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Surface-To-Air Missiles At London Olympics 395

Posted by samzenpus
from the gold-medal-launch dept.
First time accepted submitter TheGift73 writes "I have to admit, when I first read about this I thought it was a hoax, but unfortunately it's true. The UK government is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential buildings in London for the duration of the London Olympics. From the article: 'The Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics. An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a "Higher Velocity Missile system" could be placed on a water tower. A spokesman said the MoD had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event.'"
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Surface-To-Air Missiles At London Olympics

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  • by xQx (5744) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:09PM (#39841567)
    I heard this on the radio this morning, along with a heap of upset residents!

      Those Poms will complain about anything.

    I'd be wrapped to have a missile array on my roof!
    • by turing_m (1030530) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:34PM (#39841719)

      I'd be wrapped to have a missile array on my roof!

      I know! It'd be the bomb! (...especially if manufactured on Friday).

    • Those Poms will complain about anything.

      Perhaps the Poms would have preferred Pom-Poms [wikipedia.org], rather than missiles? :)

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:33AM (#39841985) Journal

      I'd be wrapped to have a missile array on my roof!

      I'm thinking the exact same thing!

      You see, I live on the coast, and there was recently this company a bit up the road who set up shop giving helicopter rides over the more scenic bits of our county, and sometimes they can really irritate, especially on weekends, so...

    • by siddesu (698447) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:52AM (#39842073)

      You wouldn't be. I have the misfortune to own a place with a great view over a convention center often used for various government meetings. Since two of my balconies overlook their terraces and hall windows from above, every fucking time they have some diminutive French, Italian or Russian head of state I have to remove my flowers and my telescope tripods from the balcony, keep the windows closed, get a badge from the security scum that infests the stairwell, endure their cheap cigarette smoke, bad breath, awful manners, atrocious looks and general incompetence.

      The worst was when the wife of the first black president came over a few months ago, they even ordered us to remove our cars from the parking lot in front of the place. I don't get it, I heard she was really brave dodging bullets in Bosnia back in her days with the military.

      So far we have been lucky not to have an expensive weapon system mounted on the rooftop, but I don't even want to contemplate what that would mean. And they never, ever compensate you for the trouble.

      To sum it up, having to deal with a security implement in your building sucks major ass, and should be avoided at all costs and complained against loudly at every opportunity.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:10PM (#39841575)

    London missile defense

  • by multiben (1916126) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:11PM (#39841579)
    ...why we bother having the Olympics. We should all just have a big war instead. The winner gets a gold medal.
  • by dgatwood (11270) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:12PM (#39841583) Journal

    ...fly into Charles de Gaulle and drive.

  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:13PM (#39841589)

    "UK government uses civilian residents as human shields to protect their missile sites".

    It'll make the terrorists think twice before blowing up those flats to eliminate the SAM batteries.

  • IOC... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SailorSpork (1080153) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:14PM (#39841591) Homepage
    IOC needs to protect its copyrights somehow.
  • So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:14PM (#39841595) Journal
    Who's taking odds as to the possibility that these fancy little toys will end up inflicting enough casualties to cover a front-page photo spread through either accident or malice, in a situation where just leaving them out of the picture would have gone fine?
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by JoeMerchant (803320) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:22PM (#39841661) Homepage

      Dunno, an air burst explosion would almost always be preferable to an explosion directly on the ground. You'd have to have a pretty serious misfire situation to make things worse. There's also the deterrent factor, just having the visible defense will disenchant some who might think of piloting a small aircraft into the games.

      And... it creates loads of jobs just making the missiles, installing them, maintaining them, covering them in the press....

      Of course, if it convinces the terrorists to switch from a lightweight high-profile flying assault to a simple Oklahoma City style ground delivered Big Bomb, that could be a turn for the worse...

      Hey, it's London, bombs go off all the time anyway, or at least they did 20 years ago when I used to travel there.

      • Someone could make a really clear point by getting a Oklahoma City style bomb, and detonating it near the SAM sites not the stadium.

        Minimum casualties, maximum awkwardness from the politicians at the press conference.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

        by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Monday April 30, 2012 @02:51AM (#39842497) Homepage

        Hey, it's London, bombs go off all the time anyway, or at least they did 20 years ago when I used to travel there.

        I take it you're Irish?

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Dunno, an air burst explosion would almost always be preferable to an explosion directly on the ground

        Nobody is going to steal a jetliner out of the air any more. If someone were going to crash a plane into the olympics they'd have to steal it and then take off, plenty of time to scramble a fighter and take it out. So they'll be coming in at low altitude anyway.

  • The joke gets worse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nursie (632944) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:15PM (#39841607)

    This has been a farce from day 1, starting with the chronically underestimated budget for the whole thing, and the unfounded, misguided claims that it would be profitable for the country and spark unprecedented 'urban renewal', as well as a renaissance in sports for everyone in the country as people became inspired.

    As each and every one of these things has been debunked, the fanatics and toadies have continued to shout them, just louder. The level of denial here is incredible. The best one I've heard so far was putting the lie to the idea that it would get the population back into sports. Studies have shown that this doesn't happen in host countries, for the olympics, the commonwealth games or whatever the event. When faced with this the organisers just repeated their feelgood bunk about how inspirational the whole thing was, despite having just been shown unequivocally that the opposite is true.

    So now surface to air missiles? Well I suppose a gathering that big could be a target. I know what londoners will be saying though, the same as they said from the start (when I was living there) - "We never wanted them in the first place".

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rtb61 (674572)

      Australia basically lucked out in having the last truly successful Olympics. Since then computers, the internet and the drive for participation over sucked in by marketing passivity is taking over.

      Whiny, it's not lying it's acting product promoting, athletes and their lawyers, as just so yesterday, last millennium in fact. Olympic gold medal winners are promoting crappier and crappier products, it's getting so bad, using the reduces the appearance value of a product rather than enhancing it.

      Of course n

      • by donscarletti (569232) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:05AM (#39841859)
        No, I'm going to say Beijing was just as successful as Sydney. Maybe goals were different, but China wanted to show off its bling bling and achieved just that.
      • McOlympics (Score:4, Funny)

        by mjwx (966435) on Monday April 30, 2012 @07:19AM (#39843379)

        Australia basically lucked out in having the last truly successful Olympics. Since then computers, the internet and the drive for participation over sucked in by marketing passivity is taking over.

        Whiny, it's not lying it's acting product promoting, athletes and their lawyers, as just so yesterday, last millennium in fact. Olympic gold medal winners are promoting crappier and crappier products, it's getting so bad, using the reduces the appearance value of a product rather than enhancing it.

        I stopped taking the Olympics seriously when McDonalds became a sponsor.

        OK, that's not true, I stopped taking the Olympics seriously when Roy and HG got involved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:15PM (#39841609)

    I mean, we DO have to protect Airstrip 1, after all.

  • by jaymemaurice (2024752) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:16PM (#39841623)

    ... are in an ultralight air craft.

    That's one advertisement you will not see during this year's olymics!

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:25PM (#39841679) Homepage

    Isn't that the claim, US and other NATO countries' media makes every time a victim of their invasion tries to place any air defenses in their cities?

    • by MrShaggy (683273)

      Oh course the states did it as well.

      Operation Dark Shield.

  • anything to keep away unwanted... photographers [slashdot.org]! ;^)

  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:32PM (#39841709)

    Well, the Internet Generation just hasn't really grasped just how horrific the Battle of Britain was.
    But hey, those bunkers are only what, 70 years old? Some blood, sweat, toil and tears will get those spit spot in a jiffy.
    Keep calm and buy our officially licensed London 2012 merchandise!

  • London Calling.

  • Salt Lake City 2002 (Score:5, Informative)

    by rahvin112 (446269) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:52PM (#39841803)

    The winter games in 2002 in SLC had unprecedented military participation. There were radar and missile emplacements all over the foothills and there were troops all over the place including Apache helicopters and F-16's patrolling the skies during the days major events. The SLC international airport was off limits entirely to unscheduled flights and the military was authorized to shoot down any plane violating SLC airspace.

    We see a lot of air traffic being that Hill Airforce base is close and Fort Williams is where the Apaches train but I've never seen so many military air craft all over the place.

  • If this is true...

    Has anyone stopped to consider that if it came to situation that required ground to air missiles, by putting the launchers on residential buildings they have just made civilian homes prime targets...

    Really? They are considering this?

    • by dwillden (521345)
      Not that big a concern. The missiles aren't the targets, the Olympic Venues with tens of thousands of attendees and athletes from around the world are the primary target. And it's very unlikely any terrorists planning an attack will have enough resources to target multiple launch platforms as well as the targeted venues.

      And even if they did, that is the trade off, 30,000 casualties or at most a few hundred. This really isn't anything new. Since at least the 2002 Winter Olympics if not before SAM's ha
    • Is anyone stopping to think at all? Surface to air missiles are for shooting down airplanes (from the article: "designed to counter threats from very high performance, low-flying aircraft"). What country is going to get airplanes into London, unnoticed before arriving? Is London so devoid of radar watchtowers? Do they have such powerful enemies? Wait a second....

      Oh, that devious Obama.
    • Personally, I'd be glad to have one my house. Those kids'll think twice before playing on my lawn...

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:57PM (#39841821)

    I guess they fear that having the Olympics will make London a target for terrorists.

    I guess somebody will have to explain it to the terrorists that they had best wait for the show to begin. Otherwise they might continue bombing busses and subway stations in the meantime and not have any anybody left to fly planes over the Olympic site come late July and August.

  • Where went wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomthepom (314977) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:06AM (#39841867)

    I thought that we invaded Iraq to make us safer. I thought the war in Afghanistan would make us safer. They told us that all this war, imprisonment without trial, assassination, torture, mass surveillance, nude scans and enhanced pat downs would make us safer.
    And yet now, after more than ten years of this, we've reached the stage that we're considering placing surface to fucking air missiles on top of people's houses in the middle of London.
    What the hell happened? Are we losing this 'war on terror'?

    • by xmundt (415364) on Monday April 30, 2012 @01:59AM (#39842323)

      Greetings and Salutations;
                No...we are not LOSING the war on Terror. We, the citizens, have already LOST it. We have turned over unprecedented amounts of power and control to the government, and given up many of the liberties that our ancestors shed rivers of blood to take for themselves. It seems to me that the citizens of America and Great Britain have been turned into mewling, fearful infants by the deliberate actions taken by the government to re-enforce the idea that the only "safe" path is to let the "authorities" handle any situation. At least in America, have been brainwashed into an almost insane belief that life should be perfectly safe and any time that anything goes awry, we are to run to the government to fix the problem! While our love of CCTV cameras scattered around populated areas does run behind that of the government of Great Britain, it appears that the US government is rushing to catch up. It used to be that the only people that were under 24 hour per day surveillance were the prisoners in maximum security prisons. Using the Boogie Man of terrorist attacks, our governments seem to be on the road to turning the entire country into a high security prison.
                I fear that we have become an embarrassment to the spirits of our Grandparents, who showed such courage and strength of will during the horrors of the 2d World War. Can we regain that legacy? Change is always possible, but, I do not think that there is the strength of will left to do so. Rather, we will continue to accept the lies of the government, and continue to curl up into a little ball, hoping that if we ignore the problems, they will all go away.
              On that happy thought....
              Pleasant Dreams
              Bee Man Dave

  • by Ranger (1783) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:17AM (#39841895) Homepage
    Charlie Stross has some interesting things to say about this Olympics 2012: A Bruce Schneier Moment [antipope.org]:

    Lunacy on stilts. (Oh, and let me add, the residents don't get any choice over having missiles billeted on top of their homes.)

    If one of those things is ever fired, either in anger or by accident, it'll shower white-hot supersonic shrapnel across the extremely crowded residential heart of a city.

  • PULL! (Score:5, Funny)

    by NoEvidenZ (807374) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:19AM (#39841917)
    PULL! Should also make Discus and interesting event.
  • by mijxyphoid (1872142) on Monday April 30, 2012 @12:38AM (#39842005)

    For the past Olympic games, the hosting country just made do with fireworks....
    To step up to actual missiles, now that is going to take a lot of effort to top for future hosting countries !!

  • by z0idberg (888892) on Monday April 30, 2012 @01:08AM (#39842153)
    They had AA in place for the Athens Olypmics. They were clearly visible out beyond the outfield wall at the Softball and Baseball fields. This type of thing:
    http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6203/6074130550_928b676ecc_z.jpg [staticflickr.com]
    Although that was in an open, unpopulated area. Placing them on a residential complex is obviously a step up though.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday April 30, 2012 @09:30AM (#39844239) Homepage Journal
    No passengers are going to allow a passenger jet to be hijacked again. Every single time someone's tried since 9/11, the passengers have stopped it. At least once, they've killed someone they thought was trying to hijack their plane. If someone can steal an empty passenger jet from Heathrow, you've got bigger problems than surface to air missiles will fix.

    You might have to worry about single person aircraft, but those don't really do all that much damage. We had some jackass fly one into an IRS building a few years ago and I think he was the only one who died. Sure, crashing one into the crowd might result in 40-50 deaths, but you probably have more people than that die in London from paper cuts on an average day (Ooh, maybe a single person aircraft could drop sharp paper leaflets... Better not tell the terrorists about THAT...) It's much more likely that you'll accidentally shoot down a traffic helicopter than any legitimate threat, and have a flaming ball of burning traffic helicopter crash into the streets of London.

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