Antarctic Patrol

Antarctica is one of the most extreme environments on Earth – and also one of the most vulnerable. HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s Antarctic Patrol vessel, is duty-bound to protect this beautiful landscape from harm.


HMS Protector at a glance

89 metres

Overall length


Days on ice patrol each year

15 knots

Top speed

5,000 tonnes

Total displacement

What are we doing?

As the Royal Navy’s ice patrol vessel, HMS Protector’s role is to provide a sovereign and reassuring presence in the UK’s largest Overseas Territory: British Antarctica.

For 330 days every year, Protector patrols the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and their surrounding maritime areas, to underpin their security and good governance.

As well as flying the flag in this inhospitable yet eerily beautiful part of the world, HMS Protector helps deliver the United Kingdom’s commitments under the Antarctic Treaty, supports science programmes, and ensures that expeditions and vessels meet their international environmental obligations.