A new HMS Protector to replace HMS Endurance

HMS PROTECTOR at anchor

The previous HMS Protector (Image via Wikipedia)

The Ministry of Defence have announced that a commercial ice-breaker will be chartered to replace the current HMS Endurance. It is expected that if the charter proves to be succesful she will be purchased and fully commissioned into the Royal Navy. This is no doubt welcome news, particularly given the antics coming out of Buenos Aires recently.

There has been no comfirmation over which ship has been selected. Rumours suggest that a Norwegian vessel working in North America is a favourite, although the MOD has refused to confirm this, stating that the tendering process has not yet been completed. A similar process was followed for the two previous HMS Endurances, which were previously MV Anita Dan and MV Polar Circle respectively.

The MOD have also announced that the new ship will be called HMS Protector. The last HMS Protector was another South Atlantic Patrol Ship, launched in 1936 and decomissioned in 1968. The last two ice patrol ships have been called HMS Endurance, so the naming is a break with recent tradition. And a very eventful tradition at that, with previous HMS Endurance being in the thick of the 1982 Falklands War, and the last Endurance being adopted by the City of Portsmouth and a very visible sign of the UK’s presence in the South Atlantic.

Warship names have always been an emotive issue. There will no doubt be protests that the world will end if the new ship is not called Endurance. Similar calls have been made that one of the new aircraft carriers should be called Ark Royal. Cities have been very precious about having warships named after them – particularly with the decomissioning of the Type 42 ‘City’ Class. One city- Sheffield – even refused to adopt a Type 45 Destroyer as it was called HMS Diamond and not Sheffield. One of the Type 22 Broadsword Frigates was called HMS London after the Lord Mayor of London requested it. How lovely – what if I fancy there being an HMS Daly? Will the Lordships oblige me? Shall we have Warship Factor, a phone-in competition to decide the names of the next class of Type 26 Frigates?

By choosing a new name, but one that has historical connections, the Navy is being very smart. The Royal Navy has a long and rich history, with literally hundreds of proud names to choose from – why use the same names over and over again? It is important to remember that the service is not just about ships but also about men. It really is a case of the King is dead, long live the King.

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29 Comments

Filed under defence, Falklands War, Navy, Uncategorized

29 responses to “A new HMS Protector to replace HMS Endurance

  1. John Erickson

    You want an HMS James Daly? I can hook you up with on online petition site, then I’ll go hit up my circle of “never-were” warship enthusiasts, and we can “stuff” your petition full of signatures! I’ll even do it for free. (Remember, I’m from Chicago – vote early, vote often!)
    On a more serious note, what I will find interesting is Argentina’s response to neighboring Brazil’s flooding problems. 5 will get you 10 Ms. CFK won’t lift a finger to help her Brazilian counterpart, but she’ll announce all sorts of costly military programs if the prospectors in the Falklands find easily retrievable oil. Let’s see – Argentina wants some islands, that they have only the weakest claim upon, solely for the purpose of exploitation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the style of “colonialism” they accuse Britain of wielding? Oh, I forgot, this is politics, just like here in the good old USA – “Do as I say, not as I do”. Silly me!

  2. x

    I am a bit sceptical about the rise of Brazil. I think their politicians will stuff it up. I dreamt up a scenario once Brazil sided with Argentina on the Falklands issue. And then the former decided it was stronger than the latter and took the islands for themselves………. :)

    Saying that Brazil does have some canny businessmen,

    The above was required reading on the company I used to work for management training programme. Of course if you had implemented any ideas in the book you would have probably been fired.

    (Oh yes HMS Protector, let’s hope whatever they charter doesn’t con like a barn door in a gale.)

  3. x

    JD – please change there for their. Ta muchly in advance.

  4. I’d prefer to have the Harriers back myself…boo!

    • x

      I am more concerned about Nimrod. Scrapping our only MPA save HMT about the same amount of money as Eurofighter squadron’s running costs for a year. It seems chasing the non-threat of Soviet bombers is more important than keeping Russian SSNs off the Vanguard’s back.

  5. Pingback: New Royal Navy ice patrol vessel announced « Daly History Blog

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