In Season 09 E07 of NCIS: Los Angeles we can see the inside of a launch control center for nuclear missiles.

The two terrorists that brought the control center under their control are clearly using a Commodore C64 (from the 80s!) for entering the coordinates.

Here are two screenshots from the scene that I am referring to:

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I can't believe this is true.

  • 1
    Would be nice if the downvotes explained what is so bad about the question.
    – user1426
    Nov 17, 2017 at 18:44
  • 2
    At a guess I'd assume a lack of research. I found the answer in a couple of minutes with a quick google search.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 17, 2017 at 18:49
  • I couldn't find any reference of the US Army using C64 computers...
    – user1426
    Nov 17, 2017 at 18:50
  • This question is not even about movies or TV, it's about actual Air Force (the branch in charge of all nuclear weapons except those deployed by submarines) technology. So that might explain the downvotes. The remaining mystery is why it's not on hold yet. Nov 17, 2017 at 23:39
  • 6
    @ToddWilcox: so what is the tag "realism" for then?
    – user1426
    Nov 20, 2017 at 22:15

2 Answers 2


Essentially, yes, they are using 1970/80s technology

Here's a section of a visit by 60 minutes which shows the inside of a silo and covers the reasons for the older tech.

Article covering the same for those with lower bandwidth.

Using it means that cyber access is essentially impossible.

There is no internet access, they use the old giant floppy discs etc.


enter image description here

enter image description here

  • +1 for finding the answer... but could you précis it for those of us too idle [or limited bandwidth] to watch the videos?
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 17, 2017 at 18:41
  • 9
    No.. obviously not but essentially it's the same level of technology. The TV series just used what was to hand to simulate the inside of a silo.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 17, 2017 at 18:44
  • 2
    @Paulie_D the C64 is newer than the 1970s missile-launching tech... :)
    – RonJohn
    Feb 27, 2018 at 4:31
  • At least the C64 big lump of putty colored plastic with large gray keys is a good approximation of older keyboards production company to use under an extremely tight budget... Feb 19, 2019 at 23:50

They use exactly what they were built with.... in the 1980's. They "can't" be modernised, nothing is compatible.... Nor is it necessary. The system works. One of the issues the government has with the silos is that the companies that made many of the components have been out of business for years. There aren't even drawings, much less someone to make a one off for a replacement part. No fear, we have "lots and lots" of silos around the country. They don't all need to work.


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