'Scorpene leak: data does not include details of weapon system'

'Scorpene leak: data does not include details of weapon system'

 The leaked data on Scorpene submarines does not contain any information on the boat’s weapon system as details of those contracts are not available with DCNS—the French firm, which is at the receiving end of the raging data leak controversy, Defence Ministry sources assured on Friday.

The Rs 18,798 crore contract to licence-produce six Scorpene submarines in Mumbai’s Mazgaon dock was realised through six separate commercial contracts signed in 2005, including one with another French firm MDBA, to supply the Exocet missiles.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too emphasised that the leaked documents didn’t have information on the underwater boat’s weapon system.

“We are not worried about the leak on the website. Our submarine has not done any operation sea trial. We do (weapon) integration of our own. Navy has assured me that most of the things are not of concern,” Parrikar said here on the sidelines of a function.

But Australian journalist Cameron Stewart, who reported the leak for the daily The Australian, has challenged Parrikar claiming that the 22,400 leaked pages of information also contain data on the weapon system. The journalist, however, contended that the newspaper would not put out any information on its website, which would harm India’s national security.

Defence Ministry sources insisted that the leaked information is commercial in nature and is likely to be made available to any country by the manufacturers. For instance if China or Pakistan wanted technical information on a particular type of sonar, all they have to do is to float a Request for Information so that the firms can provide them the data. Sources said the information appears to be about five to six years old, when the French-origin submarine’s production system was not populated with adequate data, which are of operational relevance.

“Even now the documentation on the first Scorpene submarine – to be named INS Kalvari post commissioning – is incomplete. It would be finished six months after the trial. The trials are being conducted by the Indian Navy and the operational data is safe and secure,” said a source.

Whistleblower to hand over disc

The ‘whistleblower’ behind the Scorpene document leak will hand over the disc containing thousands of pages of data detailing the Indian submarine’s stealth and warfare capabilities, to the Australian government on Monday, The Australian newspaper on Friday said, PTI reports from New Delhi.

It said that the identity of the unnamed whistleblower is already known to the Australian authorities. The weekend edition of the newspaper said that neither France nor India knew about the leak till Monday afternoon when it sought a comment from French firm DCNS.

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