Australia will host a French polar patrol ship on its annual summer resupply mission to support research in the Antarctic.
French Antarctic resupply ship L’Astrolabe will visit Fremantle from August 30 to late October to conduct essential maintenance at Henderson before continuing on its journey to the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters.
L'Astrolabe, which is crewed by French Naval personnel for this deployment, will then head to Tasmania to be based out of Hobart over summer while conducting her resupply operations.
The polar patrol vessel has been coming to Australia to conduct Antarctic resupply missions since 2017.
WA health authorities have approved L'Astrolabe's arrival into Australia and quarantine at HMAS Stirling.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, said the RAN values its strong partnership with the Marine Nationale.
“We are always pleased to welcome back L'Astrolabe on her annual summer resupply mission," Vice Admiral Michael Noonan said. "MV L’Astrolabe and her French Navy crew were instrumental in assisting the Australian Antarctic Division with the resupply mission to Macquarie Island during the 2019-20 Australian summer period."
The RAAF recently conducted an audacious resupply mission to Mawson Station, which had not received a full resupply mission since March due to thick sea ice last year and a fire on the icebreaker MPV Everest in April. The operation took three months of planning.
The Antarctic Division's new icebreaker, Nuyina, is expected to be delivered to Hobart later this year.