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SMD Sign Contract to Supply QTRENCHER 500 Cable Maintenance ROV to TE SubCom

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World leading subsea equipment design and manufacturer Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce the signature of a contract to supply a QTrencher 500 Cable Maintenance ROV to TE SubCom.

The QTrencher 500 will be delivered in Q1 2019.  The vehicle will come equipped with SMD’s latest surface control and power cabin layout. SMD’s Deck Equipment business will also supply a 12.5Te Wide Angle A-Frame operational in sea state 5 and an umbilical winch with steel armoured umbilical for operation in 2500mwd.

QTrencher 500

The QTrencher 500 Cable Maintenance ROV has been developed especially for this order, using proven SMD cable maintenance tools together in an ultra-compact and lightweight arrangement, this system provides a low cost and low footprint solution. The QTrencher 500 uses high voltage transmission to provide maximum thrust and jetting performance. The ROV is capable of trenching to a depth of up to 3.0m with multiple passes dependent on the ground conditions.

Paul Davison, Managing Director SMD Subsea comments, “We are delighted to be supplying our latest QTrencher development to TE SubCom. This is a new product with advanced tooling and technology which we have developed specifically for the submarine telecoms market. It has 500hp in a compact footprint and 12Te weight limit which make it the best in its class, furthermore, advances in the jet tooling and a new suite of sensors to make it ‘digital ready’ for future asset management. This project marks a welcome sign of new product innovation and development in the submarine telecoms market. TE SubCom are a longstanding customer of ours and we are pleased that they have chosen our QTrencher 500 system. Our Services business will continue to support TE SubCom after delivery to ensure they receive full lifecycle support with their asset.”

SMD have an impressive track record in supplying robust and reliable cable maintenance and trenching equipment. Over 50% of the world’s cables and 80% of telecoms cables have been buried and protected by SMD’s trenching equipment.

John Dahlgren, Director of Submersible Systems, TE SubCom said, “TE SubCom’s goal was to procure a vehicle system which would exceed client expectations for reliability, performance and cable protection. The result was a trencher which incorporates SubCom’s vast telecom cable installation experience and drive for innovation with SMD’s proven engineering and manufacturing expertise. SubCom is confident this new vehicle will lead the telecom industry in burial power and capability, inside a manageable and cost-effective footprint, while also incorporating the latest advancements in subsea technology. We are thrilled to have this new vehicle system joining our cable installation fleet, and look forward to delivery in early-2019.”

Deck Equipment

The 12.5Te wide angle A-Frame is designed for a safe and controlled launch, the wide angle operation gets the vehicle closer to the water and further outboard from the vessel during launch and recovery, which is key in protecting the vehicle and umbilical through the splash zone.

SMD Launch and Recovery equipment is designed to the highest standards which includes live diagnostics and equipment monitoring during operations allowing operators to understand equipment readiness levels and take pro-active maintenance regimes.


SMD Services’ dedicated customer training team will deliver bespoke training courses to ensure TE SubCom’s operational team are equipped with the necessary operating skills while on operation offshore. Alongside the trenching and deck equipment, SMD Services will be supplying a spares container which will house critical spares while out on operation, including a spare umbilical.

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