Gun boat

02May12

Security at the Olympics has been in the news (reminder: Welcome to London, home of the 2012 Olympic games). Apparently the army is planning to position missile launchers around the capital to defend the city.

Despite some public objections this seems a fairly non-disruptive and cost-effective solution, particularly compared with the cost and hassle of previous attempts to defend the city.

The Romans enclosed the entire city with a wall (cost in today’s money approx £1.3 billion – as estimated by the builder before work starts, but actually £4.5 billion upon completion because you chose those fancy Norfolk flints for the external side).

The wall was subsequently maintained for several hundred years (maintenance cost in today’s money approx £3m per year – non-accidental damage cost extra).

Between 1939 and 1945 the wall turned out to be ineffective, partly because rogue developers had started building in the fields beyond EC1 and partly because the attackers used aircraft. The government then switched to anti-aircraft guns and barrage balloons (cost in today’s money £1 billion per year – but paid through hire-purchase).

As well as the discrete missile launchers I am hoping that HMS Belfast will be pressed into service. It would be a shame if the plans didn’t include the conveniently placed battleship in the middle of the city.

I read yesterday that the Royal Navy has equipped its most recent new vessel with missiles that can track and intercept a cricket ball travelling at 3 times the speed of sound thirty miles away.

This would be really useful if London is attacked by a particularly fast bowler.

PS  This blog celebrated its 7th birthday today. Thanks for the support



5 Responses to “Gun boat”

  1. 1 TonyG

    Happy 7th Alex!!

  2. 2 Mike S

    Happy Blogday, Alex.
    btw Did you know the the guns on HMS Belfast are trained on the Scratchwood Services on the M1?

  3. 4 Drew

    Perhaps it’s an attempt to bring service station prices down to more reasonable levels? Happy 7th birthday, hasn’t the time flown?


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