Indonesia locates sunken submarine near Bali
Indonesia found a missing three-part submarine in deep water near Bali, declaring all 53 crew members dead after a five-day search.
Based on evidence found by rescuers, the diesel submarine “sank and its entire crew died,” Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, Indonesia’s military leader, said on Sunday.
The search team found KRI Nanggala-402, which went missing near Bali during a torpedo fire exercise on Wednesday, divided into three sections, with “the main part found cracked,” Admiral Yudo said Margono, Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy.
The cause of the accident is not clear. But the crew – which included Harry Setiawan, commander of the Indonesian Submarine Fleet – were not responsible, Margono added. The Indonesian Navy will meet with the International Liaison Office for the Evacuation and Rescue of Submarines, an organization created by NATO, on Monday to discuss the recovery of the submarine’s body as the cause of the sinking investigates continue.
Joko Widodo, Indonesian President, offered his condolences, telling reporters that “all of us Indonesians express our deep sorrow over this tragedy, especially to the families of the submarine crew,” according to Reuters.
The loss of the commander, craft and crew is a tragic setback for the country’s military at a time when territorial disputes and the arms race intensify in the region.
Authorities on Saturday declared KRI Nanggala-402 “sunk” after finding debris they said belonged to the ship. It was located in an area with an identified depth of 850 meters, more than three times the maximum depth at which experts say submarines can safely navigate.
The Navy had estimated that the oxygen supply of the KRI Nanggala-402, which was built four decades ago, would be depleted in the early hours of Saturday.
Specialized aircraft and rescue vessels deployed by the United States, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and India joined the search team.
The Indonesian Navy operates five submarines. Two, including the one currently sunk, were built in Germany and the rest in South Korea.
Jakarta is purchasing seven additional submarines to be made in Russia and the country, as countries in Southeast Asia seek to counter China’s rapid military modernization. Beijing in 2019 was the second-biggest military spender in the world after the United States, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Indonesia’s military spending rose 69% between 2010 and 2019, the fourth largest jump in the Asia-Pacific region, according to SIPRI.
“China’s rise as a regional military power and its claims in the South China Sea have become an increasingly pressing security issue for many Southeast Asian states,” according to one paper by Siemon T Wezeman, senior researcher at SIPRI.
Southeast Asian military spending jumped at least 33% between 2009 and 2018, “significantly more than global increases [in] military spending, ”Wezeman said.
Patrolling its vast sea borders and myriad islands is a challenge for Indonesia, which has been embroiled in disputes with China over fishing rights in the disputed South China Sea and elsewhere.
The need to replace an obsolete device – which in more developed countries “would have been replaced a long time ago or at least largely modernized” – is also driving arms procurement in Southeast Asia, Wezeman said. , adding that most of the major Indonesian warships in 2012 were second. main and between 25 and 40 years old.
The KRI Nanggala-402 was built 41 years ago and overhauled in South Korea in 2012.
The Indonesian Navy said on Wednesday that a power failure could have occurred during the “static dive”, causing the submarine to lose control.