India naval chief blames France for submarine data leak

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2016, 10:11pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2016, 10:52pm

A massive leak of secret technical data on Scorpene-class submarines did not originate in India

but in France, Delhi’s naval chief said on Saturday, pointing to initial probe findings.

Some 22,400 pages of classified documents detailing the combat capabilities of the subs made by French defence contractor DCNS for the Indian navy were leaked to an Australian newspaper last month.

[The] preliminary probe in the case has found that the leak did not take place in India but at DCNS office in France
India’s naval chief Sunil Lanba

DCNS has implied that the leak may have come from India but the initial findings of a probe set up by Delhi suggest a different conclusion.

The “preliminary probe in the case has found that the leak did not take place in India but at DCNS office in France”, India’s naval chief Sunil Lanba said, according to the Press Trust of India.

“In France, DCNS and the French government have launched an inquiry. Based on this inquiry, we will see what needs to be done,” he added. The leaked documents included thousands of pages on the

submarine sensors and communication and navigation systems, as well as nearly 500 pages on the torpedo launch system alone.

The Australian newspaper said in its earlier report that the sensitive data was thought to have been removed from France in 2011 by a former French naval officer who at the time was a subcontractor for DCNS. It said the data was believed to have passed through firms in Southeast Asia before eventually being mailed to a company in Australia.

Indian submarine documents were stolen by disgruntled ex-worker, not leaked, says French naval contractor

The submarines are also used by Malaysia and Chile, and soon Brazil will launch a fleet.

Australia has also tapped DCNS, inking a deal in April worth A$50 billion (HK$291 billion) for the design and construction of its next generation of submarines.