HMS Forth crossed 850 miles of ocean to patrol the waters around South Georgia, say the Royal Navy.

In a news release, the Royal Navy say that South Georgia forms part of the territory the new patrol ship must reassure and ultimately, protect.

“The Falklands patrol ship spends the majority of her time around the namesake islands. But several times a year it heads to South Georgia for a mix of military training, providing support to the island authorities and British Antarctic Survey scientists.”

An A400m Atlas aircraft scouted the 850-mile stretch of southern ocean between East Cove and South Georgia beforehand for ice bergs, say the Royal Navy.

“For this maiden visit Forth carried Brigadier Nick Sawyer, Commander of British Forces South Atlantic Islands, and two dozen soldiers, air force personnel and civil servants – who made use of the 51-bunk embarked forces mess which makes the ship better suited to carrying troops/commandos than smaller HMS Clyde whom she replaced at the turn of the year.”

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Great, those islands and waters are a wildlife haven, the South Sandwich Islands also, I’m glad they are british waters, we can protect and look after them, a great british territory. I would love to see a permanent base built on a couple of those islands so year round research can be done along with keeping our claim to that region 🇬🇸


Wow forth is looking a little scruffy, but so would I patrolling those waters.

Nigel Collins

I’ve often wondered why ships are not made from or coated with plastic to avoid rust?

“Polycarbonate is the strongest plastic that is 200 times stronger than steel and is warranted against breakage or cracks. Structural Steel Singapore material scientists are constantly working on developing stronger and better materials for various industries.”


A lot of these materials chalk and become brittle under UV light which might preclude them from being used in the construction of warships. I raced competitively in modified sprint kayaks for 40 years. The early ones were constructed from fibreglass resin and chop strand. If you chose a lightweight build they damaged easily. A stronger built K2 would withstand constant collision with rocks but was a heavy b***h to portage. Later the boat builders started using Kevlar/Carbon Fibre/Nylon Cloth with specialist resins which gave us stronger, lighter boats and paddles but very expensive equipment-2 to 3 times costlier than… Read more »


ps Heavy plastics were and still are used in the construction of small cockpit slalom and touring boats. They generally fare well against and are highly resistant to wrapping around big rocks ( a paddlers worst entrapment nightmare) but even these can be sliced open against sharp rocks so I would think that much longer term testing would be needed before the ‘plastic’ revolution changed the way Warships are constructed

Nigel Collins

Thanks Geoff, my curiosity has been solved for the time being!


Thank you Nigel. I am no expert-it would be nice to hear from someone who knows about modern Naval shipbuilding. Cheers

Steve Taylor

As wonderful as P-8 is I do wonder how an A400 based MPA would have worked out.

It would be nice to think budget for more permanent somethings more suited to the conditions down there could be found. Protector is small and helicopterless and so is HMS Forth.


So our South Atlantic patrol vessel cannot sail in the South Atlantic without the RAF doing a patrol first. Forth doesn’t carry a single UAV at all! Is a Scan Eagle system or similar really something we can’t afford?

Daniele Mandelli

I agree. It is often the little things that would not break the bank that could make such a difference, that fail to materialise while the big ticket items continue.

Examples – CIWS on more vessels. ATGW and a decent Gun on armoured vehicles. And, for the Carrier defence crowd, Sea Ceptor on QEC!

On Icebergs, what do bigger ships carry that the Rivers do not? Are we simply talking a Wildcat or is this more to do with optics/radar and so on?


Its more to do with giving the RAF crew a jolly. Its good SAR practise with a unit on the sea that they can play with and practise procedures. Dit on… On a T23 halfway to South Georgia when we needed to evacuate a crew member. 2 sea kings sent out past the fuel return point with a herc flying oversight above. HIFR for both sea kings, load up the crew man and they returned, still with the Herc doing oversight incase either Helo ditched. You dont do stuff like that off the cuff . So sending a A400 dowb… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli



The phrase “Far flung corners of Empire” comes to mind 🙂

Daniele Mandelli

SSsssshhh! For Gods sake geoff, you’ll set the self loathers off with talk of Empire! Don’t ya know that is long gone?!

Oh, and Good Morning! It’s sunny!!


Hello Daniele-I know the “E” word is a little risky but so evocative! Nice to hear you are sharing the Sun with us! Something you have probably heard before but worth repeating and slightly paraphrased..
“To be born British is to win first prize in the lottery of life so from this is follows that the more of the World we inhabit the better it will be for the Human Race!!”
Cecil John Rhodes
Enjoy the Sun Daniele!


Yes Geoff….but Rhodes was born into a comfortable middle-class background…attended Oxford University and made a billion with his gold and diamond franchises. One suspects that a malnourished child in the1900s East-End might not have felt he’d won the lottery. ‘Make the world a better place for the Human Race’….couldn’t even do that in Tower Hamlets.


Good Morning Herodotus. The quote was meant to be partly tongue in cheek. My reaction is a mixture of admiration for the certainty with which Victorians pursued their goals in making the British the strongest nation in the world, along with amazement at the arrogance that some displayed at the same time! I am well aware of the realities of all the Worlds Empires on the ground. Rod Mckuen said “There is no wrong side nor right side,No side of the Angels and none that Devils can call their very own”. As with the Rhodes quote, there is a strong… Read more »


I’d go along with most of that. Many years ago, in my undergraduate days, I recorded interviews with colonial types for a proposed Empire and Commonwealth museum. Some of the characters I met were absolutely astonishing. I find it hard to describe their attributes other than to say, “they don’t make ’em’ like that anymore. I think it is true to say that if you were a young man at the height of Empire, the world was your oyster. I remember one interview that left a lasting impression on me….being a railway buff!. As a 25 year old engineer this… Read more »


Thanks Herodotus. We are very much on exactly the same page. To keep on topic-HMS Forth on patrol in South Georgia and the Falklands. My heart says inasmuch as humans have migrated and colonised far from the ‘homelands’ then if they are physically in the majority having conquered the original inhabitants or where there were no original inhabitants then they have first dibs on that piece of real estate. Throw into that reasoning a childhood and early life that taught me that the Union Jack was first and best and you produce someone like myself. How to deal with the… Read more »