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Indian Navy seems to have suffered a huge setback after more than 22,000 pages of secret data related to the six Scorpene-class submarines being made by the French company DCNS in India was leaked, “The Australian” newspaper reported. The leaked data gives away the entire secret combat and performance capabilities of these submarines, and will completely negate their operational usefulness if China and Pakistan get access to the same.
India is currently building six Scorpene-class submarines, named Project 75, in partnership with the French company DCNS under a $3.5-billion deal signed in 2005. These submarines are being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai, and the first of them, INS Kalvari, is likely to be inducted later this year.
“The Australian” also claims that the data was most probably leaked not from India but from DCNS in France as it also includes separate confidential DCNS files on plans to sell French frigates to Chile and the French sale of the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship carrier to Russia. These DCNS projects have no link to India, giving credence to the probability that the data files were removed from DCNS in France.
The data on the Scorpene submarines, “The Australian” claims, 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.
According to “The Australian”, it was subsequently passed by a third party to a second company in the region before being sent on a data disk by regular mail to a company in Australia. It is unclear, the paper says, how widely the data has been shared in Asia or whether it has been obtained by foreign intelligence agencies.
If the secret data was indeed leaked from France, this is bound to strain India’s defence relationship with France. India is expected to sign a deal for 36 Rafale fighter aircraft with France shortly, and that could be under a cloud following this revelation.
The leaked documents marked “Restricted Scorpene India”, which have been put up by the Australian newspaper on its website, has the secret stealth capabilities of the six submarines, including the frequencies they gather intelligence at, the levels of noise they make at various speeds and their diving depths, range and endurance. This is highly classified information which allows the submarine to perform its designated role without being detected by the enemy.
According to “The Australian”, the data includes 4457 pages on the submarine’s underwater sensors, 4209 pages on its above-water sensors, 4301 pages on its combat management system, 493 paes on its torpedo launch system and specifications, 6841 pages on the submarine’s communications system and 2138 pages on its navigation systems.