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U.S. wants own aircraft carrier in the Thames Estuary during Olympics

Amplify’d from www.dailymail.co.uk

U.S. wants own aircraft carrier in the Thames Estuary during Olympics

The White House has offered to send a U.S. aircraft carrier to be stationed off the British coast and boost security during the London Olympics, Ministry of Defence sources claimed last night.

The suggestion is said to have been rejected by No10 because it would make the UK look ‘weak’. And last night Downing Street was silent on the claim.

But a well-placed source, with knowledge of international discussions about security for the 2012 Games, said the MoD had been offered a U.S. carrier, based in the Thames Estuary, to help defend the skies over London and eavesdrop on any terrorist ‘chatter’.

It is believed the Americans offered a 40,000-ton Wasp class amphibious assault ship, which carries up to 40 Sea Knight helicopters for the ship-to-shore ferrying of marines and equipment, as well as up to 20 Harrier II attack aircraft. It boasts a formidable battery of missiles capable of shooting down airliners in the event of an attempt to copy the 9/11 atrocities.

Offer: The White House wants to send a U.S. aircraft carrier to be stationed off the British coast and boost security during the London Olympics

Offer: The White House wants to send a U.S. aircraft carrier to be stationed off the British coast and boost security during the London Olympics

If the Olympics were the object of a terrorist attack U.S. special forces could launch operations from the ship to airlift American citizens to safety.

The source said the ‘main motivation’ for the offer was felt to have been American self-interest.

In the past the Olympics have been a target for terrorists. In 1972 Israeli athletes were massacred at the Munich Games.

‘This idea was raised by the Americans over the summer,’ said the source. ‘The MoD put it up the chain and word came straight back from No10 – “No thanks, we don’t need the help”.’

The claim comes at a sensitive time for Britain’s Armed Forces. Cuts announced by David Cameron in the Defence Review this month will lead to the axing of our Harrier jump jets and the decommissioning of the Ark Royal carrier.

That means that no British planes will be available to fly from our sole aircraft carrier, Illustrious, in 2012.

Discussions about security at the London Games are already well-advanced, involving extensive liaison between Scotland Yard, the military and the major intelligence services – MI6, the CIA and Mossad.

The London Olympic Park under construction

The London Olympic Park in east London is currently under construction. If the Games were the object of a terrorist attack U.S. special forces could launch operations from the ship to airlift American citizens to safety

Last night an MoD spokesman said that plans were being drawn up for a naval vessel to offer ‘aerial defence’ in the Thames Estuary during the Games, but it was likely to be a British ship.

He said: ‘We haven’t made final decisions yet. There are a lot of options available, including Special Forces. But we are certainly capable of protecting ourselves. The Royal Navy can provide a Type 45 destroyer for aerial defence.’

Under current plans, one of the Navy’s three Type 45 destroyers – likely to be HMS Dauntless, which will come into service next year – would be moored in the estuary. It will be armed with the Principal Anti-Air Missile System, said to be capable of tracking and destroying a moving target the size of a cricket ball at a distance of 19 miles.

Read more at www.dailymail.co.uk

 

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October 31, 2010 - Posted by | global | , , , ,

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