India

India: Scorpene submarine data leak 'no security threat'

This file handout photo taken and released by The Indian Navy on May 1, 2016 shows India's Scorpene Class Submarine INS Kalvari taking part in its maiden sea trials off the coast of Mumbai Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Scorpene-class INS Kalvari recently began maiden sea trials off the coast of Mumbai

India has said that a massive data leak from French shipbuilder DCNS of submarines designed for India's navy did not "pose any security compromise".

The leak of more than 22,000 pages exposes secrets about the combat capabilities of Scorpene-class vessels.

The confidential documents were made public by the Australian media.

India signed a $3.5bn (£2.6bn, €3.1bn) deal for six Scorpene vessels in 2005. They are being built in cooperation with a state-owned Mumbai shipbuilder.

France was asked to investigate the data leak to an Australian website and share its findings with the Indian side. It is not clear who first obtained the confidential documents.

"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," a government statement on Thursday said.

"As a matter of abundant precaution" India is also "examining the impact [it would have] if the information contained in the documents claimed to be available with the Australian sources is compromised", the statement added.

On Thursday evening, The Australian newspaper uploaded on its website a new set of documents detailing the submarine's "underwater warfare system", the Press Trust of India reported.

Defence expert Uday Bhaskar told The Hindu newspaper the document seems "like an instruction manual and does not show any significant addition to what has already been released".

"This does not add to any higher degree of vulnerability than earlier but it shows the level of documentation available in the public," he said.

Earlier this year, DCNS also won Australia's largest-ever defence contract to build a fleet of advanced submarines.

Details about the Shortfin Barracuda submarine class that will be built for Australia were not contained in the leak.

The Scorpene submarines are small-to-intermediate size vessels currently in use in Malaysia and Chile. Brazil is due to deploy the submarine type in 2018.

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