HMS Protector during surveying operations in Antarctica.
HMS Protector is one the newest additions to the Fleet, an impressive and incredibly versatile survey and ice patrol ship preparing for her first deployment.
The ship is on loan to the Navy to plug the gap until the fate of Britain’s long-serving Antarctic patrol ship, HMS Endurance, is decided following her near-sinking in late 2008.
Protector began life as the MV Polarbjørn (Polar Bear), a Norwegian icebreaker and polar research vessel which has shown her flexibility by also acting as a support vessel for an oil platform in the Caribbean.
Now she’s been fitted with an echo sounder and a temporary flight deck and will receive other specialist equipment over the summer to turn her into a Royal Navy vessel.
We have set out on our inaugural deployment to Antarctica in late 2011
– the austral summer, and the 100th anniversary of Capt Scott’s
fateful attempt to reach the South Pole.Photographer: LA(Phot) Arron
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