New Delhi: The secret combat capabilities of India’s new Scorpene-class submarines designed by French shipbuilder DCNS for the Indian Navy have been leaked, a report says.
The Australian reported documents totalling 22,400 pages have been leaked and could prove to be a blessing for India’s rivals such as Pakistan and China.
The Scorpene submarines, which are being built in Mumbai at a cost of USD 3.5 billion, are said to be some of the most advanced submarines in their class.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar admitted that a leak had taken place. Calling it a case of hacking, he said the first step was to ‘identify if it is related to us’. But he claimed that all documents related to the submarine had not been leaked. Parrikar added the Navy chief has been asked to analyse what exactly has been leaked.
Meanwhile, a Navy statement said the source of the leak appears to be outside India. DCNS has blamed the Indian side for the leak, said the report, claiming that such a breach of technical data could not happen from France.
The leak includes details of the submarines’ underwater sensors, above-water sensors, combat management system, torpedo launch system and specifications, communications system and navigation systems.
The Australian reported it had seen 4,457 pages on the Scorpene’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 and specifications, 6,841 pages on the communications system and 2,138 on its navigation systems.
The first of the Scorpene class submarines, Kalvari, went for trial in May 2016 and is expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy soon. The induction is already four years behind schedule.
Indian Navy officials say the six submarines, once inducted, would form the core of the Navy’s submarine arm for the next two decades.
The leak will also cause alarm at the highest level in countries that operate a variant of the Scorpene, or have ordered the submarine, including Malaysia, Chile and Brazil, said The Australian.