KRI Nanggala 402 was participating in a torpedo firing exercise when it disappeared and is believed to have disappeared about 60 miles north of Bali.
The Indian Navy sent its deep-sea rescue vessel (DSRV) from Visakhapatnam on Thursday to support the Indonesian navy in its search and rescue efforts for its KRI Nanggala submarine, which disappeared on Wednesday with 53 on board.
“On April 21, the Indian Navy received an alert through the International Submarine Rescue Bureau (ISMERLO) regarding the missing Indonesian submarine. The submarine allegedly drilled at a location 25 miles north of Bali, with a crew of 53 personnel, “the navy said in a statement.
The DSRV went to sea and has to cover a distance of about 2,500 nautical miles, a Navy official said. It was learned that consultations were taking place between senior officials of the Ministry of Defense of India and Indonesia.
Air Chief Marhal Hadi Tjahjanto, the commander of the Indonesian armed forces, said that KRI Nanggala 402 was participating in a torpedo firing exercise when he disappeared and is believed to have disappeared about 60 miles north of Bali. The Indonesian Ministry of Defense said the submarine lost contact after being granted a diving permit.
The Indonesian Navy has launched a massive search and rescue effort for the missing submarine and has also requested assistance from countries in the region that had the capacity to rescue submarines. The missing personnel consist of 49 crew members, three gunners and their commander. The German-built submarine has been in service with the Indonesian Navy since 1981 and completed a two-year repair in South Korea in 2012.
India is among the few countries in the world capable of searching for and rescuing a disabled submarine through a DSRV, Marina said. “The Indian Navy’s DSRV system can locate a submarine up to a depth of 1000 m using its state-of-the-art sonar (SSS) and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV),” he said, adding that after the submarine is successfully located, another submodule of the DSRV – Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV) – is paired with the submarine to save stranded personnel. SRV can also be used to provide emergency supplies to the submarine.
In a comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Indonesia, the Indian and Indonesian navies have regularly exercised and deepened cooperation in recent years.
Navy Singapore has already pressed its lifeboat, while Australia has also provided assistance.
“RSV’s MV Swift Rescue – our submarine rescue ship – was dispatched quickly yesterday afternoon, as quickly as it could prepare, after our naval chief received a request for assistance from his Indonesian counterpart. A medical team has also been added to the regular crew in case hyperbaric care is needed, “Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Twitter.
The site for search operations, near Bali, is more than 1,500 km away and the waters are deep, which is why MV Swift Rescue left as soon as it could, Mr Ng said in a post on Facebook.
The Indian Navy acquired DSRV, a critical capability for rescuing submarines, in December 2018 and has since conducted two DSRVs in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam on the west coast and to provide redundancy, operational availability and early response to in the face of any underwater emergency.
The Indian DSRV, provided by James Fisher Defense, UK, is the latest in technology and capabilities, an official said.