US Air Force Finally Stops Using Floppy Disk


Supreme [H]ardness
Feb 3, 2004
Wow! Talk about fully utilizing and prolonging a tech as much as possible, eh?

"The U.S. Air Force has finally replaced its ancient 8-inch floppy disk drives. The drives, cutting edge technology during the Gerald R. Ford presidential administration, were used to help send out emergency action messages to U.S. nuclear forces worldwide. The disks, which are as wide as a sheet of typing paper, were replaced with solid state drives (SSDs).

The Air Force knew the system was old, but it also knew that it worked reasonably well and was integrated into a time-tested system. U.S. nuclear forces have also taken a backseat in funding for the last three decades, as the end of the Cold War reduced tensions among the nuclear powers.

The floppies serve the Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS) emergency action message system. Emergency action messages, or EAMS, are voice communications sent in the clear distributing coded messages to America’s worldwide network of strategic nuclear forces. The messages are sent out by the National Command Authorities and major U.S. military commands, relayed through E-6 Mercury airborne command posts, and forwarded to nuclear forces.

Here’s an example of an EAM:"

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[H]F Junkie
Jul 11, 2001
I think it's pretty cool that the old tech was able to last that long. It must have still been a reasonably functional system for their needs despite how "old" it may have been. The reliability seems very impressive. Are the SSDs that they replaced the disk drives with still going to be working in 45 years?


[H]F Junkie
Jan 14, 2006
Jun 1, 2018
this reminds me of a f-22 bug-

f-22 software was written in ada, which coincidentally was developed when ford was still president. jokingly, i wonder how many dead ada programmers they will have to dig up to fix the next f-22 bug? the software cant just be replaced because then pork-greased fingers start to think "then why not a new fighter program" silhouette of f-35 creeps up behind me...

the government just sits on this stuff it buys... forever. 99% of the people who maintain it are clockwatchers so they dont have a lot of agility.