Cobham SATCOM maritime antenna systems will be powering the digital connectivity on 16 dredging vessels that support the One Belt One Road Initiative, China’s ambitious port and infrastructure-building project.
16 SAILOR 900 VSAT antenna systems, via partner Beijing Highlander Digital Technology Co. Ltd are due to be rolled out on the ships owned and operated by CCCC Dredging Company (CDC) over a period of 24 months with an option for a further six vessels.
The new VSAT equipment will replace the vessels’ existing FleetBroadband communications hardware.
Cobham SATCOM General Manager China, Cheng-Yu Tang said: “The dredging sector has been cautious in embracing digitalisation, but the enhanced on-board communications delivered to CCCC by the SAILOR 900 VSAT paves the way for real-time monitoring, higher precision modelling and potential for extended remote operations.”
China’s dredging industry has undergone a massive overhaul over the past 20 years, resulting in a significantly expanded and more technologically advanced fleet. More than half of this capacity is owned by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which today operates around 40 trailing suction hoppers, 60 cutter section dredgers and almost a dozen bucket dredgers.
The latest ship to join the CCCC fleet is the Tian Kun Hao, dubbed a ‘magic island-maker’ by its designer, was launched last year and is due to enter service this summer.
It is the first fully domestically-built self-propelled dredger of its type in China. The 140m-long cutter section can dredge up to 6,000 cubic meters an hour from depths up to 35m and thanks to an automatic control system can be operated without any crew.