HMS Endurance (A171)

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HMS Endurance
HMS Endurance, Portsmouth.jpg
Ship data
flag United KingdomUnited Kingdom (Naval War Flag) United Kingdom
other ship names
  • Polar Circle
Ship type Icebreaker
home port Portsmouth
Launch 1990
Commissioning November 21, 1991
Decommissioning 2015
Ship dimensions and crew
91 m ( Lüa )
width 17.9 m
Draft Max. 8.5 m
displacement 6,100 tn.l.
crew 126 men
Machine system
machine 2 Bergen BRM 8 Diesel
8,160 hp (6,002 kW)
15 kn (28 km / h)
propeller 1
Board helicopter 2 × Westland Lynx

The HMS Endurance ( Ship identification : A 171) was the Antarctic patrol ship of the Royal Navy . Their task was to monitor the British Antarctic Territory and to supply the research stations there. She also operated as a research ship in the South Atlantic .


The ship was built in Norway in 1990 as the icebreaker Polar Circle . After the old Antarctic patrol ship of the Royal Navy, which was also called Endurance , rammed an iceberg in 1989 and the damage was classified as irreparable, the Polar Circle was chartered by the Navy in 1991 as an interim solution. After the eight-month lease had expired, the Royal Navy bought it in July 1992. On October 9th of the same year it was baptized in the name of its predecessor Endurance .

Endurance missions in Antarctica generally lasted nine months, from September to June. In the intervening period, necessary maintenance, repair and modernization work took place in Portsmouth .

On June 28, 2005, the endurance was the focus of the international fleet parade in the Solent . Due to its striking appearance with its red hull and high bridge, it was decided that Queen Elizabeth II should inspect the fleet from her. This task had been completed by the royal yacht Britannia at previous naval parades , but it was decommissioned in 1997.

The rudder of the Endurance was damaged during a research trip in Antarctica in January 2006 . It then called at the Argentine port of Ushuaia and was repaired at the Puerto Belgrano naval base in March . It was the first visit by a British warship to Argentina since the Falklands War in 1982.

On December 16, 2008 there was a water ingress on board the Endurance , which almost capsized the ship and, according to initial assessments, was due to a defective valve. In the accident, the propulsion system, the engine room and parts of the crew quarters were badly damaged, so that the ship had to be towed to Punta Arenas in Chile . After the safety of the ship was ensured, it was then towed to the British naval base at Mare Harbor in the Falkland Islands, where the damage is being examined more closely. The Endurance is now to be brought back to England on board a semi-submersible ship . The cost of the repair, which requires replacing the entire propulsion system, is estimated to amount to up to £ 150 million , according to News of the World . Because of these high costs, the Ministry of Defense is considering, according to media reports, not to repair the endurance again, but to take it out of service early and replace it with a new one. However, the Royal Navy contradicted these speculations on several occasions, stating that the ship would be repaired in Portsmouth and then return to active service.

In March 2011, the Ministry of Defense announced that the Norwegian Polarbjørn will be leased as a replacement for the Endurance and put into service as a Protector . The leasing contract starting in May should initially run for three years. During this time, the future of endurance should be decided. On October 7, 2013, it was announced that the Endurance 2015 would be decommissioned and sold for scrapping.


The Endurance is powered by two diesel engines with a total of 8,160 hp via a controllable pitch propeller. It also has a bow and stern thruster each for better maneuvering. At a speed of 3 knots, it can break through ice up to a meter thick.

Web links

Commons : HMS Endurance  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. HMS Endurance completes repairs in Puerto Belgrano , Merco Press. April 7, 2006. 
  2. Patrol boat loses power at sea , Western Morning News. January 5th, 2009.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  3. ^ Commanding Officer's Update for HMS Endurance , Royal Navy. January 19, 2009. Archived from the original on January 20, 2009 Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 
  4. ^ HMS Disaster , News of the World. January 4th, 2009. Archived from the original on April 11th, 2009 Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 
  5. ^ HMS Endurance may be a total write-off , Portsmouth Today. January 14, 2009. 
  6. Damaged Endurance to be repaired , BBC News. January 16, 2009. 
  7. ^ Replacement for HMS Endurance announced , Ministry of Defense. March 25, 2011. 
  8. BBC: HMS Endurance: Former ice patrol ship to be scrapped , October 7, 2013