The two housing complexes have been earmarked as potential sites for high velocity missile (HVM) launch pads. Starstreak and Rapier missile systems – with a range of around 4 miles – would be deployed as a “last resort” to shoot down any low flying aircraft on a 9/11 type suicide mission targeting the Olympic venues.

Residents of Lexington House in Bow have received a letter from the Ministry of Defence, telling them that soldiers and police would be based in the apartment complex during the Olympics and that missiles could possibly be deployed there.

The converted factory has a water tower that allows clear views of the skies above the Olympic Park.

Blackheath Common and Oxleas Wood, both in south east London, as well as William Girling Reservoir in the Lea Valley Reservoir Chain in Enfield and Barn Hill at Netherhouse Farm in Epping Forest are also being considered as missile sites.

The missiles would act as part of a “layered” system to protect Olympic venues from a range of airborne terrorist attacks that could occur during the games, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The range of the multi-million-pound laser-guided system is 3.4 miles, but the short range raised fears that dozens could be killed by falling wreckage if a target is hit.

The government has not decided whether to deploy the ground to air missiles yet, and General Sir Nick Parker, standing joint commander, said the responsibility to fire the weapons would be at the “very highest political level”.