"Currently, five warships and one helicopter, with more than 400 personnel, have gotten involved in the search operation, while warship KRI Rigel (933), which was once involved in the search for the crashed Sriwijaya Air plane, is on the way (to the waters)," Chief of the TNI Information Center Major General Achmad Riad stated during a press conference at Base Ops of the Ngurah Rai Airbase in Badung, Bali, on Thursday.
Riad confirmed that the submarine lost contact when it was 60 miles away from Bali Island on Wednesday (April 21).
Last contact was established with KRI Nanggala-402 at 4:25 p.m. local time when the drill task force’s commander gave authorization for torpedo shooting, according to Riad.
The major general highlighted several findings related to the submarine that lost contact. The first finding is related to the oil spill in several different locations.
"Later, naval ship Bawean also reported (its finding) without mentioning its location, while Indonesian warship Raden Eddy Martadinata (REM) 331 also reported (its finding) at the position of 07 degrees, 51 minutes 92 seconds, southern latitude, and at 114 degrees, 5 minutes 77 seconds, eastern longitude, in the same area covering nearly 150 m," he remarked.
The second finding is related to news pertaining to oil findings by KRI REM 331 that detected underwater movement of the submarine at a speed of 2.5 knots. However, it later lost contact, Riad noted.
"We stress that the findings are not sufficient to identify the contact with the submarine. Once again, I stress that the various findings cannot be used as a basis," he emphasized.
Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402, with 53 sailors on board, became untraceable in the waters north of Bali Island, a top military officer confirmed.
Contact with the 209/1300-type submarine was reportedly lost at around 3 a.m. local time on Wednesday when it was around 60 miles away from Bali.
"Search for the submarine is still underway," Military Commander, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, remarked when contacted from Jakarta on Wednesday.
All vessels, equipped with underwater devices, have joined the search to locate the missing diesel-electric attack submarine, he stated.
The Indonesian Navy noted that it lost contact with the submarine, which was officially inducted in 1981, while it was preparing to join a torpedo drill scheduled for Thursday.
The propulsion system of KRI Nanggala-402, which was built in Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, employs a Siemens low-speed diesel electric motor, connected directly to the propeller shaft that generates about five thousand shaft horsepower.
The electrical power is stored in batteries, which constitute 25 percent of the vessel’s weight, according to the navy. Four MTU diesel supercharged engines generate electricity in the vessel.
Related news: Singapore, Malaysia offer help in TNI's search for missing submarine
Related news: Oil spill observed at early diving position of KRI Nanggala-402: govt
Related news: House deputy speaker OK with navy's decision to involve foreign navies