The Indian Navy has dispatched its Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) on Thursday to assist Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut (TNI AL – Indonesian Navy) in search and rescue efforts for the Indonesian Submarine KRI Nanggala which was reported missing on Wednesday 21 April 2021. KRI Nanggala with 53 people on board lost contact during an exercise in the waters off the island of Bali on Wednesday said the Indonesian Navy. The 1,395-tonne KRI Nanggala-402, one of two German made Cakra-class submarines, was at a depth of 700 meters (2,297 feet) when it lost contact. Several countries, including the US, France, Russia, India, and Australia offered help. KRI Nanggala-402 is a 209/1300-type submarine designed by Lübeck based Ingenieurkontor Lübeck, built by Kiel based Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), and sold by Essen based Ferrostaal as a part of a consortium. It was commissioned in 1981.
On 21 April, the Indian Navy received an alert through the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO), regarding the missing Indonesian submarine. The submarine was reportedly exercising in a location 25 miles North of Bali.
India is amongst the handful of countries in the world capable of undertaking Search and Rescue of a disabled submarine through a DSRV. The Indian Navy’s 3rd generation DSRV system has been procured from the UK based James Fisher Defence and can locate a submarine up to 1000 m depth utilising its state of the art Side Scan Sonar (SSS) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). After the submarine is successfully located, another sub module of DSRV- the Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV) – mates with the submarine to rescue the trapped personnel. The SRV can also be used to provide emergency supplies to the submarine. Indian Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Complex is located in Visakhapatnam, the home city of the Eastern Naval Command. Indian Navy DSRV is embarked on SCI Sabarmati provided by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) till a dedicated mother ship is ready.
“Under the framework of comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Indonesia, Indian Navy and Indonesian Navy share a strong partnership of operational cooperation. The two navies have been exercising regularly in the past and have developed synergy and interoperability, which is considered important for the present mission,” said the Indian Navy release.