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London Olympics
Missiles may be placed on flats

London, April 29
Britain is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats close to the Olympic Park as part of the multi-layered air security plan to protect the skies over London during the high-profile Games in the city from July.

An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a "Higher Velocity Missile system" could be placed on a water tower, the BBC reported.

A spokesman said the Ministry of Defence had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the July 27 to August 12 London Olympics.

A resident Brian Whelan said he has seen soldiers carrying a crate into the building. He also said his property management company put up posters and gave out the leaflets yesterday.

The leaflet states that the armed forces will be at the location for a military exercise between May 2 and May 7.

It goes on to say there will be a "major national exercise" from May 2 to May 10 to test the Armed Forces' capabilities for providing security during the Olympics.

The document added that if the government decides to use the missiles during the Games, the soldiers could be "operationally deployed for a period of up to two months this summer". The weapon being considered is a High Velocity Missile (HVM) system, which would be based on the Lexington Building Water Tower. The tower contains residential flats. The MoD says that the missiles will not pose a hazard to residents and "will only be authorised for active use following specific orders from the highest levels of government in response to a confirmed and extreme security threat". PTI

No decision on deployment

  • No decision on whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event
  • Leaflets distributed saying a "Higher Velocity Missile system" could be placed on a water tower at east London
  • A "major national exercise" to test the forces' capabilities to be conducted in May
  • The MoD says that the missiles will not pose a hazard to residents

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