Concept

AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central

Summary
The AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central, referred to as the Q7 for short, was a computerized command and control system for Cold War ground-controlled interception used in the USAF Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense network. The name “AN/FSQ” derives from Army-Navy / Fixed Special eQuipment. An advancement of the pioneering MIT Whirlwind II digital computer design, and manufactured by IBM as prime contractor, the AN/FSQ-7 was the largest discrete computer system ever built. Each of the 24 installed machines weighed 250 tons. The AN/FSQ-7 used a total of 60,000 vacuum tubes (49,000 in the computers) and up to 3 megawatts of electricity, performing about 75,000 instructions per second for networking regional radars. Primary functions Installations in the USAF Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense network were configured as duplex systems, using a pair of AN/FSQ-7 computers
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