Foreign navies have joined Indonesia’s efforts to search for its missing KRI Nanggala 402 submarine as oxygen supplies on the vessel are set to run out on 24 April.
Australia, India, the US, Singapore and Malaysia have joined Indonesia in its search for a German-built submarine that disappeared off the coast of Bali on 21 April.
Australia has deployed HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius for the search. Equipped with sonar capabilities and a MH-60R helicopter, HMAS Ballarat is expected to reach the search area today.
Currently deployed off the coast of Brunei, HMAS Sirius is expected to reach the search area by 27 April.
The Indian Navy has sent out Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel to assist the Indonesian Navy.
A Pentagon spokesman said that the US Defence Department is sending airborne assistance to help in the multinational search for the lost submarine.
In a social media post, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that its submarine rescue vessel was dispatched on 21 April ‘as fast as she could get ready’.
“A medical team was also added to the regular crew in the event that hyperbaric care would be needed,” added Dr Ng.
Singapore’s Swift Rescue is expected to arrive on location on 24 April, while Malaysia’s Mega Bakti is estimated to reach the search area at 4pm local time on 25 April.
The submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, was carrying out a torpedo drill in waters north of the island of Bali before it went missing.
It is believed that the vessel disappeared about 100km off the coast of Bali.
The submarine has the capability to sustain pressure at a maximum depth of around 250m.
The oil spill found in the waters during an aerial search indicates that there could have been damage to the full tank.
KRI Nanggala-402 weighs 1,395-tonne and was built in Germany in 1977.
The Indonesian military stated that it had found signs of an object at a depth of between 50 and 100 metres, following which it had deployed ships with sonar-tracking equipment.
At least six ships, a helicopter and 400 people have since been involved in the search.
Indonesian military spokesman Achmad Riad said: “We’ve only got until 0300 tomorrow (24 April) so we’re maximising all of our efforts. Hopefully there will be a bright spot.”