Indonesian Navy rules out human error, overloading as factors in submarine sinking

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has ruled out human error, and refuted suggestions that its doomed Cakra (Type 209/1300)-class diesel submarine (SSK) was carrying more personnel than the boat was designed for at the time of its disappearance.


        KRI
        Nanggala
        seen here during a sail pass off Surabaya in 2014. The boat was declared sunk in the Bali Sea on 25 April.
       (Alex Widojo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

KRI Nanggala seen here during a sail pass off Surabaya in 2014. The boat was declared sunk in the Bali Sea on 25 April. (Alex Widojo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The SSK, KRI Nanggala (402), was first reported as missing on 21 April while it was preparing for a training mission in the Bali Sea, and was discovered sunk at a depth of about 830 m four days later. All personnel onboard have been declared by the TNI-AL as dead.

Subsequently, the boat’s crew manifest reveal that there was a total of 53 personnel onboard the submarine at the time of its disappearance, including non-crew members. Among those present was Colonel Harry Setiawan, commanding officer of the TNI-AL’s submarine squadron for Armada II, who was onboard to witness a torpedo firing drill that would have been carried out on 21 April.

Given Janes Fighting Ships data that indicates a crew complement of 34 including six officers for the Cakra class, Janes reported on 23 April that Nanggala could have been carrying more personnel than it was designed for.

Two days later, retired Major General Tubagus Hasanuddin, who is now an elected lawmaker in the Indonesian House of Representatives’ commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I), also told Indonesian media that Nanggala

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The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has ruled out human error, ...

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