military is known for using equipment for decades, which for the most part
makes sense as weapons tend to be robustly built, but surprisingly the U.S. Air
Force is just pulling from service a 40-year-old computer product.
Force announced earlier this week it would stop using 8-inch floppy disks. These
have been used as part of the Air Force’s primary communications system used to
send messages to American nuclear forces around the world. The disks were invented
in the early 1970s and put into use by the Air Force in the 1980s as part of
the Strategic Automated Command and Control System.
The news site
quoted an Air Force spokesman that even though the system was horribly out of date
from a technical standpoint, it was almost bulletproof from a cybersecurity
“I joke with
people and say it’s the Air Force’s oldest IT system. But it’s the age that
provides that security,” Col. Jason Rossi, commander of the Air Force’s 595th
Strategic Communications Squadron told C4isrnet. “You can’t hack something
that doesn’t have an IP address. It’s a very unique system — it is old and it
is very good.”
age finally doomed it as the younger generation of military IT support staffers
simply did not have the knowledge to maintain the system. The disks are being
replaced by a solid state storage system.
airplanes and machine guns are easier to keep functioning.
Stratofortress bomber entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 1955 with the
version still in service first taking flight in 1961 and which is expected to
continue to remain operating for several more decades. Even older is the Browning
M2 .50 cal. machine gun which entered service in 1923 and is still widely used
by all the armed services.
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