Babylon the Great Finally Updates Her Nukes

PHOTOGRAPH: CHARLES HAYMOND/U.S. AIR FORCE

The Air Force Finally Ditches Its Nuclear Command Floppy Disks

The Air Force Has Stopped Using 8-Inch Floppy Disks for Missile Command

For decades, the Air Force’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System—an internal chat protocol—has relied on 8-inch floppy disks running on an IBM Series/1 computer. To be clear, if and when the order comes down to launch nukes, it’ll route through SACCS. As recently as 2014, USAF officials insisted that running on obsolete, isolated tech actually made the system more secure. But they’ve apparently had a change of heart, as C4isrnet reports this week. As of June, they’ve upgraded to a “highly-secure solid state digital storage solution.” It’s unclear to what extent the rest of the system has been upgraded as well, but at least they’ve said goodbye to 70s-era data storage.

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