On Wednesday, the Indonesian military chief told Reuters that Indonesia’s navy is searching for a missing submarine with 53 people on board and is soliciting aid from the neighbouring countries Australia and Singapore.
A navy spokesman said that the German-made submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, was conducting a torpedo drill in the north of the Island of Bali. But it failed to deliver the results as presumed, the spokesman added. In a text message, military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told Reuters that they were still searching for 53 missing people in the waters of Bali, 60 miles from the Indonesian Island.
The military chief also confirmed that assistance had been sought from Australia and Singapore. He said that the contact with the vessel was lost at 4:30 am on Wednesday. The 1,395-tonne vessel was built in Germany in 1978 and it underwent a two-year restoration in South Korea, which was completed in 2012. The information has been verified from the Indonesian cabinet secretariat’s website.
Indonesia had purchased a fleet of 12 submarines from the Soviet Union that it used to patrol its waters. But now the country is left with a formation of only 5 submarines, including two German-built Type 209 and three South Korean vessels.
Indonesia has been trying to upgrade its defence systems but most of its equipment has been worn out and most of the accidents in recent years involved its ageing military transport planes.
Meanwhile, the representatives of the defence departments of Australia or Singapore did not reply immediately to the request for comment. Indonesia’s navy is desperately in search of the missing crew and seeks help from neighbouring Australia and Singapore.