KDDI Corporation and Kokusai Cable Ship Co., Ltd. (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.

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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.

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By utilizing the expertise accumulated through experience in laying and repairing communications cables, the new submarine cable-laying ship will be Japan's first 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 will improve the weather resistance in adverse conditions, as well as the performance of stationary maintenance operations.