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Would you like surface to air missiles on top of your home?
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Posted April 29, 2012 at 6:01PM
It would appear from the report I have linked to that the MOD is intending to site a surface to air missile system on top of some residential flats which are within range of the Olympic park!
Now quite apart from the rather drastic consequences of having aircraft possibly engaged and shot down over east London, what are the rights of the residents of these flats with regard to the siting of this military hardware on their property? Does the MOD have to seek their permission for this installation or can they just impose it upon them? (Because I know what my answer to such a request would be!)
The other thing that strikes me about all of these draconian security measures which are going to be enforced upon the people of London for a three week sporting event is, really is it worth all of this expense? (£11 billion and counting) disruption to the life of the capital (chaos on the transport system) just for a three week jolly watching a load of people running jumping cycling and swimming!
If they really anticipate the possibility that they will have to start firing surface to air missiles over one of the most densely populated parts of eastern England then we have seriously lost our sense of priorities! Who makes the decision to fire them and based on what information?
I have a far better idea! Let's call the whole thing off!
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 10:27AM
There seems to be some misinformation in this thread. It would seem that posters think that Rapier or similar SAM system will be put on this water tower. In fact the leaflet makes it clear that this will be HVM - Starstreak. Rapier will be at other sites around London. Starstreak can be shoulder launched and has a range of 5.5 kms. It is designed to be used against low flying aircraft and especially "pop-up" attacks. Hi-jacked airliners should have been, and almost certainly would have been, detected well before Starstreak is used and hopefully before entering the restricted airspace around the Olympics. This is likely to be a last defence against something that has "popped-up" eg a para glider flown by a suicide bomber. The water tower offers good views of the site and appears to be an excellent site. If I lived there then I would not object.
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 11:03AM
You seem to have changed the thrust of your argument.
Not really! I do not consider that installing short range surface to air missiles on top of peoples homes is an appropriate response to something which if it were to happen would be an unmitigated disaster whatever the outcome!
Let's see, in this scenario all other layers of our defences have been overcome, this is after all the last line, less than a mile from the stadium. The fighters the helicopters the snipers have all failed, the threat, be it passenger airliner microlight goodyear blimp or some idiot from fathers for justice in his hang glider is inbound for the stadium.
The order comes from Northwood "engage the target" missiles are in the air! over one of the most densely inhabited cities in the world, if they manage to hit their target (not a certainty by any stretch of the imagination)we will have a sliding scale of destruction, from perhaps a handful of deaths if we were lucky, to a major national disaster with hundreds if not thousands of people killed in the air and on the ground!
This is not a credible means of securing the airspace over the Olympic park, it is if it really is a serious proposition a knee jerk ill thought out publicity stunt on behalf of the MOD. If this were to happen the Government would fall and we would be a laughing stock all round the world!
I really do hope we have a better plan than this!
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 12:00PM
There's going to be destroyers stationed in the Thames that would bring a large plane down long before it's got within a mile of the Olympic stadia
You seem to forget that the US was not expecting the 9/11 attacks (or maybe they let them happen so they could start a war - depends on the conspiracy theories you believe), or they would have shot the planes down as they were banking over the Atlantic.
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 12:12PM
How do you know there are going to be destroyers moored in the Thames? I can find no mention on any of the news items regarding this situation of destroyers! Both the Telegraph and the BBC say that the military dispositions will be these:
The berthing of HMS Ocean at Greenwich, with a number of Royal Navy Lynx helicopters on board. The deployment of HMS Bulwark and other ships to Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour. The basing of RAF Typhoon fast jets at RAF Northolt, west London. Royal Navy airborne early warning helicopters and RAF Puma helicopters at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford, east London. The operation of fast jets and helicopters over Greater London and the Home Counties.
Can't see any mention of destroyers there! But maybe you are privy to better information than I?
With regard to your 9/11 comments, the aircraft used were all internal flights there were no aircraft "banking over the Atlantic"
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 1:03PM
This topic will be discussed shortly on Radio 2, Jeremy Vine show.
Might be worth a listen.
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 1:37PM
I'm involved in an aspect of the Olympics security - can't say more - but I know that at least one vessel armed with SAMs will be moored in the Thames for the duration of the Olympics, with other vessels within UK waters around the South East
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 1:52PM
The risk of a terrorist attack during the Olympic Games is clearly worrying. We have a large diaspora of people, a minority of whom are very anti- west and some have attended training camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan. However there is a danger of overkill and a delicate balance between sensible precautions and doing too little needs to be found. The measures mentioned in the BBC are a part of the contingency plans being discussed, but there are , as alan14 says, other unannounced measures. Some long time ago I was told by a very well placed source how worried the authorities are, bearing in mind that although Pakistan is officially our ally, in fact it poses a possibly greater threat than Afghanistan,and we have over 1 million folk descended from that country living here (most of whom are thoroughly loyal) . The tube bombers and recent arrests reinforce these worries. However we are not at war, and security must be kept in as low a key as possible. Altogether a very difficult problem for the Government.
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 3:03PM
It seems to me that this discussion comes down to - A bomb heading for the Olympic village - we can not stop it before it gets to within a mile or so. Now the Olympic village is just about the bottom of valuable assets in the London area - we will be demolishing some items after a few weeks use. So presumably we think the average London pleb is not as valuable as the people in the Olympic village! I know what its like when a plane comes down in a city - no one ,as far as I can see, has mentioned what the fire dept think of such a possibility.
Remind me - is this in the name of sport!!
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 3:10PM
Far be it from me to dispute your "inside information" but if you are involved in any way with Olympic security perhaps you will tell the powers that be that firing off explosive ordnance over densely populated east London is not a very good idea!
(Don't know what's more worrying really, the thought of alan14 having anything to do with Olympic security or the missiles themselves!)
Tin foil hat time methinks!
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Posted April 30, 2012 at 3:28PM
Interesting quote from the Standing joint commander, General Sir Nick Parker when asked about the possibility of debris from a missile strike falling on to urban areas he said "I accept that this is a very, very challenging situation." rather an understatement I would have thought!
Pan Am flight 103 was destroyed over Lockerbie by a bomb concealed in the hold, a missile interception of an aircraft would result in much the same consequences. below is a description of what a disintegrating aircraft does when it hits an urban area:
"As it descended, the fuselage broke into smaller pieces, with the section attached to the wings landing first (46.5 seconds after the explosion) in Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie, where the 200,000 lb (91,000 kg) of kerosene contained inside ignited. The resultant fireball destroyed a number of houses and was so intense that little remained of the left wing of the aircraft. No identifiable remains of 8 passengers seated between rows 23–28 were ever recovered; these seats were located in the wing section directly above the centre wing tank. Also, the remains of 7 of the 11 residents killed in the inferno on the ground at Sherwood Crescent were never identified. Investigators were able to determine that both wings had landed in the crater after counting the number of large steel flap drive jackscrews that were later found there[page needed] – indeed there were no finds of wing structure outside the crater itself. The British Geological Survey at nearby Eskdalemuir registered a seismic event measuring 1.6 on the Richter scale. Another section of the fuselage landed about half a mile northeast, where it slammed into widow Ella Ramsden's home in Park Place. Her house was demolished, but Ramsden escaped. Ramsden's back garden was strewn with bodies and wreckage, and a victim was found wedged in the roof still strapped in his seat."
This is what we are contemplating if we are seriously suggesting shooting down aircraft over London!
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