Indonesian submarine with 53 on board disappears north of Bali | Indonesia News
The German-made submarine went missing on Wednesday while conducting a torpedo exercise in waters north of Bali.
The Indonesian Navy is searching for a missing submarine with 53 people on board who went missing on Wednesday and is asking for help from neighboring Australia and Singapore in the hunt.
The 44-year-old German submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, was carrying out torpedo drilling in the waters north of the island of Bali, but failed to report the results as expected, the navy said.
An aerial search revealed an oil spill near the submarine’s dive site and two Navy ships with sonar capability were deployed to assist in the hunt, the Defense Ministry said.
Jessica Washington of Al Jazeera, reporting from Jakarta, said, “I hope this is a breakthrough that could help find the location of this ship and the 53 people on board.”
“We understand that the Indonesian Navy is currently monitoring the area both by air and sea,” she said.
A Defense Ministry statement said requests for assistance had been sent and Australia, Singapore and India had responded.
“We are still searching in the waters of Bali, 96 km from Bali, (for) 53 people,” military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told Reuters news agency in a text message.
Tjahjanto said the navy deployed dozens of vessels to search the area, including a hydrographic survey vessel.
He said contact with the ship was lost at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
CNN Indonesia reported that Indonesian Navy official Julius Widjojono said he suspected the submarine had descended to a depth of 600 to 700 meters.
Military analyst Soleman Ponto said it was too early to conclusively determine the fate of the submarine.
“We don’t yet know if the communications equipment was broken or if the submarine sank. We have to wait at least three days, ”he said.
The 1,395-ton submarine underwent a two-year refit in South Korea which was completed in 2012. The ship has been in use in Indonesia since 1981.
In the past, Indonesia operated a fleet of 12 submarines purchased from the Soviet Union to patrol the waters of its vast archipelago.
But now it only has a fleet of five, including two German-built Type 209 submarines and three new South Korean ships. The country plans to operate at least eight by 2024.
Indonesia has sought to improve its defense capabilities, but some of its equipment still in use is old and fatal accidents have occurred in recent years, particularly involving aging military transport planes.
The country, the world’s largest archipelago with more than 17,000 islands, has faced increasing challenges for its maritime claims in recent years, including numerous incidents involving Chinese ships near the Natuna Islands.
South china sea
Last year, President Joko Widodo reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty during a visit to the group of islands on the South China Sea.
His visit came a week after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang insisted Chinese fishermen were free to operate in areas that China claims to be its traditional fishing grounds. , which partly overlaps Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.
Geng’s statement sparked outrage in Indonesia and prompted the military to increase its forces in the islands.
Although China has been making such statements for years, recently dozens of Chinese fishing boats, escorted by Coast Guard vessels, have reportedly taken more aggressive action in the region and ignored Indonesian warnings to leave.