• October 1, 2016
    Last updated 13 minutes ago


What the leaked documents contain

How sensitive data made it to public domain

19:35 September 16, 2016

What the leaked documents contain:

1. Stealth capacities of six Scorpene-class submarines being built by French company DCNS at India’s Mazgaon Port in Maharashtra.

2. The frequency of intelligence-gathering activities by these submarines.

3. Diving depths and endurance levels of these submarines.

4. The noise generated by these submarines as they are on the move.

5. Heat signatures of these submarines and their magnetic, electro-magnetic and infra-red data.

6. Specifications of their periscopes.

7. The torpedo-launch system and the overall combat system of these submarines.

8. Specifications of the noise generated by the propellers.

9. Specifications of the noise generated by these submarines when they surface on the water.

-- Source: The Australian

The fallout:

1. Apart from the six Scorpene-class submarines currently being built by DCNS in India, New Delhi had plans to order three more of these state-of-the-art naval vessels. However, India’s Defence Ministry and top naval officials have confirmed that there will be no new orders issued to DCNS in light of the recent leakage of sensitive data.

2. Sensitive details of DCNS’s deals with Chilean and Malaysian navies have also been compromised. It is quite likely that these deals may either be scratched or truncated in some form.

3. DCNS also had plans to sell Mistral-class assault ship-carriers to Russia. The future of that deal also hangs in the balance.

4. The United States was supposed to sell its stealth technology to France, to be fitted in the French Shortfin Barracuda vessels. Now that a French company, DCNS, is in the eye of a major storm over breach of security in handling sensitive defence data, Washington may have second thoughts about handing over a coveted piece of stealth technology to France.

-- SKD

The leak trail

How sensitive data made it to public domain:

1. Sensitive technical data on the Scorpene class submarines for India documented in France in 2011

2. A former French naval officer, who was then working as a subcontractor with French company DCNS -- builders of the Scorpene class submarines in India -- reportedly removed the data in 2011.

3. The technical details were then believed to have been transmitted to a southeast Asian country – probably for a commercial venture.

4. The data was then reportedly transmitted by a third party to a second company, also in southeast Asia.

5. The technical details were then forwarded from this company, on a data disk, to Australia by ordinary mail!

6. The Australian newspaper got access to reams of sensitive data and confirmed that the technical details were not just limited to the submarines being built by DCNS in India, but also contained vital information on DCNS’s plans to sell French frigates to Chile and France’s sale of Mistral-class amphibious assault ship carriers to Russia.

Defence analysts believe that a huge sum of money must have changed hands before the data was finally allowed into public domain.

-- SKD

“Leak of information related to Scorpene submarine is a matter of serious concern.”

-- Admiral Sunil Lanba, Indian Naval Chief

“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.”

-- Manohar Parrikar, India’s Defence Minister

“It [the leak of information on Scorpene] is a reminder that, particularly in this digital world, cybersecurity is of critical importance.”

-- Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister

“In the case of India, where a DCNS design is built by a local company, DCNS is the provider and not the controller of technical data.”

-- A DCNS source to the Australian newspaper