An Indonesian military submarine on Wednesday lost contact during an exercise in the waters off the island of Bali, reports Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted the military's chief.
The 44-year-old submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, was conducting a torpedo drill in waters north of the island of Bali but failed to relay the results as expected, a navy spokesman said. Two navy vessels had been dispatched to use sonar to search the area, the defense ministry said.
Indonesia's defense ministry said that an aerial search had spotted an oil slick on the water near where the submarine is thought to have performed a dive.
Indonesian authorities immediately requested assistance from Singapore and Australia. The Republic of Singapore Navy and the Indonesian Navy signed an arrangement concerning submarine rescue support and cooperation back in 2012.
'The navy is now searching for [the submarine], said First Admiral Julius Widjojono.
Commander Marshal Tjahjanto will hold a media briefing to share further information about the search on Thursday from Bali, a spokesman said. "We know the area but it's quite deep", First Admiral Julius Widjojono said.
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Military analyst Soleman Ponto said it is too early to determine the fate of the submarine conclusively.
Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto, pictured in 2017, says the KRI Nanggala 402 was participating in a training exercise on Wednesday when it missed a scheduled reporting call.
Indonesia operates a fleet of five military submarines, including two built in Germany and three newer South Korean-built boats, according to Reuters.
Indonesia now has a fleet of five submarines and plans to operate at least eight by 2024.
Indonesia's new Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said the submarine was involved in a training exercise.