The secret documents are about the $3.5 billion project being handled by French shipbuilder DCNS for the Indian Navy
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has sought a report from the Indian Navy chief following the leak of secret data on the combat capability of the Scorpene-class submarines.
The classified information of the 3.5-billion-dollar project handled by the French shipbuilder DCNS to build submarines for the Indian Navy, has been accessed and reported by the newspaper The Australian.
‘Restricted Scorpion India’- the 22,400 pages of secret document, which can now be accessed online - has information like the stealth capabilities, frequencies at which submarines gather intelligence, the level of noise the subs make at various speed, diving depth, magnetic, electromagnetic and infra-red data and other features.
These submarines are being built at the Mumbai shipyard. The first of the Scorpene class - INS Kalvari, took part in sea trials in May this year and is soon expected to be inducted in the navy.
The Australian reported: “The data on the Scorpene was written in France for India in 2011 and is suspected of being removed from France in that same year by a former French Navy officer who was at that time a DCNS subcontractor. The data is then believed to have been taken to a company in Southeast Asia, possibly to assist in a commercial venture for a regional navy. It is unclear how widely the data has been shared in Asia or whether it has been obtained by foreign intelligence agencies.”
The defence ministry said that the leak took place overseas and not in India. “The available information is being examined at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) and an analysis is being carried out by the concerned specialists,” it said.
The DCNS said it has launched an inquiry “which will determine the precise nature of the documents which have been leaked, the potential damage to our customers as well as those responsible".
Countries like Malaysia, Chile and Brazil are using Scorpene variants. Also, the French company is designing Australia’s submarine fleet worth $50 billion. The leaked document, however, does not contain any information related to the vessels designed for Australia.