UK Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector completes ten-month revamp

19 January 2021 (Last Updated January 20th, 2021 15:06)

The British Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector has successfully completed a ten-month overhaul at UK Docks Marine Services.

UK Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector completes ten-month revamp
HMS Protector spent five months out of the water and was originally due to return in the autumn. Credit: Royal Navy.

The British Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector has successfully completed a ten-month overhaul at UK Docks Marine Services.

The revamp has been carried out as part of orders worth £150m that UK Docks won to service the UK Ministry of Defence’s marine research vessels over ten years.

The three ships are HMS Protector, HMS Enterprise, and HMS Echo.

Under the £14m overhaul, the refit work included overhauling engines, generators, hull painting by hand and inspecting the propeller shaft in Denmark and reinstallation.

The revamped vessel now features improved cargo space, new gym, new quarter deck structure, naval stores complex, and a workshop.

HMS Protector commanding officer captain Michael Wood said: “The past ten months on Teesside have transformed HMS Protector into a Polar Class vessel, ready for operations in the ice.

“The ship has undergone wholesale modernisation, exceptional amounts of structural rework, and significant capability enhancement as part of this mid-life update, and all in challenging circumstances for our industry partners.

“And while we were unable to deploy to Antarctica this season, we will return stronger at the end of 2021.”

Following the upgrade work, HMS Protector departed Teeside and returned to sea.

It was originally scheduled to return in autumn last year, but the overhaul required more time than originally expected due to the ‘more comprehensive’ nature of the revamp programme.

Since the revamp has been particularly carried out entirely during the coronavirus pandemic, the ship sailed three months later than planned.

UK engineering technician Craig Armstrong said: “I’ve been impressed by the scale, technical nature, and improvements to the engineering systems and I’m looking forward to working with them and enhancing our skills.”