October 27th, 2010
08:10 PM ET

Computer problem blamed for missile site malfunction

A malfunctioning launch control center for a portion of the nation's nuclear missiles remained offline Wednesday as investigations continued into a weekend computer problem that disrupted communications with more than 10 percent of America's land-based nuclear missiles.

Early indications are that Saturday's disruption to one of the launch control centers linked to Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming lasted longer than an hour, Lt. Col. John Thomas told CNN. The problem appears to be very similar to glitches at two other nuclear missile sites in the late 1990s.

The United States currently has 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles in its nuclear arsenal. The 50 Minuteman III missiles involved in Saturday's incident are all currently at "normal operating capability," said Thomas, the director of Public Affairs for the Air Force's Global Strike Command. But while those missiles are typically controlled by five underground launch control centers, only four are currently online, he added.

The fifth control center remains offline and is believed to be the source of a computer hardware problem that caused a communications disruption Saturday. It has been electronically isolated from the launch system while the problem is investigated and solved, Thomas said.


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Filed under: Military • Nuclear
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Rudy Haugeneder, Victoria, BC, Canada

    A taste of cyberwar? If so, will anybody admit it?
    Cyberwar can - and does - happen and the incidence of it is spiraling upwards. The future has arrived.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      No, the system cannot be remotely accessed it was most likely a hardware malfunction as the system is getting old.

      October 28, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Dude

    Duck and cover!

    October 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. merle

    It reminds me of that movie War Games. That was done years ago but it seems that it is more relevant today.

    October 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. K w


    October 28, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. K w


    October 28, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. merle

    Oh that Joshua. Just wanted to play.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gorilla Geurilla

    Well that is why thre are 5 systems... duh... That and a single system is unable to launch the missiles by itself, and any other system can sop the launch with the press of a single button.

    October 28, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bond James Bond

    hello, a disruption that keeps your enemies ability to launch defensive missles is considered a sucess, china is testing new stratagies, it wont be long before your real enemy is recognized, despite your govt.s obvious lies, this is the new war, its only going to get worse, even ants send out scouts, or probes if you will, to test our logistics. Pay attention people, all financed by your local wal-mart. Enjoy your inferior junk, while you put me out of a good paying job. Put my skills against a china product ANYDAY. they think round eye stupid! they are communist, remember when we used to fight that? their govt. is rich from us, now youve created a monster

    October 28, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bond James Bond

    and yes, i am UAW local 62 . i will always love this country, but damn, we need change, not more time, you've already scared investers, and employers (obama care) tell our country iran & afganastan are just kids being bad, and just need more love!!... they just want more bullets. and so lets give them 2 billion, and call it aide, let their govt. hand it out as they see fit, and laugh their ass.s off at how fukin stupid we are, where i come from we dont like being sold bad goods, that i pay for. this is the most divisive administration ever. their impoverished will never see a dime, but our enemies will, then use it to buy the loyalty of the locals to help fight us. no wonder we cant get anywhere over there

    October 28, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bond James Bond

    i dont know how it works, but i know technology in our defense systems should be more concerning than giving away money we borrow to countries that hate us

    October 28, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. osama bin diesel

    They should upgrade that Atari 400 they are using .

    October 28, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |