America’s nukes are controlled by 8-inch floppy disks

American nukes and old hardware

The aging American nuclear arsenal still relies on ancient 8-inch floppy disks according to a new report fro the Government Accountability Office.

The study, titled “Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems,” is definitely an understatement.

“Agencies reported using several systems that have components that are, in some cases, at least 50 years old,” the report says.

One of its oldest systems is the Pentagon’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System, which coordinates US nuclear forces such as nuclear bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The report says that system is running on an IBM Series/1, a minicomputer that started out with 16K of memory.

That computer uses an 8-inch floppy disks (pictured above).

CBS aired a report about the aging nuclear arsenal systems in 2014 and they are still being used two years later.

At the time of the original CBS report, officials said the old systems were good because they are not susceptible to modern-day hacking attempts.

The new Department of Defense report suggests new data is now being sought out. The report says new “data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals [will be installed] by the end of the fiscal year 2017.”