Blog Floppy Disks in the Pentagon

Floppy Disks in the Pentagon

BBC News has recently reported that the United States nuclear weapons force still uses 8-inch floppy disks as well as a 1970s-era computer system. This information was revealed through a government report. According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon, along with several other departments, are in desperate need of having their “legacy systems” urgently replaced. The government report suggested that taxpayers spend around $61 billion per year just to maintain these ageing technologies. This amount of $61 billion a year is said to be roughly three times more than the cost of investments for modern information technology systems. The government report revealed that the United States Department of Defense systems which coordinated intercontinental nuclear bombers, ballistic missiles, as well as tanker support aircraft

"Runs on an IBM Series-1 Computer - a 1970s computing system - and uses eight-inch floppy disks."

"This system remains in use because, in short, it still works,"

said Lt Col Valerie Henderson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, to the AFP news agency.

"However, to address obsolescence concerns, the floppy drives are scheduled to be replaced with secure digital devices by the end of 2017."

"Modernization across the entire Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications enterprise remains ongoing,"

added Lt Col Valerie Henderson.

The government report stated that the Pentagon has scheduled to have their systems fully replaced by the end of 2020. According to the government report, the United States treasury is also in need of a systems upgrade, which is currently using

"Assembly language code - a computer language initially used in the 1950s and typically tied to the hardware for which it was developed."


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