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[coldwarcomms] re: Cold War Commo: The End Result!

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  • Albert LaFrance
    Mark, Yes, that is a fascinating article. The author has obviously put a lot of thought into the subject, and his theories make a lot of sense. There s an
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2000
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      Mark,

      Yes, that is a fascinating article. The author has obviously put a lot of
      thought into the subject, and his theories make a lot of sense.

      There's an aspect of PALs that I'm wondering about:

      As I understand the system, codes for arming the nuclear warheads assigned
      to US air and land forces are transmitted to those forces as part of an
      Emergency War Order.

      Presumably, an EWO should be as brief as possible to reduce transmission
      and decoding time, and the possiblility of human error. But since
      nuclear-weapons units like Minuteman squadrons can control a large number
      of warheads, transmitting a separate PAL code for each warhead to be
      released could produce a very long EWO.

      So I'm thinking about two possibilities:

      (1) That some or all of the warheads assigned to a particular unit are set
      with identical PAL codes; and/or,

      (2) That the PAL codes for individual warheads are kept locally in secure
      electronic storage (e.g in the Launch Control Center's computer), and are
      retrieved automatically upon receipt of a "master key" code transmitted as
      part of the EWO. The PALS would be downloaded to their corresponding
      warheads as part of the arming/launch sequence.

      ...Albert

      >http://www.research.att.com/~smb/nsam-160/pal.html
      >
      >Great article on Permissive Action Links- the ultimate "end user' of Cold
      >War Communications!
      >
      >Mark Edward Springer
      >WL7BCT
      >Bethel, Alaska
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