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US nuclear shield lost 8-inch floppy disks

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The American Automated Strategic Nuclear Force Management System (SACCS) has undergone modernization. This, according to C4ISRNET, said the commander of the 595th strategic communications squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Jason Rossi. As part of the modernization, which was completed in June this year, the system, in particular, lost the drives for 8-inch floppy disks, which were used to exchange information between terminals and download programs.

The fact that the SACCS uses outdated technologies became widely known in 2016, when the U.S. General Control and Finance Department published a report on the country’s nuclear shield inspection. The report said that the nuclear forces control system still runs on obsolete IMB Series / 1 computers and uses 8-inch floppy disks to transmit commands and programs. SACCS earned in January 1968. Initially, it was based on IBM AN / FSQ-31 computing systems by October 1975, completely replaced by the new IBM Series / 1.

According to Rossi, as part of the modernization, the drives for 8-inch floppy disks were replaced by modern “highly protected systems with solid-state drives.” Rossi did not specify other details about the work done. According to Colonel Haley James, deputy commander of the 595th operational control regiment, the US Air Force command, under the command of the SACCS, is considering a complete replacement of the system.

The SACCS is responsible for coordinating intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and submarine ballistic missiles. The system, partially shown in the movie War Games, is generally responsible for sending commands to launch strategic weapons and sending control codes. The previous system upgrade, which was officially announced, was completed in February 2012. During the work, radio stations, satellite communication systems were replaced and a digital data exchange network was connected.

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