Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

Indonesian Navy loses contact with submarine near Bali

Indonesian Navy loses contact with submarine near Bali Indonesia searching for missing submarine with dozens of people on board
Cary Erickson | 21 April, 2021, 20:23

Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto on Wednesday said the KRI Nanggala 402 was participating in a training exercise when it missed a scheduled reporting call.

Indonesia's navy is searching for a missing submarine with 53 people on board that went missing on Wednesday and is seeking help from neighbouring Australia and Singapore in the hunt.

"After permission was given according to the procedure, the submarine lost contact and could not be reached", the defence ministry said. Two navy vessels had been dispatched to use sonar to search the area, the defense ministry said.

The submarine is thought to have sunk into a trough 700 meters (2,300 feet) deep while conducting a torpedo drill, according to local reports.

The search is now being carried out by two Indonesian warships equipped with side-scan sonar, a tool used for mapping the seafloor, according to the Ministry of Defense.

The military chief confirmed that assistance in the search for the submarine and missing crew members had been sought from Australia and Singapore.

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Defence officials from the two countries have not yet commented. "We know the area but it's quite deep", First Admiral Julius Widjojono said.

The military chief will hold a media briefing to share further information about the search on Thursday from Bali, a spokesman said.

The KRI Nanggala-402 submarine stopped responding in the early morning defense officials said.

The submarine underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012, according to the Indonesian cabinet secretariat's website.

Indonesia now has a fleet of five submarines and plans to operate at least eight by 2024.

Indonesia, which has been moving to upgrade its military equipment in recent years, has five German and South Korean-built submarines in its fleet.