Indonesian Navy Sub Missing off Bali

The admiral quoted seems to be saying that internal waves alone might have caused the loss which may or may not be plausible, I’ve no idea.

If in fact the crew was poorly prepared and the sub had latent problems of some kind it seems possible that an encounter with strong internal waves may have been a factor. It almost certainly wouldn’t’ have helped matters.

Soliton - Wikipedia?

An interesting development:

I had never heard of these forces before, so I have no idea as to how strong they can become. Hence, instant response may not have been good enough, just like instant response in a wind sheer condition often does no good.
I do not recall reading what the reserve buoyancy of these boat is. Another question is do they really have emergency blow in addition to normal MBT blow. If these odd forces put the boat at a steep up or down bubble, blow would not have done any good in the first place. Another question, what are these boats rated for 30 degrees max regarding equipment mountings? Lots of variables here.

I am looking at this China sends salvage vessels to recover sub thing. Why in the world would Indonesia allow that? They need to invite China to pack sand. I don’t agree with submarine salvage in the first place. Rescue if possible, salvage no.

Howdy Steamer,
That boat was what 40 years old? I would have thought max depth had a major down rating. Why in the world was that even in service, they sound like death traps at that age. It sounds like those poor sailors are having the same kind of coverup that all the Russian sub sailors had done to them over the years. That vacuums for sure and for certain.

Not much of the story adds up. If the mission was a torpedo firing exercise the boat would be working shallow and in comms with surface support vessels - remember one of them reported seeing lights on the boat as it submerged so they were very close by - but no comms came from the boat at any time after submerging. At least no comms were mentioned by the navy.

If those amazing subsea waves were strong enough to snatch a boat near the surface you would think something would have been visible on the surface. If the boat experienced a rapid loss of control they would have blown everything except the messcook. It would take a near 180 degree roll to prevent a normal or emergency blow from stopping the descent, consider how far the boat would have to roll to allow air to escape. The only thing that would stop a blow is failure of the blow valves, failure of the vents to shut, or flooding of the control room that was so fast no one could act to blow or to communicate.

No mention has been made about that “subsurface floating object” since the first reports. If it existed it was probably the emergency buoy and was most likely released when the hull broke up. Who knows, nothing has been said since.

It appears that the hydrazine emergency blow system retrofitted to that class of boats by other navies was not purchased by Indonesia. Maybe that is not something they want to talk about because it would be a major embarrassment to some admiral and really get the families upset . Not much about this disaster makes a lot of sense.

what about an up or down bubble rather than a roll? The boats that I rode had a limit on bubbles that we could not survive either by keeping air in the MBTs or machinery on the sound mounts. I have no idea about those kind of boats however.

I don’t know about that class of boat’s max trim limits but if anything like our boats you could do some angles and dangles that required hanging on.

Again though, I don’t buy the complete silence about this disaster. It is hard to believe there were no sonar ears on the surface. An imploding submarine or even one with loose gear tumbling around inside or blowing tanks is not exactly a stealthy event.

1 Like

I am pretty sure there is a major ass-covering and face-saving exercise going on right now. “An invisible underwater wave, that sounds about right” :roll_eyes:

1 Like

Well, perhaps they bought the COVER YOUR FLAG ASS book series from the Russians?

Then again perhaps the entire story about it being a common exercise fish drill is misdirection in the first place. Seems like that would be at PD in the first place, but what the heck, I worked back aft in Disney Land in the first place.

1 Like

I’ve no idea how likely that an internal wave was a factor here but evidently it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibilities.




This video might be of interest to some. If we consider the acoustic data analysis capabilities available in 1968 to what is available today, I think it is safe to assume someone knows exactly what happened to that boat,maybe not why but when and at what depth.

Look up hydroacoustic surveillance and SOSUS for a glimpse into who is listening to the not quite silent world beneath the sea.

1 Like

A couple of my dads pals were on that vessel. Still a mystery as to what happened.

Fortunately it looks like whatever happened was faster than they could wonder WTF?

1 Like

The question is whether they have any sophisticated data analysis capabilities and if so was that in place at that or near that location. Take into account that the Indonesian archipelago is an immense area to cover.

It is stunning to learn from the video that 4 US subs sunk in 1969 within a period of 4 months!?

There are few places in the world where no one is listening.

The arrays shown on the map above are monitored by the US, Japan, India, and Australia. They have very sophisticated assets at their disposal. There are reasons why they might choose not to tell anyone just how sophisticated they are but considering what they finally told us about Scorpion may provide a clue.

Maybe China wants to recover the boat so they can calibrate their own acoustic arrays after examining the sequence of hull collapse and identify sound sources.

The sites where acoustic data was recorded of Scorpion’s demise were thousands of miles away.

1 Like

I was aware of the American SOSUS which was the beginning of a number of ever more sophisticated listening stations. The system was capable of impressive oceanic surveillance with the long ranges made possible by exploiting the deep sound channel, or SOFAR channel. It was implemented as a chain of underwater hydrophone arrays linked by (coax) cable.

The SOFAR channel acts as a waveguide for sound, and low frequency sound waves within the channel may travel thousands of miles before dissipating. It is obvious that the present defense system will be so much more capable of detecting and analyzing sounds. They will have data of this sub imploding and all that. The question is how much they are willing to share such information without giving away details of their state of the art systems.

The SOFAR channel axis is at ca. 750 m depth.

Underwater speed of sound is immense. A speed of 1540 m/s equals 2994 nm/hr.

Yeah, when I was AB on a MSC cable ship the cable used was called Quad 21 or something like that. It was big and heavy like hell, as was the line used to grapple for it.

In Rachel Slade’s book about the El Faro she writes that the impact of the ship hitting bottom was heard on the monitoring station on Andros Island in the Bahamas.