UK Royal Navy ice patrol ship HMS Endurance is to be replaced with a Norwegian ship, announced Under Secretary of State and Lords spokesman on Defence Lord Astor.

A contract for the lease is expected to be signed with the government’s preferred bidders, GC Rieber Shipping.

The new Norwegian ship will be named HMS Protector and will be leased for three years to patrol and survey the Antarctic and South Atlantic.

HMS Endurance’s future will be considered after the Portsmouth-based ship almost sank in 2008 when the engine control room was flooded after a maintenance error off Chile.