kri-nanggala-402
KRI Nanggala 402 (Photo: Indonesian Ministry of Defence)

An Indonesian Navy (Tentar Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut – TNI-AL) has lost contact with one of its Cakra-class submarines, KRI Nanggala 402 in the waters off Bali.

According to the Ministry of Defence the submarine was conducting torpedo training exercises when KRI Nanggala requested permission to dive, after which contact was lost.

The KRI Nanggala was carrying a total of 53 crew when contact was lost. Several TNI-AL vessels involved in the exercise began searching the area where the submarine was operating and an oil spill was subsequently located on the surface of the ocean. The depth of the water at that point is believed to be 700 metres (2,300 feet).

According to the TNI-AL, international assistance from Australia and Singapore has been offered, with the Republic of Singapore Navy reportedly sending its MV Swift Rescue submarine support and rescue vessel to the scene.

The TNI-AL operates a total of five diesel-electric submarines, two older German built Cakra-class Type 209/1300 and three Nagapasa-class Type 209/1400. The Cakra-class were constructed in Germany by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft of Kiel, with the Nanggala commissioned into the TNI-AL in 1981. It underwent a full refit in 2012 which reportedly increased its safe dive depth to 257m (843ft).

The three younger Nagapasa-class boats were constructed by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), with the first submarine South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). KRI Nagapasa being commissioned in 2016.

by Andrew Drwiega