Residential flats in London will be armed with rooftop surface-to-air missiles as part of unprecedented Olympics security, if the Ministry of Defence gets its way.

Residents of a tower block in Bow, East London, are angry at the plan - the first time since the Second World War that the government is deploying anti-aircraft weapons in civilian areas.

"There was no consultation, no one knocked on the door. You just wake up one morning, there's a leaflet telling they are going to put missiles on the roof," Reuters reported 28-year-old Brian Whelan as saying.

"I can't imagine the circumstances that would require you to fire missiles over a highly populated area," Whelan added.

The leaflet stated: "[The block] offered an excellent view of the surrounding area and the entire sky above the Olympic park. [The tower] was the only suitable site in this area for the HVM (High Velocity Missile) system," according to Reuters.

In the biggest security operation in recent times, 40,000 troops will be deployed, and FBI agents will be working alongside British security.

According to the BBC, the MoD's leaflet assured residents that the missiles would not pose a threat to them.

"Having a 24x7 armed forces and police presence will improve your local security and will not make you a target for terrorists," the MoD said.

A spokesperson said: "As announced before Christmas, ground-based air defence systems could be deployed as part of a multi-layered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the games.

"Based on military advice we have identified a number of sites and, alongside colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, are talking to local authorities and relevant land owners to help minimise the impact of any temporary deployments," reported Sky News.