Indonesia searching for missing submarine with dozens of people on board

Indonesia searching for missing submarine with dozens of people on board

The submarine is believed to have disappeared in waters about 60 miles (95 kilometres) north of Bali, the navy chief said.

The 1,395-ton KRI Nanggala-402 was built in 1977 by the German shipbuilding company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) and joined the ranks of the Indonesian Navy in 1981, according to the Ministry of Defense statement.

Reuters reported, citing Indonesia's military chief that the country has appealed to Singapore and Australia to help find a missing submarine and its crew. The Republic of Singapore Navy and the Royal Australian Navy both have dedicated submarine rescue vessels.

An aerial search found an oil spill near the submarine's dive location and two navy vessels with sonar capability have been deployed to assist the hunt, Indonesia's Defense Ministry said.

The German-built KRI Nanggala-402, which went into service in the early 1980s, failed to relay results of the exercise as expected, Julius Widjojono said, according to Reuters.

Some reports say contact was lost after the submarine had been given clearance to dive into deeper waters.

TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said contact with the submarine was lost at around 4.30am local time on Wednesday morning.

The submarine underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012, according to the Indonesian cabinet secretariat's website.

It is the first time Indonesia has lost one of its submarines, a Navy spokesman told the BBC.

Indonesia's new Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said the submarine was involved in a training exercise.

The submarine was reportedly preparing for a missile drill set for Thursday.

Indonesia now has a fleet of five submarines and plans to operate at least eight by 2024.

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