Indonesia submarine goes missing as navy launches urgent search for silent vessel

A submarine from the Indonesian navy has gone missing as a search was launched for the silent vessel. 

The submarine was taking part in a torpedo drill in North Bali waters but failed to relay results of the exercise as expected, said spokesman First Admiral, Julius Widjojono.

The vessel the KRI Nanggala 402, was built in Germany in 1981, has a cruising speed of 21.5 knots, and it is thought to be have been modernised in 2011. 

TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, who is currently the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, confirmed the missing submarine and says they are searching for the 53 people on board. A search has been launched for the missing submarine(Image: X03535)

He said it was thought to have disappeared about 60 miles north of Bali at around 3am on Wednesday morning local time (8pm Tuesday GMT). 

The commander, who is hopeful of finding the submarine, said: Only when the dive permit was given, after being given the clearance, immediately lost contact.” 

Indonesia has asked for help from Australia and Singapore, who have submarine rescue vessels.

Commander Tjahjanto said he will personally go to the last known location of the vessel on Thursday. There are reports it could be submerged at a depth of 700m in the sea. 

Representatives of the defence departments of Australia and Singapore did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The KRI Nanggala 402 is one of five submarines belonging to the Indonesian navy. 

The country’s navy was formed in September 1945 after the end of World War Two and less than a month after the country declared its independence from the Netherlands.

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