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JULY 2023 – THE INDUSTRY STANDARD MD3 TELECOM PLOUGH

MD3 XT Upgraded Plough

As the creator of the world’s first simultaneous lay and burial subsea plough system, SMD has spent decades perfecting its revolutionary technology. Today, approximately 90 percent of the world’s subsea telecom cables have been buried using SMD’s equipment, and its range of ploughs are recognised globally, setting the industry standard for cable burial across the globe. SMD’s original Multi-Depth plough (MD3) is no exception; developed in 2000, it offers reliability and adaptability in one neat package.

In 2012, the Multi-Depth plough share extension (MD3 XT) was added to the original design concept. Engineered to prioritise flexibility between 2.2m and 3.3m burial modes, it effortlessly delivers a burial solution tailored to the project at hand. This unique vehicle takes into account burial depth requirements, ground conditions and operational preferences, delivering a holistic solution to a host of subsea projects.

During burial missions, the plough’s unique, multi-depth hinged chassis ensures maximum stability and minimum cable handling. Fitted with power steering and variable depth control, the MD3 XT provides assured cable burial in a range of soils, including silts, sands, muds and clays. Its effective trenching capabilities are maintained in 3.3 metre depths, up to a maximum pull force of 80Te.

The plough has been engineered with a low friction share design which minimises pull force requirements and reduces vessel fuel consumption. This feature can be further enhanced with the addition of a user configurable jetting package that enables optimised setup for various ground conditions between projects. This addition can be used to further reduce fuel consumption or maximise ploughing speed for optimum progress rates. Specialist tools such as rock rippers can also be fitted, extending the ground strengths that the plough can operate in.

As part of SMD’s turnkey cable burial solution, the MD3 XT can be supplied with in-house designed tow winches, umbilical winches and LARS systems, customised for ease of use and optimised plough operation.

Business Development Manager, Matthew Woodward explains: “Developed back in 2000, the original MD3 Plough is recognised globally as setting the standard in cable ploughing, offering reliable trenching in most soils including clays and sands.

“This unrivalled equipment has a long history of delivering on client projects across the globe. Over the years, we have worked in partnership with our customers to incorporate design elements which further contribute to the evolution of the MD3 plough. This reinforces SMD’s reputation as a company which provides engineering excellence underwater.”

To find out more about this revolutionary vehicle, download our brochure, or contact Matthew Woodward, our Business Development Manager for Telecoms and Handling Systems.

Matt for web

Matthew Woodward, Business Development Manager – Telecoms & Handling Systems

matthew.woodward@smd.co.uk +44 (0) 7794901896