The failure of the “revolt of cars”. As the computer almost started a nuclear war

The failure of the “revolt of cars”. As the computer almost started a nuclear war

MOSCOW, September 26 — RIA Novosti, Andrei Kots. The piercing roar of battle alarm blasts habitual silence the Central command post of the missile attack warning. The satellite detected the launch of Intercontinental ballistic missiles “Minuteman” from the United States and, therefore, for a retaliatory blow is no more than 40 minutes.


Thirty-five years ago, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, the duty officer CSC early warning system in the Moscow suburb of Serpukhov-15, made a decision that saved the world from nuclear war. About the events of that fateful night — in the material RIA Novosti.

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Satellite system detect launches of Intercontinental ballistic missiles from the continental U.S. “the Eye” was adopted and put on combat duty in late 1982. The Soviet Union now would know about a nuclear attack in a matter of seconds: spacecraft with powerful optics and infrared sensors would have picked bright torch missiles launched from the mine.

Of course, this information had to confirm the radar operators nadgryzennoe observations, but the satellite system “Eye” ran the flywheel, raised to the gun, the nuclear deterrent of the USSR.

By the fall of 1983, the system was still buggy, and working with it professionals has not managed to gather sufficient experience. However, numerous simulations of a nuclear war, held in CCU for less than a year, has done its job: as subsequent events showed, his officers acted correctly. The evening of 25 September, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov reported for duty operational duty. To control the reliability of the spacecraft systems part of his duties. In fact, it is on the shoulders of the person on duty has placed a heavy responsibility to believe or not to believe the testimony of the orbital “Eye”, if it suddenly finds something.

And the system has detected missile launch — 26 September at 00:15. On the big electronic map of the U.S., established in CCU, zipping the starting point of one of the military bases on the West coast of the United States. Petrov immediately declared a red alert and ordered for a shift to check the status of all systems and confirm the visual presence of the target.

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However, the screens monitoring devices (UWC), which was supposed to convey the image of the bright flame of rockets coming out of the mine, all was OK. No flares and fiery tails. A satellite system “Eye” moments later reported on the second, third and fourth launches of ICBMs “Minuteman” from the same point. Again, the operators internals have not confirmed this information.

The full picture did not develop. A single missile launch does not fit into the scheme of massive attack. Side, dealing the first blow in a nuclear war, has all means at once: with hundreds of ICBMs from underground mines and submarines, cruise missiles from ships and aircraft. The nuclear triad is activated at full power, in order to weaken retaliatory or retaliation of the enemy. Four of the “Minuteman” certainly could not apply to the strategic forces of the Soviet Union irreparable damage, and the limited scale of the attack would be suicidal for the United States. In addition, data from satellites was not confirmed radar stations nadgryzennoe review. Otherwise, the information about the attack would be immediately brought to the military and political leadership of the country.