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London 2012: Olympic missiles put in position

  • 12 July 2012
  • From the section London
Army installing missiles on top of Fred Wigg Tower
The missiles will be in place from mid-July

The Army has begun installing surface-to-air missiles on the roof of a tower block ahead of the Olympics.

Residents of Fred Wigg Tower, Leytonstone, had taken legal action to stop the security measure, saying it would make them a terrorism target.

However on Tuesday the High Court ruled in favour of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), agreeing that a tower block was a suitable site for the missiles.

A Labour MP has tabled an early day motion against the choice of location.

Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer's motion says: "This House recognises the need to provide reasonable security for the Olympic Games but is concerned at the unprecedented decision of the Ministry of Defence, in peacetime and where no emergency has arisen, to station troops, armed police and ground-based air defence missile systems on top of Fred Wigg Tower."

The Ministry of Defence has said it was a legitimate and proportionate part of the security measures taken for the Olympic Games.

The missiles, including Rapier and High Velocity systems, will be in place from mid-July, the MoD has confirmed.

The sites and types of systems set to be deployed are:

  • Lexington Building, Fairfield Road, Bow, Tower Hamlets - High Velocity Missiles
  • Fred Wigg Tower, Montague Road Estate, Leytonstone, Waltham Forest - High Velocity Missiles
  • Blackheath Common, Blackheath, Lewisham/Greenwich - Rapier missiles
  • William Girling Reservoir, Lea Valley Reservoir Chain, Enfield - Rapier missiles
  • Oxleas Meadow, Shooters Hill, Greenwich/Woolwich - Rapier missiles
  • Barn Hill, Netherhouse Farm, Epping Forest - Rapier missiles

Plans also include the use of the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, which will be moored on the River Thames.

RAF Typhoon jets will be stationed at RAF Northolt, and Puma helicopters at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford, east London.

Map showing the locations of the six sites that will have surface-to-air missiles
Map showing the locations of the six sites that will have surface-to-air missiles

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