WASHINGTON — The U.S. nuclear command, control and communications system that serves as the link between U.S. nuclear forces and presidential authority could be vulnerable to cyber attacks and needs upgrades, Sen. Angus King told reporters May 1.
King (I-Maine) is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces, which oversees the Pentagon’s space, nuclear and strategic deterrence programs.
King and a bipartisan group of senators on Saturday were briefed on U.S. nuclear modernization efforts at Offutt Air Force, Nebraska, where U.S. Strategic Command is headquartered. The senators on Friday also toured U.S. nuclear operations at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
During a call with reporters after the Saturday briefing, King said the nuclear command, control and communications system known as NC3 was a “major point of discussion” and a “significant part of the briefing” senators received at Offutt.
NC3 is a Cold War-era system of interconnected sensors, communications and early warning satellites, aircraft and ground control centers. The Trump administration in 2018 assigned U.S. Strategic Command the responsibility for upgrading the NC3 architecture so it’s compatible with modern technology.
King said nuclear command and control has become “much more complicated” and cybersecurity is ...