The UK Royal Navy’s new Antarctic ice patrol vessel HMS Protector has been equipped with the Lockheed Martin-built warship electronic chart display and information system (WECDIS).

The installation was followed by a WECDIS digital accreditation process conducted by HMS Protector, as well as intensive sea trials prior to its deployment off of Antarctica. WECDIS provides reduced navigator workload and improves situational and tactical awareness for the ship’s crew by presenting an integrated electronic navigation picture.

The advanced hardware and software system provides automatic alarms and notification as well as monitoring and control of the WAIS transponder including the worldwide ship database. The system enables safe navigation in high latitudes and remains fully functional in polar circles.

The functions of the WECDIS include advanced pool-of-errors, target motion analysis (TMA), screen display for task group tactical manoeuvres and intercept point for estimation of where, when and how the ship can intercept a target. Additional functions include mission recording including navigational data, external inputs and audio, display of video from electro-optical (EOD) and CCTV sources.

The 5,000t ship was leased from Norwegian company GC Rieber Shipping for three years as a replacement for HMS Endurance, which was severely damaged by flooding off the Chilean coast in 2008. The Antarctic patrol vessel will support hydrographic and oceanographic work and help enforce the treaty to ensure the Antarctic environment is fully protected from exploitation.