More data on Scorpene submarines leaked after India says documents do not pose security risk
The Centre has ordered an internal inquiry and asked the French government to also look into the breach.
Soon after Indian Navy officials on Thursday said the data leaked on India’s Scorpene submarines do not pose a security risk, more information from the 22,000-pages leaked was published by The Australian. The new details provide information on the submarine’s sonar system and weapons operations, reported The Times of India.
On Thursday, the Indian Navy had said the documents that reportedly revealed classified information on the combat capabilities of the country's Scorpene submarines did not compromise security because all crucial parameters regarding the vessels had been censored. More than 22,000 pages of top secret data on the submarines, designed by French defence contractor DCNS, had been leaked, The Australian had reported.
The navy is also conducting an internal audit to eliminate the possibility of any security compromise. The Director General for Armament of France took up the matter after they were requested to give the investigation priority and share their findings with India, according to a spokesperson for the navy, ANI reported. DCNS is also conducting an internal inquiry and reportedly focusing its investigation on ex-employees and sub-contractors from the project.
A high-level committee set up by the Defence Ministry is assessing the potential impact there might be if the information contained in the documents is compromised. Defence Minister Manohar Parikar had ordered an investigation into the matter soon after he learned of the documents. Within a day, an inquiry concluded that the information was not shared from India, according to NDTV.
DCNS had said the data leak may have been part of an economic warfare strategy against the defence contractor. India had ordered six Scorpene submarines worth $3 billion (Rs 20,000 crore approximately). The first batch had begun undergoing trials in May, and the first of the submarines – INS Kalvari – was expected to be inducted in the navy in November.
The foreign governments concerned are also looking into the alleged data leak through diplomatic channels to ascertain the authenticity of the reports shared by the Australian news agency. The security of a number of countries, like Malaysia and Chile, who use a variant of the Scorpene, as well as Brazil, was believed to be at risk as a result of the data leak.