HMS PROTECTOR, the Royal Navy's Ice Patrol Ship, provides a United Kingdom Sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and their surrounding maritime areas.
PROTECTOR is currently in the South Atlantic and is focussed on the provision of support to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including Antarctic Treaty inspections and station visits in support of the British Antarctic Survey, and survey activity, primarily to increase charting coverage of Antarctic shipping routes and the United Kingdom Overseas Territories. She recently successfully deployed unmanned aerial vehicles for the first time to assist with navigating through the Antarctic.
Since entering service in 2011, PROTECTOR has been deployed to the South Atlantic from December 2011 to May 2013; and from October 2013 to April 2015. In October 2015, she again deployed from the United Kingdom, arriving in the region this spring, having conducted a circumnavigation of the globe.