The U.S. is joining the effort to locate an Indonesian submarine that disappeared about 60 miles north of the island of Bali with more than 50 crew members on board.
The KRI Nanggala-402 was participating in a training exercise April 21, 2021 when the crew failed to report in. Indonesia’s defense ministry said they lost contact after it was granted permission to dive. According to the Associated Press, a search helicopter spotted an oil slick near that location.
The U.S. Navy will provide a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the search effort, Pentagon officials confirmed Friday.
The P-8 Poseidon, a modified Boeing 737, is uniquely suited for the search because it is designed to hunt down enemy submarines. It replaced the venerable Lockheed P-3 Orion, a turboprop anti-submarine warfare aircraft that had been in service since 1962.
“Indonesia is a good friend and strategic partner,” said chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke to his Indonesian counterpart on Friday and offered to provide any other assistance if needed, Mr. Kirby said.
“We’re watching this very closely,” Mr. Kirby said.
The German-built submarine is believed to have plunged to a depth of 2,000 feet or more, said Indonesian officials who believed the incident may have been the result of an electrical failure.