Expressing concern over reports of data leak pertaining to Indian Navy’s Scorpene submarines, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi today said, “This is a matter of grave concern for us, for the nation as a whole. I hope that the government does a thorough probe into the nature of the data leak and how it occurred.” “This is not a matter of whether data on one submarine has been leaked or not. The point is how can such a data leak occur? It is a serious matter of national security, and the government owes a proper explanation on this and the strictest possible punishment should be ordered,” he said.
In what could be a major setback for India’s defence capabilities, reports suggest that France’s DCNS suffered a huge data leak with regards to Indian Navy’s six Scorpene-class submarines that the defence major is manufacturing. According to a report in The Australian, the data was leaked in France in 2011.
22,000 pages of documents are reported to have been leaked, containing detailed information on the combat capabilities of the submarines for Indian Navy. Reuters reported a DCNS spokesperson as saying, “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.” 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, Reuters has said.
Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) is making these submarines under Project 75 in collaboration with DCNS. The first of the six submarines, Kalvari, is scheduled to be inducted in the Indian Navy by the end of this year. The Scorpene submarines pack a potent punch, according to previous statements of the Indian Navy. 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.