What could be the implications of leak?
- The documents were not classified and at this stage appeared to only focus on how the submarines are operated not how they are built and whether they can be detected
- The leak has raised doubts about the security of a separate DCNS submarine project in Australia
- DCNS is locked in exclusive negotiations in Australia after seeing off rivals on a contract to build the Barracuda next generation of submarines
- The leak is cause for alarm not just for India, but also for Malaysia and for Chile, which use a variant of the Scorpene
- Brazil is due to deploy the vessels from 2018
What is India’s response to the leak?
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar sought a report from the navy, adding that it appeared to be a case of hacking
- Defence ministry: Has taken up the matter with the French government after The Australian newspaper splashed a story saying it had obtained more than 22,000 pages of details about the Scorpene submarine
- The documents that have been posted have been examined and do not pose any security compromise as the vital parameters have been blacked out
- DCNS is expected to announce that it will set up a new security committee in Australia to help safeguard against leaks of classified data for the project
- India and France have initiated investigations in the case
Where did the leak originate?
- According to the Australian newspaper, DCNS has implied that the leak may have come from India rather than from France
- The data, however, was thought to have been removed from France in 2011 by a former French navy officer who was, at the time, a subcontractor for DCNS
- The leaks are believed to have passed through companies in Southeast Asia before eventually being mailed to a company in Australia
What are Scorpene submarines?
- The Scorpene-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines
- These submarines, which are designed by a French Company DCNS, are currently being built at a government-run shipyard in Mumbai
- Currently, India has 14 submarines that are all nuclear-powered
- These are Chakra (Akula II) class, Sindhughosh class, and Shishumar class
- Two more submarines are now under construction which are of the Arihant and Kalvari class
What is the Scorpene documents leak all about?
- Context: Documents released by an Australian newspaper about India’s Scorpene submarines have made headlines since it was first uploaded
- Sensitive documents, running into 20,400 pages, include all the details about Indian Navy’s stealth weapons
- These documents also include information on diving depths, range, endurance, and magnetic, electromagnetic and infrared data and details of the weapon systems, like the torpedo launch system, etc.
- Why is this leak a security threat? The documents relate to information about the entire secret combat capability and operating instructions of underwater warfare system of the six Scorpene submarines
- Such information in the hands of the enemy makes it a major security issue for the Indian Navy