SMD plough

SMD bags new plough order

Subsea vehicle specialists Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) has secured a new contract working in collaboration with a subsea cabling company.


As part of the contract, SMD will supply the next-generation MD3-XT Plough.

The plough is capable of trenching up to 3.3 metres with jetting, at depths of up to 1,600 metres.

The new contract also includes the installation and commissioning of the complete turnkey system including (LARS).

The MD3‐XT Plough has set the standard in telecoms cable ploughing, trenching in most soils including clay and sands.

Its ‘multi-depth’ hinged chassis design allows for burial up to 2.2 metres for shallower or 3.3 metres deeper burial campaigns.

SMD Curvetech equipment is the main backbone of the plough power and control system.

The plough’s 530kW jetting capability increases the efficiency of the trenching by fluidising the seabed in front of the share.

Specifically, this reduces the tow force required by the lay vessel by up to 50 per cent, SDM explains.

It results in fuel savings and unlocking rates of between two to five times faster than its non-jetting equivalent.

The new plough umbilical system has been upgraded to a semi buoyant jetting cable meaning no buoys are required to be tied to the cable during plough deployment making offshore operations safer, easier and faster.

The A-Frame is an SMD 35Te wide-angle system certified for use in up to sea state 5 and allows the plough to be launched and towed from the same wire, reducing operation times and deck complexity.

Matthew Woodward – BD manager, Telecoms Systems, SMD, said:

“We have a long-standing relationship with this particular client and the fact that this will be their 3rd plough is a testament to the value of our relationship and the reliability of our technology.

“We have worked closely with the customer to adapt the equipment to fit their existing vessel.

“This system provides significant innovations and upgrades to a ploughing solution that has served them well over many years.”

Work is currently well underway on the design and manufacture, which is due for completion in Autumn 2020.

The 3rd plough supplied by SMD for this company will replace a former 12-year-old model.