India Joins Rescue Operations For Missing Indonesian Submarine KRI Nanggala-402 With 53 Onboard

Navy’s Deep-Submergence Rescue Vessel left from Visakhapatnam this morning.

New Delhi:

The Indian Navy today joined the rescue operation for a Indonesian submarine and its 53-person crew that went missing more than 24 hours ago. Indonesia had sought assistance from India after its 44-year-old submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, went missing while conducting a torpedo drill north of the island of Bali.

The Navy’s Deep-Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSVR) left from Visakhapatnam this morning as the rescue operation entered its second day today. The mothership carrying the rescue sub is likely to take more than three days to reach the location.

“In this moment of crisis our prayers are with the Indonesian Navy, our brothers in arms onboard #KRINanggala and their families,” the Navy tweeted sharing pictures of Deep-Submergence Rescue Vessel.

Inducted in 2018-19, the DSRVs are capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine up to 650-metre depth. The DSRV system has a Side Scan Sonar for locating the position of the submarine in distress at sea and can provide immediate relief by way of posting Emergency Life Support Containers with the help of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and thereafter rescuing the crew of the submarine using the DSRV itself.

To ensure early mobilisation, the System has been procured in a Flyaway configuration which permits rapid transportation of the Rescue System from the base to the exact location of the distressed submarine by transportation using air/land/sea vessels. 

The Indian DSRV is the latest in terms of technology and capabilities. Supplied by M/s James Fishes Defence, UK these are based on the West and East Coast of India respectively to provide redundancy, high operational availability and early response to deal with a submarine contingency.

The 44-year-old submarine was conducting a torpedo drill in waters north of the island of Bali on Wednesday but failed to relay the results as expected, a Indonesian Navy spokesman was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. 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 in the search, the Defence Ministry said.

The 1,395-tonne KRI Nanggala-402 was built in Germany in 1977, according to the defence ministry, and joined the Indonesian fleet in 1981.

About 40 nations operate submarines in the world out of which only a few have any form of submarine rescue capability.

With inputs from Reuters

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