JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Defense has announced that Australia, India and Singapore have agreed to aid in the search of the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402, hours after the vessel went missing off northern Bali on Wednesday, April 21.
“The Australian, Indian and Singaporean navies have confirmed that they will take part in the search for KRI Nanggala-402,” said the ministry in a written statement on Wednesday evening.
“The three countries gave their confirmation, after Indonesia sent a distress call to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison officer [ISMERLO], an organization that coordinates international search and rescue efforts for submarines.”
The Ministry added that the Indonesian military also stepped up their efforts to find the submarine, which was lost with its 53 man crew.
“The Indonesian Navy has deployed the KRI Rigel from the Hydro-Oceanographic Service or Dishidros based in Jakarta, as well as the minesweeper KRI Rengat from the minesweeping unit to search for the missing submarine. They will carry out the search with side scan sonar.”
The ministry added that two more submarines are heading to the area where KRI Nanggala-402 was last seen. Prior to the deployment of the ships, “helicopters flying aerial reconnaissance of the area have seen an oil spill near the location of the accident.”
The KRI Nanggala-402 was under the command of the Second Fleet based in Surabaya, East Java.
The submarine lost contact with their base at 3 am local time, as the vessel was practicing the firing of SUT [Surface and Underwater Targets] torpedoes towards targets on the Bali Straits.
The submarine lost contact with their base after they given have been permission to dive. The KRI Nanggala-402 was manufactured in 1979 at the Howaldt Deutsche Werke (HDW) shipyards in the port city of Kiel in the then-country of West Germany.
According to Kompas.id, the submarine has been part of Indonesia’s arsenal since 1981. The aging ship was also upgraded at South Korean shipyards run by the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, South Korea between 2009-2012.
The submarine is thought to sink to a depth of 700 meters.
The KRI Nanggala-402 was scheduled to take part in exercises off Bali on Thursday. Indonesian military chief Air Force Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono are expected to attend the maneuvers.
(Writers: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jawahir Gustav Rizal | Editor : Icha Rastika, Rizal Setyo Nugroho)
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