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Aker BioMarine vessel installs FX

La Manche (right) is a supply ship for two vessels, including the Antarctic Sea (left) La Manche (right) is a supply ship for two vessels, including the Antarctic Sea (left)

Aker BioMarine’s Antarctic krill harvester fleet support ship, La Manche, has installed Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress service following a deal with Marlink.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}La Manche, a 172-metre reefer with accommodation for up to 68 crew, services Aker BioMarine’s two krill harvesting vessels, Saga Sea and Antarctic Sea, which operate year-round in the Antarctic. Marlink is already supplying C-band VSAT services to both Saga Sea and Antarctic Sea.

As a support ship, La Manche’s core duties are to transfer crew and supplies and deliver the krill meal produced on the harvester vessels back to shore. The new Fleet Xpress installation is based on a one metre Ka-band antenna integrated with Marlink’s XChange centralised IT and communications management system.

XChange is used to manage crew internet and voice calling accounts, in addition to providing management functions for quotas and network access. The equipment also provides a platform for Marlink’s Universal Remote Access (URA) system, which Aker BioMarine uses to maintain La Manche’s training network and servers, as well as allowing for general IT network troubleshooting and software updates.

Also provided under the agreement is the Portal 360 online management system and Marlink’s network reporting tools, which provide reports on the status of the Fleet Xpress voice and data services.

“Fleet Xpress has transformed our communication capabilities aboard La Manche. Reports from crew and captain are positive, with speed and availability highlighted as the biggest improvements,” said David Cheyette, IT consultant for Aker BioMarine.

“Our experience with Sealink C-band VSAT on the Krill harvester fleet made Marlink the obvious partner for the La Manche upgrade, and the Marlink team has once again provided a high quality of service from installation through to daily operations.”

“Having access to Marlink’s portfolio of Value Added Services over Fleet Xpress was also attractive for us and has already paid dividends, especially in the context of La Manche’s IT network management.”{/mprestriction}

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