Olympic Heli-snipers: Sharpshooters to patrol the skies during London 2012

#1
The Olympic Games in London will be protected from above by snipers on board military helicopter.

Sources say the military crackshots will fly above the capital in case terrorists attempt an atrocity at the event in Stratford, in the east of the city.

The RAF snipers are understood to have been training recently at the restricted Lydd military live-firing range near the Kent coast to sharpen their skills.

One source told The Mail on Sunday that the training had been designed specifically to prepare for an Olympic Games deployment to protect stadium sites in East London and elsewhere.

Flying in Merlin or Lynx helicopters, the snipers are capable of killing an attacker at a range of more than a mile using a Barrett ‘Light Fifty’ rifle, which fires a powerful .50-calibre half-inch bullet at 2,799 feet per second.

Even at night, the flying snipers can kill an enemy 1,000 yards away using night sights and infra-red lasers for target-marking as they keep in touch with commanders on the ground using encrypted military radio frequencies.

Their rifles have the power to destroy engine blocks and fire through concrete from long range, making it difficult for a terrorist to take cover.

The airborne sharpshooters were deployed in Iraq, where they were described by the Ministry of Defence as a ‘special weapon’ against the insurgent threat.

In Iraq, the snipers were on standby around the clock to provide protection from the air and carried out sniping and surveillance duties on the ground.

Now, they could find themselves on operational duty in the UK for the first time, helping to protect prime venues such as the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium and the Aquatic Centre

Last week, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed in the Commons after a question from his predecessor, Dr Liam Fox, that ground-to-air missiles were part of the armoury that may be used during the Olympics if required.

Mr Hammond’s statement was interpreted as an attempt to show how seriously the UK is taking the terror threat after it was revealed that the US is preparing to send 1,000 armed agents, including 500 from the FBI, to protect its competitors.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said last night: ‘The MoD has been fully involved in Olympic security planning work and it is anticipated that the Armed Forces, at the request of the civilian authorities, will provide some specialist support including the use of assets where appropriate. However, this will be a police-led operation and any military involvement will be in a supporting role.

‘It is too early to talk about the numbers of personnel who may be involved or further details around precisely what support the MoD might provide – but ongoing planning to meet a range of contingencies is sensible.’

The spokesman added: ‘This work is not in response to any specific threat but, as the Defence Secretary said in Parliament, all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken.’

Read more: London 2012 Olympics: Snipers in helicopters during Games | Mail Online
 
#2
Piss Off - You can't even slap a rioter without the press trying to hang you how do they honestly expect the forces to get away with spraying the contents of someones rib cage all over the long jump sand pit.
 
#3
the press seem to think that any measure will be given the goo ahead in the name of security
 
#4
You're a bit behind, this has been posted 2 or 3 times already!!
 
#6
the press seem to think that any measure will be given the goo ahead in the name of security
Awesome.

Don't get me wrong. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing a Warrior AFV as lead vehicle in a pursuit of a Ticket tout failing to stop in a Purple V reg Mondeo estate with his mate throwing VHS' out the boot but I reckon come the day of the opening ceremony our powers that be will revert to type and will just hope that 569 PCSO's and G4S can save the day by smiling and being aware of the 6 strands of diversity.
 
#7
Then maybe in this case it should be let to the Met and they should take a leaf out of the LAPD ASTRO (Air Support To Regional Officers) Division Homeland Security.

Without trying to stray off target :) (no pun intended) when the Met bought the trio of Eurocopter EC145, 5 years back, they envisioned much more than just routine surveillance and chasing the bad guys on foot, peddle pusher, horse, Formula One, or paddle boat :). One of which was fast roping and carrying armed response teams and maybe (thats a a very big maybe) some form of sniping. But that would be involve re writing the CAP613 Police Air Operations Manual!

There was a Ch 5 documentary Chopper Coppers filmed in 06, the UEO of the Met ASU was been interviewed as he was walking around the the 145s being prepped at Eurocopter UK facility in Kidlington Airport and then followed him to Germany where he and his colleagues from the ASU were shown a demonstration by one of the forces (maybe Frankfurt or Hessen) that operated the EC145. The demo was of rappelling the SEK Kommandos (offshoot of GSG-9 when the Border Guard merged with the Bundespolizei).

The Bundespolizei I believe like may other forces in Europe do have the provison for an airborne sniper.
 

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#8
Flying in Merlin or Lynx helicopters, the snipers are capable of killing an attacker at a range of more than a mile using a Barrett ‘Light Fifty’ rifle.
Pebble monkeys overselling their capability? Surely not.
 
#10
With that sort of hardware he'd be lucky to hit a static target from a 100 meters away, never mind from up 300 meters up in the air aboard a chopper with a moving target, what a tool! Just goes to show how little actual live firing experience people have. This may look good in a movie and it may make sense as a rapid deployment force point to point drop off kind of a thing. Anything beyond that I'd love to see working. Why do you think they fitted choppers with vulcans? I'd love to hear for someone who actually fired from a helicopter to comment on this...
 
#11
He isn't going to hit anything with the M-16, its hardly a sharp shooters rifle.

Even in the hover he isn't going to get a decent sight picture, have the cab moving and he's more chance of hurling the rifle at it than hitting anything.
 
#12
Just for kicks we tried it at wainwright in '96. Couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo. usefull tool for supression of movement etc but for taking out individual targets, not a hope.
If this is the plan to protect the games then i'll send my tickets back
 
#13
The Mail story also states it is RAF snipers.
 
#15
With that sort of hardware he'd be lucky to hit a static target from a 100 meters away, never mind from up 300 meters up in the air aboard a chopper with a moving target, what a tool! Just goes to show how little actual life firing experience people have. This may look good in a movie and it may make sense as a rapid deployment force point to point drop off kind of a thing. Anything beyond that I'd love to see working. Why do you think they fitted choppers with vulcans? I'd love to hear for someone who actually fired from a helicopter to comment on this...
Looks like it does work with practice. There was a wildlife doc on not so long ago where the Chilean authorities were using heli-snipers to clear goats out of the Galapagos islands. The heli was rather wobbly (goats were on a mountain ridge), but the shooter quickly popped most of the goats - some of the shots appeared to be up to 100m away, which wasn't bad shooting. Looked like he was using an AR with some sort of ACOG sight.
 
#16
With that sort of hardware he'd be lucky to hit a static target from a 100 meters away, never mind from up 300 meters up in the air aboard a chopper with a moving target, what a tool! Just goes to show how little actual live firing experience people have. This may look good in a movie and it may make sense as a rapid deployment force point to point drop off kind of a thing. Anything beyond that I'd love to see working. Why do you think they fitted choppers with vulcans? I'd love to hear for someone who actually fired from a helicopter to comment on this...
Been done in sandy places and watery places, where brassing up the area up with a vulcan might be considered a tad OTT.

Lots more variables of course. Effective? Well, it would certainly make me keep my head down, which is very often the point of it all
 
#17
Looks like it does work with practice. There was a wildlife doc on not so long ago where the Chilean authorities were using heli-snipers to clear goats out of the Galapagos islands. The heli was rather wobbly (goats were on a mountain ridge), but the shooter quickly popped most of the goats - some of the shots appeared to be up to 100m away, which wasn't bad shooting.
100m, fine. 200-300m, no worries. 1600+m?, good luck.
 
#18
Been done in sandy places and watery places, where brassing up the area up with a vulcan might be considered a tad OTT.

Lots more variables of course. Effective? Well, it would certainly make me keep my head down, which is very often the point of it all
What exactly has been done? OTT it may be over London, but have you read the context in which this was posted? This is to do with Olympic security, so "having to keep ones head down" is perhaps not what they forseee will happen in London 2012. My reference to vulcan I thought was clear in that it is very difficult to get accuracy from a moving object when aiming at yet anther moving object with tiny projectiles, so you compensate that with a firing rate of 6000 rounds a minute. Are you saying though that it is possible to be reasonably accurate with small arms fire coming from a moving helicopter?
 
#19
I was briefly involved with some people who were planning to engage in 'heli-culling' of deer in the Highlands. As long as the chopper can match the speed and direction of the target and the range is no more than 100m, it's not too hard. But in that case, any stray rounds pop harmlessly into the Scottish sod.

Unless the choppers are going to be swooping the streets with a chap hanging out the door blatting away at someone, I can't see this being anything other than the usual Mail 'balcony rule' bullshit.
 
#20
This reminds me far too much of Four Lions

Radio message to Police Sniper 1: Shoot the bear, shoot the bear
Bang
Sniper 2: Thats not a bear, its a wookie. Sniper 1: A wookie is a bear
Sniper 2: Hello base, is a wookie a bear?

There is no way, not a hope in hell, that a "sniper" in a chopper can safely identify a target at height, let alone slot them without endangering bystanders. I don't think British Law would allow this form of "security".
 

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