21 October 2016
The Scorpene submarine data leak to The Australian newspaper in August was allegedly carried out by sources linked to German defence firm ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), French investigators have found. Reporting the findings, French newspaper Le Monde said the data leak was driven by a competition between TKMS and French firm DCNS. The two companies were competing for export of submarines to various countries.
DCNS CEO Hervé Guillou said that the Scorpion leak has not dented the confidence of India confidence in his company. “I went to the Indian authorities for reassurance. We formed a group working on the issue with them,” Guillou told Le Monde.
However, IE reported sources in the Indian defence ministry as saying that Manohar Parrikar, Union Defence Minister, did not meet Guillou or any other DCNS official in the last few weeks. The sources dismissed it as “a matter of corporate rivalry” and refused to comment further.
At a time when the French and German companies are competing to get the Project 75-I programme of the Indian Navy, the report on French investigations gains significance. As part of the Project 75-I, the contracted company would construct six submarines under ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Modi government.
The Australian had published online excerpts of 22,400 documents related to the Scorpene submarine being made under Project-75 at Mazagon Docks Limited in Mumbai on August 24.