News24

UK may deploy warship for Games

2010-11-01 18:05

London - Britain could deploy a Royal Navy destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles to provide extra security for the 2012 London Olympics, the ministry of defence said on Monday.

The ministry said the country would use its "own capabilities" following a newspaper report that the United States had offered to send a warship to be stationed off the British coast during the Games.

"We will have our own capabilities in place to provide the necessary protection for the Olympic Games and this could include a Type 45 Destroyer if it is deemed appropriate," a ministry spokesperson said.
Britain currently has two Type 45 destroyers.

Built with a "stealth" design, they are equipped with the Sea Viper air defence missile system which includes radars and short- and long-range missiles.

They can also house a force of up to 60 soldiers or Royal Marines.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that the US offered to deploy a 40 000-tonne Wasp class amphibious assault ship carrying helicopters and Harrier jets in the estuary of the River Thames during the games.

The newspaper said Downing Street rejected the suggestion because it would make Britain look "weak".
A US source said the information was inaccurate.

British media reports have said the security budget for the games is likely to be £1.5bn, three times the original estimate.

Suicide bombers targeted three London underground trains and a bus on July 7 2005, killing 52 people, the day after the city was named as the host for the 2012 Olympics.