The Indonesian missing submarine, KRI Nanggala 402 have reportedly sunk, which also killed all 53 crew members aboard. This is the largest reported death of sailors aboard a submarine after Changcheng 361 back in 2003. The 44-year-old submarine was sailing in the waters around the northern islands of Bali, while conducting a torpedo drill. Nanggala reportedly fired a live SUT torpedo before it lost contact.
The Navy declared the submarine was missing on 21 April 2021 with 53 crew members aboard. Hadi Tjahjanto, the military chief reported that the base lost contact with the submarine at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday and didn’t receive the results of torpeda drill as well. The Indonesian Navy issued a statement claiming that the submarine had fall below depth of 600-700 metres and coudn’t carry the emergency procedures.
An aeriel search previously found an oil spill at the dive location of the submarine. After three days, the debris from the submarine was found on the surface and the navy confirmed that the submarine had sunk. The Indonesian Navy first sent two vessels with sonar capabilities to search the missing submarine. Australia, India, and Singapore also sent rescue vessels to assist in the search of missing Nanggala.
Reports claim Chinese vessels attacked the Nanggala
The reason of the sinking hasn’t been determined yet. However, the navy assumed that the submarine might had suffered a power outage, resulting in crach that led to sinking. Yudo Margono believes that the submarine didn’t have an explosion. The sonar would have easily detected if there was any explosion. As of now, the bodies of crew memebers haven’t recovered ans search is still going on.
A theory is revolving around the internet claiming that Chinese vessels might have attacked the Indonesian submarine. Chinese vessels are a common sight in the area where the submarine went missing. Multiple countries have sent rescue vessels to search the missing submarine but China hasn’t joined in the aid. The P-8 Poseidon — an American reconnaissance plane, Australian warship, Singapore rescue ships, Indian rescue ships, and even the Malaysian rescue ships have joined the underwater hunt.
Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, a German company built KRI Nanggala in 1980. The Indonesian Navy then commisioned the submarine for service in 1981. People critised the overcapacity of the submarine as it was originally designed to hold only 38 crew members.