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April 25, 2021

The country's president has sent condolences to the families of the 53 crew members who were on board when it vanished during a training exercise last Wednesday. Search teams located the vessel's wreckage on the sea floor at a depth of 850m - well beyond its 200m diving range, at which point water pressure would be greater than the hull could withstand.

 

More debris believed to be from KRI Nanggala 402 has also been recovered, including a life jacket. It comes a day after Indonesia said the submarine was considered sunk rather than missing.

 

Officials had also said the craft's oxygen supply would have run out early on Saturday, three days following its disappearance.

Speaking to reporters, military chief Hadi Tjahjanto said: "We received underwater pictures that are confirmed as the parts of the submarine, including its rear vertical rudder, anchors, outer pressure body, embossed dive rudder and other ship parts.

"With this authentic evidence, we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members are dead."

Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono said: "The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts, the hull of the ship, the stern of the ship, and the main parts are all separated, with the main part found cracked."

 

President Joko Widodo said: "All of us Indonesians express our deep sorrow over this tragedy, especially to the families of the submarine crew."

Helicopters and ships had been deployed to search for the submarine, with help from other countries including the US, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and India.

An underwater robot equipped with cameras provided the images of the sunken vessel. The cause of the disaster remains uncertain.

The navy had previously said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface.

The German-built diesel powered vessel joined the Indonesian fleet in 1981.

 

It underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.

Residents of the East Java town of Banyuwangi, which is home to the naval base from where search and rescue operations are being conducted, joined nationwide calls to speed up the modernisation of Indonesia's defence forces.

Hein Ferdy Sentoso, 29, said: "This can be a learning point for the government to advance its military technology and be careful in how it uses its (existing) technology because its people's lives are at stake."

The country has sought to revamp its military capability, yet some equipment is still old and there have been fatal accidents in recent years.

Indonesia had five submarines before the latest accident: two German-built Type 209s including Nanggala and three newer South Korean vessels.