Exactly what Technology was used to keep the London 2012 Olympic Games secure?

Armed Police Patrol at London 2012 Olympics Stadium
Armed Police Patrol at London 2012 Olympics Stadium

The London 2012 Olympics turned out to be brilliant and well operated, but what technology was used to keep the games secure?  In terms of security, the entire event was a relatively quiet affair; which was certainly something to be thankful for. However, what many people might not realize is that there was actually a great deal of advanced military technology being deployed or utilized in order to ensure security for the games.

Army Patrol London 2012 Olympics
Army Patrol London 2012 Olympics

According to the MoD, there were around 18,000 ground troops strategically positioned in key areas around the city and Olympic park; they were also working security lines and even acting as “seat fillers” for certain events.  The athletes themselves were also extremely well protected as it was stated that for each competitor there were 3 security officers or more.

CCTV London Olympic Security 2012
CCTV London Olympic Security 2012

Aside from the human element, there were at least 1,800 security cameras installed in and around Olympic park which kept an eye on everything.  If that weren’t enough, there were also 6 surface-to-air missile installations tactically positioned on various London rooftops in the Olympic Park area, and many more on the ground.


Surface-to-air Missiles
Surface-to-air Missiles

However, the aforementioned precautions were only the tip of the iceberg; the truth is there was an incredibly formidable level of military technology ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.  For starters, 4 typhoon fighter jets were patrolling the skies along with 3 Royal Navy Helicopters (which would be used to provide early warnings and so forth).  Then of course there were 3 more RAF Puma helicopters positioned opposite the other side of the Olympics site with sniper teams.

HMS Ocean London 2012 Olympics Protection
HMS Ocean London 2012 Olympics Protection

In terms of Naval support, both the HMS Ocean and HMS Bulwark amphibious assault ships were on standby with their advanced weapons systems.  The aforementioned ships were not only providing support inland via radar, but were also tasked with guarding all water-based events as well.

HMS Bulwark amphibious assault ships
HMS Bulwark amphibious assault ships in London as HMS Ocean back-up

Add to that the RFA mounts bay and the RAF E-3D sentry surveillance aircraft and it’s very clear that they were “all sides covered”.  Although it’s not openly discussed, it’s also very likely that there were satellites rounding out the surveillance for the games as well (perhaps courtesy of the MoD or participating agencies).

RAF E-3D sentry
RAF E-3D sentry

The 2012 Olympics have come and gone without so much as a whimper from extremist groups. In terms of the security effort that was put forth, I think it’s safe to say that the efforts of the MoD were completely successful in not only being prepared to thwart any potential attack, but also in discouraging them from even attempting anything nefarious.

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