Banksy latest Olympic themed mural depicts an athlete throwing an air-to-air missile as opposed to a javelin

The new mural by Banksy showing an athlete throwing a Sidewinder missile. (Image credit: Banksy website)

Among the two Olympic Games themed stencils that the famous street artist Banksy has painted on walls in unknown locations, there is also a javelin thrower armed with an air-to-air missile.

Similar to an AIM-9(N) Sidewinder (even if the fins seem to be different from any known Sidewinder or even Atoll model…) the missile in the hand of the javelin thrower could be the means the notorious anonymous painter has chosen to use to condemn the militarization of London in advance of the Olympics.

Indeed, along with Eurofighter Typhoons on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at RAF Northolt, several more assets enforcing a No Fly Zone around London while the HMS Ocean is anchored at Greenwich, the large military machine put in place by the UK to protect the Games sees also Rapier SAM batteries deployed at sites around the capital.

Some of these sites have been controversial as they have been set up on roofs of apartment buildings and many locals have protested at the missiles proximity to their homes.

This could have inspired Banksy for his mural. Although he took the license to use an IR-guided air-to-air missile instead of a radar-guided SAM (Surface to Air Missile).

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.