Navy takes up Scorpene document leak wih France's Directorate General of Armament

The Navy has asked the French govt to investigate the incident with urgency and share their findings with our side.

Published: 25th August 2016 03:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2016 03:34 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The Navy today said it has taken up the Scorpene document leak matter with France's Directorate General of Armament and has asked the French government to investigate the incident with urgency and share their findings with the Indian side.

Also Read>> Scorpene submarines data: Leak not from our side, says MDL

An internal audit of procedures to rule out any security compromise is also being undertaken, the Navy said in a statement, a day after it stressed that the leak appears to be "from overseas and not in India".

"The documents that have been posted on the website by an Australian news agency have been examined and do not pose any security compromise as the vital parameters have been blacked out," the Navy said.

Interestingly, The Australian, a newspaper based in Australia, had put out only few of the 22,400 pages that is in its possession. Citing security concerns of India, the paper had itself blackened out vital information.

Officials had yesterday sought to play down the impact of the leak.

They had argued that the leaked documents are outdated technical manuals and don't constitute sensitive information and is very different from specifications of the Scorpene subs being built for India.

In today's statement, the Navy said it has taken up the matter with Directorate General of Armament of the French government expressing concern over this incident and has requested the French government to investigate this incident with urgency and share their findings with the Indian side.

The matter is being taken up with concerned foreign governments through diplomatic channels to verify the authenticity of the reports, it added.

"The government of India, as a matter of abundant precaution, is also examining the impact if the information contained in the documents claimed to be available with the Australian sources is compromised.

"The detailed assessment of potential impact is being undertaken by a high level committee constituted by the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy is taking all necessary steps to mitigate any probable security compromise," the statement by the Navy said.

Defence experts had yesterday raised concerns over the leak, irrespective of the leak compromising Indian security or not.

Defence analyst Commodore Uday Bhaskar (Retd), Director of Society of Policy Studies, had said that if the veracity of the documents is proved then it definitely compromises the Indian platform.

"This is so because the leakage of so much technical details compromises the submarines capability to stay undetected," he said.

Rear Admiral Raja Menon (Retd), a submariner who once headed naval operations, had said the breach of security of data should not have happened.

"The loss of data is a serious issue," he had said.

Since the news broke out, there has been a series of meeting at the Defence Ministry on the issue. The Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and other top officials are briefing Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar regularly.

The Defence Ministry is of the view that if the need be, an Indian team can also be sent abroad to ascertain facts of the leak.

A formal report is expected to be put before Parrikar by mid next month, sources said.

Of the few documents that was put out on the web by the Australian newspaper, some even had Indian Navy insignia on it.

The papers included 'Operating Instructions Manual' of Combat Management System.

It was not immediately clear who was in possession of these document - DCNS, Indian Navy or the MDL.

Security experts said that nobody would know until French and Indian governments along with the companies check on what data they had shared with each other.

After checking all nodes, then only will they be able to find the leak point. Indian agencies will also have to do the same within the system, they said.

The leaked data details the secret stealth capabilities of six new Indian submarines, including what frequencies they gather intelligence at, what levels of noise they make at various speeds and their diving depths, range and endurance — all sensitive information that is highly classified, according to 'The Australian' newspaper.

The data tells the submarine crew where on the boat they can speak safely to avoid detection by the enemy. It also discloses magnetic, electromagnetic and infra-red data as well as the specifications of the submarine’s torpedo launch system and the combat system, it said.

It details the speed and conditions needed for using the periscope, the noise specifications of the propeller and the radiated noise levels that occur when the submarine surfaces.

The data, accessed by the paper, includes 4457 pages on the submarine's underwater sensors, 4209 pages on its above-water sensors, 4301 pages on its combat management system, 493 pages on its torpedo launch system and specifications, 6841 pages on the sub's communications system and 2138 on its navigation system.

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