India has began multiple investigations to determine the extent of damage caused by the reported massive leak of secret data detailing the combat and stealth capabilities of the Indian Navy’s soon-to-be-inducted Scorpene submarines.
The government thinks that the leak of the detailed plans for the stealth submarines of the Indian Navy, built by the French military manufacturer DCNS (in which the French government has majority stakes), is a matter of serious concern.
'The Australian' newspaper on Thursday uploaded a fresh tranche of leaked documents relating to information about operating instructions of underwater warfare system of the six Scorpene submarines which are being built in India by French firm DCNS.
DCNS is helping India build six Scorpene submarines under a Rs 23,562-crore ($3.5 billion) deal.
More than 22,000 pages of information relating to Scorpene submarines were made public by The Australian newspaper.
France and India played down the security risk posed by leaked data that a source told Reuters was probably stolen by a French former employee and that has raised concerns over a $38 billion contract with Australia.
The navy, however, said in a statement, “The documents that have been posted on the website by an Australian news agency have been examined and do not pose any security compromise as the vital parameters have been blacked out.” The statement was issued before the second set of documents was uploaded.
“It is not a leak, it is theft,” a source said. “We have not found any DCNS negligence, but we have identified some dishonesty by an individual.”
India is not the only one affected by the confidentiality breach. The Scorpene, made by French firm, DCNS, is currently being used by Malaysia and Chile, and Brazil is also due to deploy the sub in 2018.
In 2002, Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), Mumbai, was identified as the yard to construct the French-designed Scorpene submarines under Project 75 after successful completion of negotiations with the French company DCNS.
The $ 3.5 bn-deal was eventually signed in 2005 under which DCNS would transfer technology and train personnel at MDL to construct the submarines. The agreement also included the training of Indian Navy personnel in operating and maintaining these submarines.