseminate satellite intelligence to their diplomatic missions.