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Secret data on Indian Navy Scorpene submarines leaked: Report

 2016-08-24 06:32:48.0

Indian submarines_DCNS_MAZAGON New Delhi:�Australian newspaper on wednesday reported that highly sensitive data dealing at almost every combat capability of India's Scorpene-class submarine, "the most lethal conventional submarine ever contemplated" has been leaked. India has forked over as much as $3.45 billion to French defence contractor DCNS for designing the Scorpene exclusively for India. The leaked documents were marked "Restricted Scorpene India", the Australian newspaper said. Among the 22,400 pages of leaked documents were also thousands of pages on the Scorpene's sensors and thousands more on its communication and navigation systems. As many as 500 pages were on the torpedo launch system alone. The DCNS website says the Scorpene would be "the recipient of France's most sensitive and protected submarine technology and will be the most lethal conventional submarine ever contemplated". The first of the Scorpene -class submarines - being built in India and called Kalvari - underwent sea trials in May this year. It is expected to soon be inducted into the Indian Navy. Indian Navy officials have earlier said that the six submarines, once inducted, would form the core of the Navy's submarine arm for the next two decades. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has sought a report from the Navy on the data leak. "This came to my knowledge at 12 midnight, it is a case of hacking," Parrikar said on Wednesday. "The first step is to identify if it's related to us, and anyway it's not (at) all a 100% leak," he added. Where did the leak originate? France's DCNS said that it was aware of the articles published in the Australian press and that "national security authorities" had launched an inquiry into the matter, without giving details. "This inquiry will determine the precise nature of the documents which have been leaked, the potential damage to our customers as well as those responsible," the French defence contractor said. 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, the newspaper said. "Uncontrolled technical data is not possible in the Australian Arrangements," the company said according to the Australian newspaper's report. "Multiple and independent controls exist within DCNS to prevent unauthorised access to data and all data movements are encrypted and recorded," it said, IANS reported today. "In the case of India, where a DCNS design is built by a local company, DCNS is the provider and not the controller of technical data." Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sought to play down the impact of the leak for Australia. He said while it is a matter "of concern", Australia is somewhat protected because it is buying a different model of the Scorpene. Australia awarded DCNS an Aus$50 billion (US$38 billion) contract last April to design and build its next generation of submarines. "The submarine we are building or will be building with the French is called the Barracuda, quite, completely different submarine to the Scorpene they are building for India. We have the highest security protections on all of our defence information, whether it is in partnership with other countries or entirely within Australia," Turnbull told Channel Seven. 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.

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