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Indian Navy Corner France over Scorpene

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Indian Navy's Scorpene submarine

Navy takes up Scorpene leak issue with French government¬†….reports Asian Lite News

Indian Navy's Scorpene submarine
Indian Navy’s Scorpene submarine

A day after reports that documents related to India’s Scorpene submarine have been leaked, the Indian Navy said the issue has been taken up with the French government, as a high-level committee set up by the Defence Ministry analyses the impact.

In a statement issued in New Delhi, the Indian Navy said the matter has been taken up with the French Director General of Armaments, “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”.

Over 22,000 pages of information were reportedly leaked from DCNS, the French company that designed Scorpene submarines being built in India.

The DCNS, which had on Wednesday issued a statement, said the “serious matter” is being thoroughly investigated by the “proper French national authorities”. It said it had no “additive comments” and was waiting for the result of the investigation.

The extent of information in the documents, their authenticity and potential to cause damage is yet unknown, as their analysis continue. The Indian Navy has, however, said there is “nothing to get alarmed” about, as the specifications in the documents will not be same as in the submarine to be finally manufactured.

An official from the Indian Navy, who did not want to be named, said the specifications in the documents are generic, and each boat has a unique signature that is known only when it is ready and in the waters.

According to sources, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Indian Navy to ask DCNS about the leak.

The statement added that an internal audit of procedures to rule out any security breach is also being undertaken.

“The matter is being taken up with concerned foreign governments through diplomatic channels to verify the authenticity of the reports,” the Indian Navy said.

A high-level committee has been constituted by the Defence Ministry to assess potential impact of the leaked information.

“The government of India, as a matter of abundant precaution, is also examining the impact of 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 navy said.

The statement also ruled out any threat from the documents posted on The Australian newspaper’s website.

“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.”

Parrikar has sought a report on the extent of damage following the leak, which, he said, appeared to be an incident of “hacking”.

 More Leaks

A new set of leaked documents on India’s Scorpene submarines was published by Australian newspaper “The Australian” revealing functional description, including the cylindrical and flank array, sonar interception and a number of other details on the boat.

The document, with “Restricted Scorpene India” written on it, has a System Technical Manual and an Operating Instruction Manual that have crucial details of the combat management system.

While the vital parameters and exact details have been redacted or blacked out, the original documents contain all data.

These details may be put together and make detecting the submarine easier.

The document even gives out the frequency band of the Sonar intercept receiver, distributed array, active array.

Indian Navy has so far maintained that the details would not reveal the final submarine’s signature, as the specifications in the document are generic and each boat has a unique signature that is known only when it is ready and in the waters.

The total leaked documents run over 22,000 pages.

The first set of documents uploaded by “The Australian”, included technical manuals of the boat, as also details like its acoustic signature and levels of noise radiation.

Tracking a submarine involves sophisticated sonar equipment that can detect, classify, locate and track a vessel based on echoes from its hull and the noise it generates.

Hull reflection, radio and radar signals and water pressure can also give away a submarine’s location.

To this extent, the Scorpene’s stealth characteristic is its biggest strength. This has been achieved by modifying its hull and reducing its noise footprint.