6 Scorpene subs' documents leaked

6 Scorpene subs' documents leaked

Navy chief to probe, submit report

6 Scorpene subs' documents leaked

The leakage of 22,400 pages of classified documents on India’s six Scorpene submarines set alarm bells ringing in the Indian Navy and the defence ministry on Wednesday.

For, the pages contain sensitive information on the operation of these submarines – the first of which is almost ready for deployment.

The documents, made public by The Australian newspaper, which blackened out some of the data, gave away technical specifications on many combat capabilities of the submarines, which are being constructed at the Mazagon Dock in Mumbai in collaboration with the French company DCNS.

The details included information like at what frequencies the submarines gather intelligence, what levels of noise they make at various speeds as well as the diving depths, range and endurance of these boats.

The cache includes 4,457 pages on the submarine’s underwater sensors, 4,209 pages on its above-water sensors, 4,301 pages on its combat management system, 493 pages on its torpedo launch system, 6,841 pages on the submarine’s communications system and 2,138 pages on its navigation systems, according to the report. The documents also contain data on where inside the submarine the crew can speak safely to avoid detection by the enemy. Moreover, it discloses magnetic, electromagnetic and infra-red data as well as the specifications of the submarine’s torpedo launch system and combat system.

Marked ‘Restricted Scorpene India’, these pages could turn out to be an intelligence bonanza for India’s strategic rivals like Pakistan and China.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who said he got to know about the leak on Tuesday midnight, asked Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba to look into the issue and submit a report.

The maritime service has also been asked to contact the DCNS to find out the seriousness of the leakage, defence ministry sources said.

“The available information is being examined at the Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy), and an analysis is being carried out by the specialists concerned,” a defence ministry spokesperson said. The analysts will also check whether the leaked data contains information on the submarine's 'audio signature' - the most crucial information on the underwater boats.

Later in the day, Parrikar met ministry and Navy officials and took stock of the situation. Talking to reporters, he said, “What I understand is there is a hacking. So, we will find out all this.” The spokesperson also pointed out that the source of the leak is from overseas and not in India.

France factor

According to the report, the data on the Scorpene project was written in France for India in 2011 and is suspected of being removed in the 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.

In a statement, the company said, “This serious matter will be thoroughly investigated by the proper French national authorities for defence security. This investigation will determine the exact nature of the leaked documents, the potential damage to DCNS customers as well as the responsibilities for this leakage.”

THE LEAK CONTAINS DATA ON: 

Signal gathering frequencies
Level of noise they make at various speeds
Diving depths and range
Endurance of these boats
Underwater sensors,
Above-water sensors
Combat management system
Torpedo launch system and specifications
Communications system
Navigation systems
Safe place for the crew to talk avoiding detection


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