SNIPERS in helicopters will patrol the skies over London during next year’s Olympics, it was announced today.
HMS Ocean, the largest warship in the Navy, which will be anchored in the Thames at Greenwich.
Powerful Puma and Lynx helicopters will be based on the ship, on 24-hour standby to combat any terrorist attack.
Fighter jets will also be located just outside the capital so they can be scrambled to Olympic venues within minutes to stop any terrorist plane attack.
In total, 13,500 troops - including special forces - will be used to bolster security at venues around the country which will host the Games.
The Ministry of Defence said the servicemen and women would be on hand across the UK to protect 150 venues and training sites.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games are once-in-a-generation events for the UK.
“We want them to be secure, so that all those competing and attending can enjoy the Games for the celebration of sporting achievement and cultural celebration that it is.”
“The Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force between them will provide up to 13,500 personnel.
“Up to 7,500 of them will support the smooth running of Olympic sites while the remainder will use their specialist capabilities and equipment to contribute to the delivery of Olympic security.
“I have no doubt that they will do a fantastic job - and I look forward to their professionalism and agility being on show on the world stage once again.”
Counter-terror spooks from Mi5 are working round-the-clock to prevent any fanatics from staging a spectacular assault on the Games.
Typhoon jets, last deployed over Libya, will be moved to RAF Northolt in Middlesex from bases in Scotland or Lincolnshire for the duration of the Games.
Rapier air-defence missiles will be located in London to protect the capital.
Meanwhile, HMS Bulwark and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Mounts Bay will patrol off the Weymouth coast.
A crack unit of Royal Marines on all three warships will be on standby to storm any attacks coming by river or sea.
A team of SBS frogmen will be also be in position on the Olympic Park in east London and elite explosive commandos will also check sites for improvised riverside bombs.
The Mirror recently revealed that SAS troops have conducted dry runs staging counter-terror attacks by helicopters in London’s East End.
There will also be a 1,000-strong unarmed contingency force for deployment in the event of an “Olympics-related civil emergency”.
The figure of 13,500 is significantly higher than the 7,000 that had been initially predicted.
Around 5,000 servicemen and women will support the police and other civil authorities, providing specialist capabilities such as bomb disposal and dog teams.
Mr Hammond stressed that operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere would not be affected by the deployment.
He added: “My priority will remain the troops we have deployed on operations, including in Afghanistan, before, during and after the Olympics.”