The US Nuclear Force Will Finally Get Rid of Floppy Disks in 2017

/ 7 years ago

floppy disk

Even though it might be difficult to believe for some of you, the reality is that some of the world’s most important agencies and headquarters are still using very old technology, including floppy disks. For example, the Pentagon and other US agencies use outdated tech for very important functions, including some nuclear operations, at least according to a report published by the Government Accountability Office. The report states that a command and control unit that handles “the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces” makes use of 8-inch floppy disks and an IBM / Series 1 computer, which is outstanding since this particular computer model went into production back in 1976.

government floppy disk report

That says a lot about the quality of the computer in question, but it also paints a worrying picture, especially since other departments such as the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Veteran Affairs are also using IT systems that are more than 5 decades old. According to the Government Accountability Office, these outdated systems required $61.2 billion last year for maintenance purposes, while the modernization of similar systems needed just $19.2 billion. The good news is that The Pentagon has issued a statement that said the nuclear command and control unit will stop using floppy disks by the end of 2017, and that the system will be modernized in full by 2020. Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson said that “this system remains in use because, in short, it still works,” but since maintaining this obsolete technology is costing the taxpayers so much money each year, it’s definitely a good idea to move on to newer and more efficient solutions.

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