UK Government gives ‘go-ahead’ to deploy Olympics air defence systems

Updated: Jul 04, 2012, 17:03 PM IST

London: The UK Government has confirmed that surface-to-air defence systems will be deployed at six sites in and around London during the 2012 Olympic Games.

The ground-based air defence systems, which will be in place by mid-July, have been given a go-ahead in the face of a potential legal challenge from east London residents, who reportedly do not want the systems pitched on the roof of their tower block home.

“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,” a newspaper quoted Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, as saying.

The Government, based on military advice, has now given the go-ahead for the ground-based air defence systems, which will include Rapier and High Velocity Missile systems.

The main aim is to protect the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, and its surrounding area from would be attacks from the air.

High Velocity Missiles will be based at the Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, both in east London, while Rapiers will be set on Blackheath Common and at Oxleas Meadow, Shooters Hill, both in south east London.