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Would you like surface to air missiles on top of your home?


Flak999
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Missiles to be sited at residential flats!

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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Flak999

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Forum Editor

I hear what you say, but according to the BBC quoting MOD sources the system proposed for the site at Fairfield road is a "HVM system designed to counter threats from very high performance, low-flying aircraft". Also the maximum speed of a Puma helicopter is 141 kts, a fully loaded 737 is capable of 400-450kts

I think a sniper would have a bit of a hard time achieving anything from a helicopter given those differences in speed!

Given all of that, what then is the point of deploying missiles at Fairfield road, less than a mile from the stadium if you say any incoming threat would not be destroyed over London?

Doesn't add up really, does it?

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john bunyan

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Flak999

I have read your thread - have you looked at the replies in detail? The Chinese took similar precautions - you did not say that was wrong. Sometimes such measures are taken to deter the action of terrorists. There are other threats, such as a smaller aircraft that are possible.The military no doubt have many contingency plans, some of which will not be disclosed. You seem to be saying that this particular one should be ignored. No doubt in the unlikely event of a hijack, the RAF would attempt to intercept such a plane before it got to London- these missiles are a deterrent and a last resort, and, like the others here, Yes, I would allow them on or near my house.

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john bunyan

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BTW the weight you quote was too light! From Boeing:"The 747-400ER passenger airplane has a range of 7,670 nautical miles (14,205 km). The 747-400ER Freighter, at its maximum takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,770 kg), "

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Flak999

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john bunyan

You have more faith in the ability of our Government and military to successfully interdict this threat than I, obviously! And there must be a threat mustn't there? Because they would not be announcing this so publicly if there were not, would they?

As for the Chinese, I can't imagine they would be to bothered about the loss of a few hundred of their citizens if a burning aircraft wiped out a Chinese town, compared to the dreadful loss of face if they allowed a terrorist act to succeed when they were Olympic hosts and the eyes of the world were on the peoples republic!

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Flak999

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john bunyan

Re-read my post, I was quoting the take-off weight of a 737 not a 747!

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john bunyan

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Flak999

I would imagine there will be a no fly zone and even more security on UK or near EU flights than usual to try to avoid a hijack. Part of the reason for announcing this is to deter such an event.

No one welcomes the idea of using such a deterrent, but what alternative do you propose other than cancelling the Games?

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john bunyan

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Sorry - My 747 data reinforces your argument, which was not my intention!! (Keeps the debate from being personal, at least)

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Flak999

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john bunyan

If we had to use this system then deterrence would have failed wouldn't it? I cannot imagine that the threat of SAM systems are going to deter the fanatic who wishes to die for his cause!

As for your last statement (cancelling the Games?) that idea has merit, but we have invested far to much in treasure and reputation for that to ever be considered!

(Nothing personal in the debate on my part!)

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

Are you saying that we would consider bringing that aircraft down over London to avoid the Olympic stadium?

No, I'm not.

A fully loaded passenger aircraft on course for the Olympic stadium, and refusing to answer radio calls would be dealt with before it reached heavily populated areas of London. Think about it....

There's no specific threat of an airborne attack on the Olympic stadium, but no unauthorised aircraft will get anywhere near it - it will be dealt with before that can happen. We'll have Boeing E-3D Sentry aircraft airborne throughout the games, and they'll know the instant anything suspicious begins to develop. They'll scramble Typhoons - probably from RAF Waddington to intercept a suspect aircraft before it gets near London's protected airspace. They'll call it to alter course, and fly alongside to force a turn. If that doesn't work, and the aircraft continues to hold its course it will be engaged by Puma and Lynx helicopters carrying snipers - they'll attempt to take out the aircraft's engines. If that fails to stop the aircraft it will be destroyed on a prearranged coded signal from the military command and MOD ministers.

The missiles inside the protected area (they'll be Rapier missiles)are capable of long-range, high altitude strikes, and will be used if all else fails - they won't bring a passenger jet down on crowded London areas - it will happen before the aircraft gets that far.

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bremner

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Firstly it is not on top of anyones home and secondly it is only being considered.

Would I have it - if the police and security services deemed the risk needed them then absolutely.

Whether we should ever have had the Olympics is another matter altogether and will undoubtedly be revisited many times in the future.

That said I am glad they are here simply because it has given us the briliant Twenty Twelve.

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