Communication Lost With Indonesian Navy Submarine Near Bali

Carrie Guzman
April 21, 2021

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.

Indonesia's navy has lost contact with a submarine carrying 53 sailors that was preparing for a weapons training exercise in waters north of Bali, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

The Swift Rescue will join other Indonesian navy ships already searching for the submarine, with ship tracking websites showing at least two Indonesian corvettes already at the vessel's last known location, which is reportedly between 700 to 800 meters (2,300 to 2,625 feet) deep.

"Just when the dive permit was given, after being given the clearance, contact was immediately lost", he told the paper.

Reuters reported that Indonesian officials had called on nearby Australia and Singapore for assistance in the search for the KRI Nanggala-402, a German-made vessel. "We know the area but it's quite deep", First Admiral Julius Widjojono told AFP news agency. In 2017, an Argentine military submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic with 44 crew on board.

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Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402 is shown during preparation for an anniversary celebration of the Indonesian military in 2014 in Surabaya in East Java province. It underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.

But now it has a fleet of only five including two German-built Type 209 submarines and three newer South Korean vessels.

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

Indonesia has been seeking to upgrade its defense capabilities, but some of its equipment still in service is old and there have been deadly accidents involving in particular ageing military transport planes in recent years.

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