The Astrolabe spent one week in Hobart before leaving for a five months mission in Antarctic [fr]
From last 27-10 to 3-11,the French vessel The Astrolabe docked in Hobart after it left the Reunion Island on October 12. He has since left the dock to start its refuelling mission in Antarctic.
Commandeer Céline Tucelli said it was the first time in 70 years the French Navy would have a vessel sailing in the Antarctic “The particular mission here is to work for the French Polar Institute, and be part of the logistic chain to deliver the French station in Antarctica," she said. The ship is once again in Hobart after a very successful mission.
The Astrolabe is a Military shipyard within the meaning of the United States Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is the result of a close collaboration between the French Navy, The French Polar Institute and the French austral and Antarctic land administration. Able to operate on ice, The Astrolabe was achieved this summer in the shipyard Piriou de Concarneau. Measuring 72 metres in length and 16 meters wide, it is the biggest naval ship of the French overseas department’s fleet. It has a maximum capacity of 60 people (20 sailors) and can also carries up to 1200 tons of freight. It can reach a maximum rate of 14 nautical knots.
The port in Hobart enabled The Astrolabe to load the required fret and proceed with the boarding of two helicopters. Its mission will mainly include refuelling tasks for the French Station in Antarctica. The Astrolabe will have to travel 2700 kms before reaching the D’Urville Station. The Admiral Prazuck (Chief of staff of the French Navy) signed last month a convention with Yves Frenot (director of the Paul Emile Victor Polar Institute) which determines the terms and conditions of the MSLA (Support mission to the Antarctic logistic). The period of work with the IPEV is planned during the Australian Winter (October to March), in which the Astrolabe will be in charge of diverse tasks, mainly refuelling the base. During the rest of the year, The Astrolabe will work as a patrol vessel to protect French interests in the Austral Lands economics areas (Kuergelen Islands, Crozet, Saint Paul Island and Wew Amsterdam) .