The Indonesian Navy has lost contact with a submarine near Bali with 53 people on board.
The country’s military chief has reportedly sought urgent help from Australia and Singapore to locate the vessel.
The submarine, the KRI Nanggala 402, was taking part in a torpedo drill north of Bali but failed to communicate after the exercise, First Admiral Julius Widjojono told Reuters.
The Indonesian navy is also seeking help from Australia and Singapore, military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told Reuters on Wednesday.
“We are still searching in the waters of Bali, 96km from Bali, (for) 53 people,” Tjahjanto said.
He added that contact with the vessel was lost at 4.30am on Wednesday.
According to information on a TNI website, the submarine was built in Germany in 1981. The TNI is the Indonesian national armed forces. The vessel underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.
CNA has contacted Singapore’s Ministry of Defence for more information.
Indonesia in the past operated a fleet of 12 submarines purchased from the Soviet Union to patrol the waters of its sprawling archipelago.
But now it has a fleet of only five including two German-built Type 209 submarines and three newer South Korean vessels.
Indonesia has been seeking to upgrade its defence capabilities but some of its equipment still in service is old and there have been deadly accidents involving in particular ageing military transport planes in recent years.
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