UK installing rooftop missiles to protect London Games
Britain’s military notified residents of a housing complex in east London that they plan to install a missile system on top of a tower in the complex to protect the London Games.
The move is a protective measure the army is taking, but it’s upset some of the building’s residents.
“There was no consultation, no one knocked on the door,” Brian Whelan, a 28-year-old journalist, told Reuters. “You just wake up one morning, there’s a leaflet telling you they are going to put missiles on the roof.”
“It is rather surreal,” Nathan Lewis told The Guardian. “It is an example of the insane world we live in post-9/11. I don’t think anyone here feels more secure because of this.”
Britain is following a precedent set in previous games, such as 2008 in China when missiles were installed to protect the Summer Games in Beijing.
The Guardian says Star Streak missiles are likely to be installed on top of a water tower inside the Bow Quarter complex (pictured above). The missiles travel at more than three times the speed of sound, have a range of 5km, and use a system of three dart-like projectiles to allow multiple hits on a target. They say ten soldiers will be on duty at all times to guard and operate the missiles.
The Ministry of Defense is considering several other locations around the city as potential bases for surface-to-air missiles.
I know this is done for security and all, but I can’t even imagine how unnerving this must be for many of the residents. Having missiles on top of a tower where I’m sleeping would only make me feel more uncomfortable.
Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector