Blog: Are Denmark’s new frigates Arctic-ready?

The cost of Canada’s Arctic patrol ships design was big news in 2013.(Radio-Canada)
The cost of Canada’s Arctic patrol ships design was big news in 2013.(Radio-Canada)
Over here in Canada there was plenty of controversy in 2013 over the cost of the country’s new Arctic patrol ships.

For those of you who may have missed it, CBC News journalist Terry Milewski did a series of stories about how Canada was paying Irving Shipbuilding $288 million to design a fleet of Arctic patrol ships. (Again, the amount was to design them, not build them.)

Turns out, this amount was vastly over what other countries have paid to design and build their Arctic ships. The report gave examples such as Norway, where their ship was designed and built for under $100 million in 2002.

Now it looks like Denmark is having a similar problem.

But unlike Canada, it’s not about cost, but about function.

The Arctic Journal posted a story today about how the Danes are facing a similar “Ooops” moment when it comes to five new ships.

Apparently, the frigates, at a cost of 10 billion Danish kroner, aren’t fitted up to sail the icy waters off Greenland. Or any Arctic ice for that matter.

And on top or everything, they’re apparently too big to sail Greenland’s fjords.

The article is definitely worth a read and highlights how rapidly Arctic needs and politics are changing in the world’s circumpolar countries.

For more from The Arctic Journal article, click here

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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