1 September 2016
According to The Australian, the leak details the entire secret combat capability of the six Scorpene-class submarines that French shipbuilder DCNS has designed for the Indian Navy. The manufacturer said the leak could be the work of competitors who it beat for the large Australian contract.
The Advertiser notes that DCNS is preparing to replicate its Cherbourg shipyard in France to build Australia's fleet of 12 Shortfin Barracuda vessels.
While India is said to be investigating the leak, Uday Bhaskar, a former naval officer, told Reuters that if established, it would significantly compromise the credibility of the Scorpene submarines. "However, in the case of Australia, DCNS is both the provider and in-country controller of technical data for the full chain of transmission and usage over the life of the submarines", DCNS was quoted as saying by The Daily. The data leak reported by The Australian pertains to these very submarines.
A company spokeswoman said: "Competition is getting tougher and tougher, and all means can be used in this context".
The French manufacturer has said the leak could have been the result of "economic wars" with competitors miffed at it landing a 12-submarine deal with Australia for almost $38 billion.
Shipmaker DCNS said in a statement that French national security authorities are investigating the size, seriousness and cause of the leak.
The government says these are completely different to the Indian submarines.
Defence Minister Manohar Parikar had ordered an investigation into the matter soon after he learned of the documents.
"The leaked documents describe the combat capability of six submarines". The first boat, dubbed Kalvari, is expected to enter service this year; the remaining five should be delivered by 2020.
DCNS initially suggested the leak might be at the Indian end, but the data leaked also relates to the French firm's plans to sell frigates to Chile and an amphibious ship to Russian Federation, the report said.
"What I understand is there is a hacking", he said without giving details. "So we will find out all this", Parrikar told newspersons in Delhi. "Maybe we need to make some changes in the design", he said. Also, the French company is designing Australia's submarine fleet worth $50 billion.
"The Government of India, as a matter of abundant precaution, is also examining the impact if the information contained in the documents claimed to be available with the Australian sources is compromised".