South Korea Offers to Help search for Missing Indonesian Submarine

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NUSADAILY.COM -JAKARTA- South Korea’s Defence Ministry has conveyed its willingness to join a coordinated search and rescue mission to locate Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402, which went missing in the waters north of Bali Island early on Wednesday.

South Korea’s Minister of National Defence, Suh Wook, has instructed the navy to remain on standby for the search mission in Bali, in case Indonesia requests Seoul’s participation, the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement released on Thursday.

According to the South Korean Defence Ministry, the two nations share a close partnership in the defence sector as part of the implementation of their special strategic partnership, the embassy added.

Indonesian Military Commander, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, informed earlier that contact with German-made KRI Nanggala-402, which was carrying 53 sailors on board, was lost while it was preparing for a torpedo drill in Bali waters.

“The last contact was made at 4:30 a.m. local time (April 21, 2021). There was no more contact when the torpedo drill was to be conducted,” Tjahjanto said.

The Indonesian Defence Ministry said it has been monitoring search efforts to locate the submarine, which went missing after receiving clearance for diving around 3 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

The search mission has been continued with the deployment of Indonesian naval ships KRI Rigel and KRI Rengat, which are equipped with side-scan sonar devices.

The Indonesian Navy has also sent out a distress call to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Officer (ISMERLO), the Defence Ministry informed.

The navies of several countries, including Australia, India, and Singapore, have responded to Indonesia’s call for assistance and offered to help in the search for the missing submarine, the ministry said.

Singapore has sent MV Swift Rescue, while Malaysia has dispatched Rescue Mega Bhati to join the search for KRI Nanggala-402 in Bali Island’s waters, it added.

The missing 209/1300-type submarine was built in Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in 1977, and was officially inducted into the navy in 1981.

Its propulsion system uses a Siemens low-speed diesel electric motor, connected directly to the propeller shaft, which generates about five thousand shaft horsepower (shp).

The electrical power is stored in batteries, which make up 25 percent of the weight of the vessel, according to the navy. Four MTU diesel supercharged engines are responsible for generating electricity in the vessel. (sak)