Russian maritime shipping firm Sovcomflot has partnered with French technology company Orange Business Services to install an advanced Maritime VSAT solution on eight vessels.

Initially, Orange will deploy the solution on Arctic shuttle tankers Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov built in Russia.

Subsequently, three more tankers operating in the Arctic will also receive the technology upgrade, along with three supply vessels.

Deployment of the Maritime VSAT solution will help ships remain connected even when they are sailing on high seas. As a result, the technology will enhance safety and optimise navigation in challenging conditions.

Orange Business Services IMEAR senior vice-president Richard van Wageningen said: “With Sovcomflot, Orange Business Services once again demonstrates its expertise as a leader in maritime satellite solutions and reaffirms its ambition to connect people and companies wherever they are on the globe, including in the remote Arctic.

“Thanks to our intelligent satellite solution that automatically connects to the highest quality network, Sovcomflot can support crew welfare and safety while ensuring business continuity.”

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The Orange solution automatically selects the best quality satellite available so that the vessels’ connection to the corporate network can be optimised.

Leveraging the network, Sovcomflot will transmit the vessels’ telemetry data from on-board cameras and sensors to its Fleet Operations Center in St Petersburg, Russia.

“The technology will enhance safety and optimise navigation in challenging conditions.”

The facility will enable Sovcomflot to monitor the condition of its fleet in real time and augment routing based on factors such as weather or sea ice movements.

Sovcomflot operates a fleet of 146 vessels, transports oil and liquified gas, as well as services offshore oil and gas exploration and production.

Last month, Sovcomflot secured a $297m credit facility from three global banks to support its LNG vessels financing needs.

In January, the company awarded a contract to Zvezda shipyard for the construction of three tankers that will use LNG as primary fuel.