Orange announces the official inauguration of a new cable ship, the Sophie Germain. This vessel specializes in the laying and maintenance of submarine cables. The Sophie Germain must more precisely carry out the repair of different types of submarine cables in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Black Sea.
This ship, 100 meters long and 18.8 meters wide, can accommodate up to 76 people. The construction of the ship lasted 3 years, and was completed last August. The Sophie Germain was built in Sri Lanka. It was ordered in December 2020 and left the dry dock in November. It is based in La Seyne-sur-Mer, in the Var.
The crew will be made up of around sixty people on board who will be able to live self-sufficiently for 35 days. specifies Orange.
The Sophie Germain carries a new generation wire-guided underwater robot or ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), with a power of 450 kW, designed and manufactured by Orange Marine, used to cut, inspect and bury cables, stored on board in a dedicated hangar.
“Her name was chosen to perpetuate the tradition of naming our ships after French scientists. This time, the tribute is paid to the brilliant French mathematician, physicist and philosopher of the 18th century” mentions Orange.
🚢 What pride to inaugurate this day #SophieGermainour cable ship @orange new generation !
A feat of engineering and sustainable innovation, it reinforces our key role in the installation and maintenance of submarine cables, the essential basis of global connectivity. 👏 pic.twitter.com/TU8bdHXbUX
— Christel Heydemann (@Cheydema) September 22, 2023
Ouest France specifies that the cable ship “Sophie Germain” replaces the “Raymond Croze”, 40 years old.
“Arriving on Saturday August 19 in the harbor of Toulon, the Sophie Germain met her predecessor there, returning from her final mission” recalls Ouest France. “An improbable encounter: the new cable ship should have arrived earlier and the old one should not have been at sea, but had been requested for repairs on an underwater telecommunications cable in the Strait of Gibraltar.”
1.3 million kilometers of submarine cables run across the globe
Orange Marine, the Orange entity specializing in the laying and maintenance of submarine cables, boasts a fleet of 7 vessels in service, or 15% of the global fleet of this type of vessel.
By the end of 2022, Orange Marine vessels had installed more than 257,000 kilometers of optical fiber and carried out more than 800 repairs, some of which were at depths of more than 6,000 meters.
486 submarine cables crisscross the seabed, representing 1.3 million kilometers, or 33 times around the Earth. They provide nearly 99% of intercontinental exchanges, despite the strong development of Internet communications satellite fleets.