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KDDI to construct Japan's first submarine cable-laying ship to support communications, electric power, observation, and resource exploration operations

  • KDDI CORPORATION
  • Kokusai Cable Ship Co., Ltd.

September 1,2017

KDDI CORPORATION and Kokusai Cable Ship Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "KCS"), a KDDI Group company, have announced plans to construct a new submarine cable-laying ship, which is scheduled to launch in fiscal year 2019.

Conceptual image

Since its establishment in 1966, KCS has deployed submarine cable-laying ships equipped with cable-handling equipment for use in the construction and maintenance of the optical submarine cable network across the Asia-Pacific region. Two vessels, the KDDI Ocean Link and the KDDI Pacific Link, are currently in operation.

KDDI Ocean Link KDDI Pacific Link

By utilizing the expertise accumulated through experience in laying and repairing communications cables, the new submarine cable-laying ship will be Japan's first [1] ship capable of supporting electric power cable installation, in addition to the cables used in communications, observation, and resource exploration up to now. The submarine cable-laying ship will have a high level of weather resistance, enabling the installation of electric power cables such as those used in operations such as offshore floating wind power generation facilities.

In addition, by improving the sailing distance and speed over those of previous ships, the marine area covered by the ship will expand beyond the current Asia-Pacific region to span the entire globe. Furthermore, the use of retractable azimuth thrusters [2] will improve the weather resistance in adverse conditions, as well as the performance of stationary maintenance operations.

Submarine communications cable (approx. 17 mm) Image courtesy of OCC Corporation Electric power cable (approx. 200 mm) Image courtesy of FURUKAWA ELECTRIC CO., LTD. Conceptual image of optical submarine cable system

Submarine cables provide 99% of Japan's international traffic [1], making them an important component of the social infrastructure.

Moving forward, KDDI and KCS will continue to deploy state-of-the-art submarine cable-laying ships and the latest IT technology to promote IT innovation in marine vessel and offshore construction operations, with the aim of providing communications services with a higher level of reliability than ever before.

Main specifications of submarine cable-laying ship (planned)

1Gross tonnage Approx. 9,500 tons
2Length 113m
3Breadth 21.5m
4Ship complement 80 persons
5Service speed 13 knots
6Pulling power 80 tons
7Flag Japan

Reference link

Open link in a new window"Working offshore!" - Supporting the global communications network through submarine cable-laying operations (in Japanese only)

  • [1]
    As of September 1, 2017, according to research by KDDI.
  • [2]
    This configuration of marine propellers can be rotated horizontally 360 degrees, enabling ships to maneuver more freely in any direction or maintain a stationary position. The propellers can be retracted into the bottom of the ship when they are not in use.

  • The information contained in the news releases is current at the time of publication. Products, service fees,service content and specifications, contact information, and other details are subject to change without notice.