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Missing Indonesian Navy submarine found sunk, 53 declared dead

An Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) Cakra-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) that went missing on 21 April has been found broken into three main parts at a depth of about 830 m, with the service declaring all 53 personnel on board dead.

The SSK, KRI Nanggala (402), was found sunk in the Bali Sea on 25 April, said TNI-AL chief Admiral Yudo Margono in a press conference held the same day. Visual confirmation of the vessel’s position was obtained via a remotely operated vehicle deployed from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) submarine rescue ship MV Swift Rescue.

A day before this visual confirmation, the TNI-AL had confirmed the submarine’s status as sunk, given the discovery of several items that originated from within the SSK, including a bottle of periscope lubricant, insulation material from the boat’s air-conditioning system, and lining material from a torpedo tube. Other items that have since emerged include an SEIE Mk 11 submarine escape suit, and the crew’s personal artifacts.

Nanggala was a German-built boat that entered TNI-AL service in 1981. The SSK was one of two submarines of the class operated by the force. It was 60 m long, displaced 1,400 tonnes when submerged, and was designed to operate at a maximum depth of 230 m.

Between 2009 and 2012, the vessel underwent a major overhaul by South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). The improvements included a refurbishment of the boat’s propulsion system, hull scantlings, and combat management system.

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