Time bomb for Indonesian submarine as oxygen on board running out

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April 29, 2021

By: Norvisi Eyiram Mawunyegah

Rescue crew has been deployed into the deep waters of northBali in search of 53 members on board, a 44 year old vessel, believed to be 700 meters underwater as a result of limited oxygen supply on Thursday.Couple navy ships left the Indonesian base of Banyu Wangi early on Friday heading to the Bali Sea where contact was lost with the KRI Nanggala-402 on Wednesday during a torpedo drill. Few countries have responded to Indonesia’s requests for assistance, with Australia, Malaysia, India, Singapore and the United States sending specializedships or aircraft. The US Defense Department is sending “airborne assets” to assist in the submarine search

The diesel-electric powered submarine could withstand a depth of up to 500 meters (1,640 meters) but anything more could be fatal, a navy spokesman said. The Bali Sea can reach depths of more than 1,500 meters (4,921 feet).

An aerial search also spotted an oil spill near the submarine’s dive location, which the navy said could indicate damage to the vessel or could be a signal from the crew.Meanwhile, two Australian ships were heading for the search area including a support ship and a frigate with sonar capabilities, the defense department said in a statement.

The Nanggala-402 was built by German company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel in the late 1970s.

Last month, South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) supplied the last of three submarines ordered by the Indonesian military.

That submarine, is the first to be assembled locally in Indonesia by the state-owned shipbuilding company PT PAL, the government said. Indonesia plans to acquire eight more by 2024 for a total of 13.