Cybersecurity a Major Concern in NC3 System Modernization
The U.S. needs to upgrade the nuclear command, control and communications system that functions as the link between nuclear forces and presidential authority to get rid of cyber attacks, according to Sen. Angus King.
On May 1, King, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces, and a bipartisan group of senators were briefed on U.S. nuclear modernization efforts at the U.S. Strategic Command’s headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base.
In a call with reporters after the briefing, King said that the NC3 was a major point of discussion and a “significant” part of the meeting.
He noted that the USSTRATCOM is working on upgrading the system, with cybersecurity being at the forefront of the enhancement effort, SpaceNews reported.
According to the independent senator from Maine, ongoing discussions about the cost of the NC3 modernization are focused on missiles, airplanes and submarines. He also stressed that command and control is an area that leaders are concerned about.
The ability to deliver nuclear weapons anywhere in the world is provided by the U.S. nuclear triad, which consists of three legs: ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, aerial bombers and submarines.
King emphasized that the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks against the Department of Defense and other government systems is one of the major concerns in the modernization effort.
Government and military leaders are looking to prepare for the next conflict, which they believe will begin with a cyberattack aimed at disabling communications networks, as well as communications between commanders and forces.
The modernization project will ensure that the president is able to communicate with forces to be able to issue commands and to consult with advisers.
The Saturday briefing also included Sens. John Hoeven, Deb Fischer, Jeanne Shaheen and Joni Ernst. The senators also visited Minot AFB in North Dakota on April 30 to check on the base’s nuclear operations.
Tags: Angus King communications cyber attacks cybersecurity Deb Fischer Department of Defense Jeanne Shaheen John Hoeven Joni Ernst Minot AFB modernization NC3 nuclear command and control system nuclear forces nuclear modernization Offutt AFB Pentagon SpaceNews US Strategic Command