NEW DELHI – India on Thursday dispatched a deep submergence rescue vessel to Bali to help in locating the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala, missing since Wednesday with 53 sailors aboard.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh talked with his Indonesian counterpart on April 22 pledging India’s full support to Indonesia in finding the vessel.

“India is committed to assist our strategic partners during times of need. Please accept my concern and best wishes to a successful rescue,” Singh wrote on Twitter.

The Indian deep submergence rescue vessel was sent onboard its mother ship, Sabarmati, from Visakhapatnam naval base and will take one week to reach Bali.

On 21 April, an alert was received by the Indian navy through the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) regarding the missing Indonesian submarine. The vessel was reportedly exercising in a location 25 miles North of Bali with a crew of 53 personnel, the ministry of defense said in a statement.

According to the Indian navy, India is amongst the few countries in the world capable of undertaking search and rescue of a disabled submarine through a DSRV. The service’s rescue system can locate submarines up to 1000 meters deep utilizing its side scan sonar and remotely operated vehicle. After the submarine is successfully located, the actual rescue vehicle would dock to it and extract trapped personnel.

Under the framework of a 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, reads the MoD statement.

The Indian navy acquired two DSRVs at a cost of $272 million from James Fisher Defence in 2018.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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