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This is the cable-splicing machine used on board the Ile de Batz — one of the most delicate and precise pieces of equipment on a ship laden with very heavyweight gear.
This machine moulds protective layers on to the cable. The ship acts as much as a factory and repair shop as a straightforward spooler-out of cable; each leg of a cable requires a lot of individual customisation.
Here is one of the Ile de Batz's two main cable tanks, with a small amount of spare 17mm cable included for the benefit of those touring the ship.
Each of the ship's two cable tanks can hold up to 5,500km, or 3,000 tonnes, of fibre-optic cable. There are also two spare tanks, each with a 250-tonne capacity.