US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear operations


The U.S. Defense Department is still using — after several decades — 8-inch floppy disks in a computer system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation's nuclear forces, a jaw-dropping new report reveals.

The Defense Department's 1970s-era IBM Series/1 Computer and long-outdated floppy disks handle functions related to intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft, according to the new Governmental Accountability Office report.

The department's outdated "Strategic Automated Command and Control System" is one of 10 of the oldest information technology investments or systems detailed in the sobering GAO report, which calls for a number of federal agencies "to address aging legacy systems."



The report shows that creaky IT systems are being used to handle important functions related to the nation's taxpayers, federal prisoners and military veterans, as well as to the America's nuclear umbrella.

"Federal legacy IT systems are becoming increasingly obsolete: Many use outdated software languages and hardware parts that are unsupported," the report found. "Agencies reported using several systems that have components that are, in some cases, at least 50 years old." 



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