London 2012 Olympics: Possible sites for air defence missiles identified

12:07 30 April 2012

Lexington House in Bow, east London, where the Army may position a surface-to-air missile system during the Olympics

Lexington House in Bow, east London, where the Army may position a surface-to-air missile system during the Olympics

More sites around London where surface-to-air missiles could be deployed during the Olympics have been revealed by the Ministry of Defence.

The Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, both in east London, have been identified as potential sites.

Blackheath Common and Oxleas Wood, both in south-east London, plus William Girling Reservoir in the Lea Valley Reservoir Chain in Enfield and Barn Hill at Netherhouse Farm in Epping Forest are other possible sites.

These are all potential locations for ground-based air defence systems, should the government decide to deploy them during the Games.

No final decision has been made about this potential deployment but it does form part of Olympic Guardian, a major exercise in which security preparations are being tested this week.

Both military and civilian personnel are working on the exercise, which takes place on land, sea and in the air in London and Weymouth.

A wide range of actions and capabilities are set to be tested over nine days.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said: “Support for the Olympic Games will be an important task for defence in 2012 and this exercise is about pushing our people and our systems to the limit to ensure that we are ready for the challenge.

“The majority of this exercise will be played out in full view of the public and I hope that it will have a secondary effect of reassuring the British people that everything possible is being done to ensure this will be a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

On whose decision it would be to deploy the missiles, standing joint commander General Sir Nick Parker said it would be taken “at the very highest political level”.

Relating to this week’s exercise, this is an area which needs to be tested and the military advice to government “will depend on the success of that test”, he said.

Talks have taken place with housing associations, members of the public will have the chance to meet the teams, and leaflets will be dropped to try to keep the public informed, he added.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 12:44
American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org, Nicole Tung, File)

The SAS is closing in on the man known as ‘John’, suspected of being from London, who brutally executed US journalist James Foley.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:10
Ishak Ayiris is set to study at Eton College.  Photograph by Lucy Ray

A schoolboy who secured top marks in his GCSEs is set to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron and Boris Johnson after winning a scholarship to Eton worth £76,000.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:49
The student was caught trying to board a flight at Stansted Airport with eight flares in his luggage (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

A student from north London was caught trying to board a plane at Stansted Airport with eight explosive flares and a terrorist manual.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more