MOD Confirms Olympic Missiles

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that missile systems will be deployed at six sites in and around London for the duration of the Olympics.

Missile systems will be in place by mid-July

Rapier missile on Blackheath Common
Rapier missiles were stationed on Blackheath Common during a military test event in May. Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The Ministry of Defence says that similar missile defence systems have been deployed at all recent Olympic Games.

They will be in place by mid-July, along with Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean (which will be moored in the River Thames), Royal Air Force Typhoon jets (which will be temporarily stationed at RAF Northolt), and Puma helicopters (at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford).

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Olympic missile sites confirmed

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that ground based air defence systems will be deployed at the following sites in order to protect the Olympics.

Lexington Building, Fairfield Road, Bow, Tower Hamlets - High Velocity Missile

Fred Wigg Tower, Montague Road Estate, Waltham Forest - High Velocity Missile

Blackheath Common, Blackheath (Lewisham/Greenwich) - Rapier

William Girling Reservoir, Lea Valley Reservoir Chain, Enfield - Rapier

Oxleas Meadow, Shooters Hill, Greenwich/Woolwich - Rapier

Barn Hill, Netherhouse Farm, Epping Forest - Rapier.

Statement from Defence Secretary on Olympic missile defences

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP said:

"Whilst there is no reported threat to the London Olympics, the public expects that we put in place a range of measures aimed at ensuring the safety and security of this once-in-a-generation event. Ground-based air defence systems will form just one part of a comprehensive, multi-layered air security plan which, I believe, will provide both reassurance and a powerful deterrent.

“We have undertaken a wide programme of engagement with the communities affected, involving relevant local authorities, landowners, MPs, Council Leaders, and community meetings. These have shown that, while people understandably have questions and concerns which we have sought to answer, broadly speaking communities are supportive of our work.

“A small number of activists object to the deployment of these defensive measures and a legal challenge to the Government’s decision to deploy GBAD has been initiated. The MOD will defend these proceedings vigorously and is confident of defeating them.”