Britain's nuclear HQ visible on Google Earth

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Faslane Naval Base
London, Mar  2: Reports suggest that Britain's nuclear defense headquarters is freely available on Google Earth, and potentially can be targeted. Google Earth reveals close-up aerial views of the headquarters and the longitude and latitude of the facility in Faslane, Scotland - home to the UK's Trident-armed nuclear submarine force.

Two vast Vanguard Class submarines, each capable of carrying 16 nuclear missiles, can also be seen in the pictures. Military experts warn that this would make it easy for terrorists to launch accurate rocket attacks on the facility.

The Sun quotes a military expert, as saying, "A strike on our nuclear capability would cause untold devastation. Terrorists could have a field day, knowing exactly where to aim strikes to cause the maximum devastation."

The HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane is also visible. The program also clearly shows the Trident Special Area, where nuclear warheads are stored.

The site shows MI6's London offices and the SAS training facility in Hereford, including exact location of SAS sleeping quarters, office blocks, bunkers and parade grounds.

Top military officials are said to be furious that such sites can be viewed by anyone.

In 2007, the British Government had demanded that Google blot out its bases in Iraq after a terrorist held in Basra was found with a Google Earth map of the Shatt Al-Arab base. But following updates to the Google Earth program, the locations are visible again.

"We do everything to protect bases but it's impossible to control all websites providing satellite imagery. If people are really determined to target these sites, they can find these images and there is nothing we can do to stop them," an MOD spokesman said.

A Google spokeswoman said, "We do listen to requests from governments but we don't comment on the details of any of those discussions."

ANI

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