NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, NTT World Engineering Marine Corporation (NTTWEM) and NTT Finance Corporation jointly held a launch ceremony on November 16 for their new submarine cable-laying vessel “Kizuna” at Kanrei shipyard in Tokushima, Japan.

Construction of the 8,500-ton ship, which measures 109 meters in length and 20 meters in width, and which will have a planned average cruising speed of 13 knots and a capacity of up to 60 crew, will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2016.

Kizuna will be owned by NTT FINANCE and leased to NTTWEM when required. NTTWEM’s parent company NTT Com and other telecommunication companies and service providers will utilize Kizuna and three other vessels operated by NTTWEM to lay and maintain submarine cables used for delivering network and cloud services.

Kizuna is configured with its main working space in the stern. Its advanced design incorporates azimuth propellers, an electric propulsion system and a dynamic positioning system. These allow it to navigate quickly to selected locations and once in position, to withstand wind velocities of up to 14 meters per second, wave heights of up to 3 meters and ocean currents of up to 3 knots. Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) allows rapid laying of undersea cable.

An ROV equipped with a jet cable laying system and with a maximum operating depth of 2,500m will be delivered as part of the new vessel’s equipment. This will allow rapid troubleshooting, speedy determination of any points of failure and easier replacement of cable following any repairs.

The new vessel will have a large open working deck with two heavy-duty cranes and a large secured work space at the stern, allowing it to be deployed for a variety of tasks, including cable maintenance as well as cable laying.

Careful use of space and the extensive deployment of electronic equipment will allow small teams of people to carry out more routine maintenance work efficiently. Kizuna is smaller than its existing sister ship “Subaru,” making it suitable for work within congested Japanese waters. Flexible functionality will facilitate rapid disaster response.

Kizuna has been designed to assist during disaster recovery operations, for example through the rapid shipment of containers and other supplies. The vessel can also transport disaster recovery vehicles and emergency cellular network base stations, as well as satellite communication facilities and temporary accommodation for NTT group employees working in disaster zones.

NTT Com plans to deploy the new ship Kizuna predominantly for cable laying in Japanese waters, with the existing Subaru being used mostly overseas, with both vessels offering fast and competitive undersea cable laying and maintenance.

The name of the new vessel was chosen following an internal poll of NTT Com Group employees. The Japanese word “kizuna” signifies the connection between people and between people and things, and is therefore an appropriate symbol for NTT Group’s business field, as well as being a keyword for the next generation. The calligraphy of the Japanese character for “kizuna” appearing on the ship’s body is the work of Tetsuya Shoji, President and CEO of NTT Com.

For more information, visit www.nttwem.co.jp or www.ntt.com or www.ntt-finance.co.jp.