HMS Protector is undergoing a major overhaul, including preparing the ship to carry unmanned survey devices say the Royal Navy.

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“Given the unforgiving nature of the Antarctic environment, Protector undergoes maintenance every time she returns from the southern ocean. And every five years she is subjected to ‘deep maintenance’ – a particularly thorough revamp which will prepare the vessel for the long term, in this case until the middle of the decade.

Image Crown Copyright 2020.

So over the summer, shipwrights and engineers at UK Docks are working above and below the waterline, overhauling Protector from bow to stern, topmast to keel. Her 60-tonne crane – which has repeatedly proven its worth in loading/offloading supplies and equipment in remote locations with no port facilities – and flight deck have already been removed for major servicing and, with the dry dock emptied, extensive work is taking place on the hull; moving at four knots, the 5,000-tonne vessel can cut through ice half a metre thick.”

The Royal Navy add that once work on Teesside is complete, Protector’s ship’s company will undergo operational sea training before the ship deploys in the autumn in time for the height of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Captain Michael Wood, the ship’s Commanding Officer, was quoted as saying:

“This refit marks the start of our long journey back to Antarctica. It will take real determination, and teamwork, to get there. However, I am certain we can make it happen.”

HMS Protector started life as MV Polarbjørn, she originally operated under charter as a polar research icebreaker and a subsea support vessel. In 2011, she was chartered as a temporary replacement for the ice patrol ship HMS Endurance and was purchased by the Ministry of Defence in early September 2013.

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Cam
Cam
4 months ago

How about a hangar!! This capability is a game changer down south…vastly increasing capability and missions. The Royal Navy needs two ice breakers minimum…. we have huge antarctic territory that’s 5x the size of Great Britain….and I’m not including South Georgia or the sandwich islands.

RRS Boaty mcboatface will help and be an upgrade for the British Antarctic team but they are replacing two ships for this one! Again decreasing our capability’s!…..why the hell do we keep cutting our numbers with almost everything!!…

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Attenborough is also under something of a news vacuum facing delay in service date, apparently. OK, some delay with a new vessel is to be expected, but why the paranoia with secrecy over every damn thing in this country.

Sean
Sean
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Probably because the rabid press blow every teething trouble into a disaster and waste of money.
Remember how the small water ingress around the shaft of the QE durian trials was reported as “carrier sinking”? 🤦‍♂️

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Could be something in that, Sean, and I know the vessel’s got a bit more potential than solely a civilian research platform, but when the heads of NERC/BAS state ‘no comment’ whilst apparently extending service of James Clark Ross for at least a season to give ‘breathing space’ for Attenborough to be completed to a high standard, I think we all have the potential to perhaps make too much of it – or whatever?
Regards

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yeah I know, I find it hard to find any new details on Attenborough..

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam
Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Unsure why a minimum of 2 ice breakers; Antarctica is under treaty that there is military presence from any country there. There is nothing to fight over in Antarctica; its a continent buried under a mile of ice.

I’d rather spend the money on an additional Type 26 or a few more Type 31s, or at least up-gunning the planned 5.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Well even one for the sea route up north over Russia and one for south patrols ect, we have one. And they are far cheaper than a frigate, hell protectors an old Norwegian ferry.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

There’s plenty to fight over in Antarctica, coal, gold and oil for starters but that won’t happen for many years hen the words desperate for new resources and they break the treaty.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

And what real benefit do you think that will be to Russia? Oil is a waning commodity. Ignoring that you can’t even give oil away right now, the world is moving slowly away from fossil fuels. Coal is a dirty word and becoming a thing of the past, as is oil. We’re giving up petrol cars in 15 years, other countries doing similar. By 2050 there will likely be no petrol powered cars. Other vehicles will still use it but the worldwide demand will be a fraction of what it is now. No point in spending the money and resources… Read more »

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Oil is a waning commodity?

You sure?

I would say burning hydrocarbons is bit of a waste of fantastic raw material.

There is more to oil than fuel, a lot more.

There is the ‘green’ message and reality.

Steve R
Steve R
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Taylor

I’m well aware that there is more to oil than fuel. Plastics are a huge by product of oil that so far haven’t been effectively replicated by a replacement material.

However, the vast majority of oil production is for fuel. In 50 years the global consumption of oil will be a fraction of what it is now.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

And what are we going to use for fuel?

Dean Gill
Dean Gill
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Endurance had Wasp helicopters in its hangar,why does

Dean Gill
Dean Gill
4 months ago
Reply to  Dean Gill

Endurance had a hangar for its Wasp helicopters I remember, to keep out the ferocious elements. What does Protector A174 do to keep this vital equipment protected ? They were indeed vital in Operation Paraquat on South Geogia on A171.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Correct. HMS Protector is the barest minimum.

Don
Don
4 months ago

Will we see HMS Protector head North on a short Arctic Patrol for a few weeks before heading South?

dave12
dave12
4 months ago

We need more Ice breakers and armed as Russia is gearing up for taking the Antarctic with all its military going on’s in that area .

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Arctic you mean Dave? Not Antarctic.

dave12
dave12
4 months ago

My bad thanks Daniele if only UKDJ had editing back.

Ulya
Ulya
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Very unreasonable of Russia to have military in its own territory Dave. More serious note, you must know you will never get any meaningful armed icebreaker for Arctic, even if your government found the money and commitment, it would be at most 2 ships armed with 12 short range SAM and a 40mm so of little value up there, buy an extra T26 or couple of T31 instead

Matt C
Matt C
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

>Arctic
>own territory

Pull the other one, Ivan.

Ulya
Ulya
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Matt, look at map, we have alot of territory inside Arctic circle but happy for you to correct me. And it’s Ulya, you can see it in the green letters above my comment. Ivan is boys name btw

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

Yes russia does but the North Pole isn’t russia no matter how many flags they plant on the sea bed.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Wasn’t china claiming some part of the arctic circle lol

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

Though’s who follow this issue know how desperate Russia is to secure the northern passage as a mean’s to help Russia’s own ailing economy in the future and the moves it has made military to do so, Ulya. Sorry to say Ulya my country is far richer and higher living standards then your Russia and as I said before only spends 2% on its military whilst Russia spends over 15 %(i sent you the link before:),,,So if needs be, i’m sure it can manage if pushed, but then again we are part of the free west and NATO so help… Read more »

Ulya
Ulya
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Sorry Dave, I have not been here for a few weeks so never saw your reply to whatever article we had discussion on, would you mind sending link again?. By all means, build your armed icebreaker and send north if it makes you happy, I don’t actually care, I just know there will very few of them and fitted for but not with and would rather see the RN get more frigate

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

Fair enough Ulya a fair comment.
.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_Russian_Federation, Some of sources have been used by RT news recently so just bare that in mind.

Ulya
Ulya
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Thank you Dave. Have you been watching RT?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

Like to complement you on your very neutral use of social media, Ulya. Nice one.

Ulya
Ulya
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I’m sorry Gavin, I don’t understand your comment, I don’t have any social media

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

No, just mean your politeness here. Regards

Ulya
Ulya
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Thank you Gavin, good manners is important, even more so when I am guest on foreign site

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

As far as this poster is concerned you’re welcome here Ulya.

Regards.

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Trust me that’s not always been the case lol.

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

I have now and then online just to see what nonsense they are spouting.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

I’d much rather the money be spent on additional Type 25 or Type 31 frigates.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Type 25 was a design concept to upgrade the future light export frigate to RN spec. Neither got any interest! We lucked in with Type 26, though. (Yeh, know you meant that).

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Shame we are building the least amount of them though. But they are dam sexy ships, and capable. We really need 8 type 31s and 8 type 26 frigates. Oh and two RN ice breakers