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The Royal Navy's largest ship HMS Ocean was successfully negotiated through the Thames Barrier this morning, just scraping through the tight gap, in preparation of a major security exercise for the Olympics.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has denied that sailing the ship up the River Thames was "over the top" in preparation for the Olympic Games.
HMS Ocean berthed at Greenwich in east London this afternoon ahead of the major security exercise named Olympic Guardian.
The ship will act as a launch pad for eight Lynx helicopters and a base for Royal Marine snipers.
Mr Hammond, who was taken on board by a landing craft, said: "I don't think it's over the top.
"Every Olympic Games in recent times has had a significant military component to its security plan."
The Conservative Cabinet minister, who joked with photographers after he tripped on his way to address the ship's company, added that Londoners and foreign visitors would be "reassured" by the military presence.
Narrow escape as HMS Ocean squeezes through Thames Barrier but Hammond says exercise 'not over the top'
Armed Forces spokesmen stressed there are no specific threats to the Games and that the preparations are precautionary for the "very unlikely" event of an attack.
Army commander of joint ground based air defences Colonel Jon Campbell said: "There is no indication of an enhanced threat at this time.