In what could have major security implications, France’s DCNS has suffered a major data leak pertaining to combat capability of the Scorpene submarines that it is making for the Indian Navy. According to reports, around 22,000 pages of data have been leaked. The documents are said to outline the secret combat capability of the six Scorpene submarines for the Indian Navy. The Australian has reported that the leak occurred way back in France in 2011. The details in the documents that have been leaked will create strategic problems for India, Malaysia and Chile, all of which operate the same submarine.
The leaked data includes highly sensitive details of the submarine including technical manuals and models of the boat’s antennae. It also gives elaborate details on the secret stealth capabilities of such as frequencies they gather intelligence at, range and endurance, what levels of noise they make at various speeds and their diving depths. All this is highly classified and sensitive information. Apart from this, the documents also disclose the magnetic, electromagnetic and infra-red data. Specifications of the submarine’s torpedo launch system and the combat system have also been revealed. And it doesn’t end at this! The report also states that the speed and conditions needed for using periscope, the noise specifications of the propeller and the radiated noise levels that occur when the submarine surfaces, have also been leaked.
“As a serious matter pertaining to the Indian Scorpene programme, French national authorities for defence security will formally investigate and determine the exact nature of the leaked documents,” a DCNS spokeswoman said in a statement. India on its part has clarified that the data leak did not occur on its end. “It appears that the source of leak is from overseas and not in India,” the Indian Navy said in a statement. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has ordered an investigation into the nature of the leak, and has asked the Indian Navy chief to analyse the implications for India’s defence capabilities.
Also read: Scorpene data leak: Security implications and why ‘Make in India’ becomes even more important
India’s first Scorpene-class submarine, Kalvari, began sea trials in May this year. Kalvari is the first of the Indian Navy’s Scorpene class stealth submarines being built under the Project 75. The submarines are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with France’s DCNS. The Scorpene submarines would pack a potent punch. Kalvari would be equipped with anti-ship missiles and long range guided torpedoes along with modern sensor suite. A technology, called air independent propulsion system, will ensure that it stays underwater longer. Scorpene submarines are 67 meters long, 6.2 meters wide, and have 1,550 tones displacement. Even though it is powered by diesel, the 67-metre long submarine having 6.2 metre diameter has been designed to minimise noise and act with stealth in war theatres.