Military to stage major security drill ahead of Olympic Games
Typhoon jets, Sea King helicopters with snipers on-board will be flying over London as part of a major security exercise ahead of the Olympic Games this summer.
The RAF, Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces will be joining forces for a nine-day security drill from May 2 to 10, in a bid to ensure maximum security at all Olympic events – including those held at the All England Club in Wimbledon.
Codenamed Exercise Olympic Guardian, five different military aircraft, including Royal Navy Sea King helicopters, RAF Typhoon jets and Puma helicopters, will be "visible" and "audible" across the capital.
Four Royal Navy Lynx aircraft will embark from the HMS Ocean on the Thames, while E-3D Sentry and VC-10 aircraft tankers, specialising in surveillance, will orbit London operating from Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire.
The security exercise has been designed to test the team’s response to unknown aircraft entering restricted airspace during the Olympics with military aircraft expected to fly as low as 500ft on three occasions.
Defence secretary, Philip Hammond, said: "The majority of this exercise will be played out in full view of the public and I hope that it will have a secondary effect of reassuring the British people that everything possible is being done to ensure this will be a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, national Olympic security co-ordinator, added: "This is a unique opportunity for us to deliver a world class operation that keeps the Games, and the country, safe and secure."
What you might see above south London
- RAF Typhoon aircraft
- Royal Navy Sea King helicopters
- RAF Puma helicopters
- Army Air Corps and Four Royal Navy Lynx will embark from HMS OCEAN on the Thames
- E-3D Sentry and VC-10 tankers will operate outside London
- Army snipers will be onboard RAF Puma and Royal Navy Lynx helicopters protecting the ground from the air