The British are using unconventional means to provide for their need for a patrol vessel capable of operating in ice including patrols in the vicinity of the Falklands and supporting their Antarctic survey stations. They are taking a three year lease on an existing Norwegian vessel that has been used to support the oil industry. Additional modifications are planned including boats and weapons.
“Completed in 2001 and displacing 4,985 tons, she can act as a polar research ship or subsea support vessel, and has 100 berths.”
HMS Protector is filling an unexpected gap in their capabilities after accidental flooding almost sank the previous ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance in December 2008.
The Royal Navy unlike the USN is not prevented from chartering foreign built ships to perform speical missions. There are many foreign designs which the USN could use BUT the Congress does not allow that. So much for chatering at a cost effectice price. Notice also the change in service work only took 10 days.
The feature set on the HMS Protector is quite interesting when compared to any US govt ship. T-AGS 60 Pathfinder class are closest example and don’t have many of what the RN ship has.
I’m not so sure that this is the case. The Navy and Army have now leased three vessels from Australian ship-building company Incat: HSV-X1 Joint Venture (leased by the USN and later the USA from roughly 2000-2006), USAV Spearhead (TSV-X1) (presently leased by the USA), and HSV-2 Swift (presently leased by the USN). An additional vessel, MV Westpac Express (built by Australian shipbuilder Austal, Ltd.), has been chartered by the USMC and also serves as the parent vessel for the Army and Navy’s Joint High Speed Vessel program.
those CHARTERS (they are NOT leases) of foreign built ships occured BEFORE the prohibition on buying ships and converting them in US shipyards. The HSV WestPac Express has since been reflagged in US and HSV Swift also time chartered unders US flag but will problably be put off charter when the JHSVs built in US come on line.
The USN and MARAD are currently prohibited from buying any foreign built ship to be brought under the US flag (unless a congressman greases the skids for some special exemption).
I worked on WPE project.
Much more detail about the ship here: http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/05/hms-protector-ready/
Pingback: Got Icebreakers? Show Me the Money! - CGBlog.org
What she is doing now:
Note how the ship has been modified with the helo deck moved from the bow to the stern.
Discussion (and sales pitch) for a new underwater, ice resistant coating that has been applied to the hull of this ship. http://www.marinelink.com/news/coating-patrol-navys393950.aspx
Length of time this ship is deployed (330 days a year) is significant, but it must operate on a very different basis than USCG ships.
Departed three months late. https://www.bairdmaritime.com/work-boat-world/specialised-fields/icebreaking/royal-navy-icebreaker-resumes-operational-sailings-following-overhaul/
Pingback: “HMS Protector ice patrol ship heads Antarctica” –Navy Recognition | Chuck Hill's CG Blog