Leak no big worry? Just you wait, says scribe

Parrikar downplays Scorpene scandal but admits ‘pockets of concern’; Oz journalist warns there’s more in store

Published: 27th August 2016 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2016 05:38 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Playing down the Scorpene submarine leak, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that it was “not a big worry”, but admitted there were a few pockets of concern and the Ministry was assessing the “worst case scenario”.

Also Read: Scorpene leak may be more of incompetence than espionage

Parrikar claimed that the leaked documents put out on the website of The Australian do not include information on any of the weaponry systems of Scorpene-class subs as reported by the media, but soon after the comment, the reporter who broke the story contested the claim and said the media house would release more documents by Monday.

Describing Parrikar’s stand, sources within the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said 90 per cent of the leaked documents, so far, had only commercial and contractual details and a high level committee in the Navy had been set up to look into the matter. Indian officials are waiting for a report from French authorities probing the case to decide the future course of action.

Supporting Parrikar’s stand, ministry sources added that the submarine’s operational capability, which is the key for underwater warfare, has not been compromised. Sources also said there were several Indian systems and components which will be plugged into the submarime and are not a part of the manufacturer's manual. “Navy has assured me that most of the leaked documents are not of concern,” Manohar Parrikar said.

The minister also said that Scorpene submarine had not even fully completed sea trials, which is important to understand how it will work under water. “Weapon system agreements are with weapon manufacturers and they are separate agreements. Secondly, all submarines have so far not done sea trials. Therefore, the most important signature (movement of the submarine) does not form part of the documents.The most important aspect is that we do our integration through our technical capability,” he said.

“We are waiting for the report. Basically, what is on the website is not of big concern. We are assuming, on our own, that this has leaked and we are taking all precautions,” the Defence Minister said.

“What I am given to understand that there are few pockets of concern assuming that what is claimed to have been leaked has leaked actually. We are going by assumption of the worst case scenario. I think there is not big worry because we will be able out put things in right perspective,” Parrikar added.

When asked if the French manufacturer should have informed India about the leak which is said to have happened in 2011, Parrikar said the government would wait for an official reply from the firm.  When asked how alarmed he was, he said, “If you ask me, I have always expressed my concern until a solution has been found. But the navy has assured me.”

Meanwhile, the Navy has taken up the matter with French Directorate General of Armament.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp