New Delhi: An the Indian Navy continues to probe the extent of threat to its security, a report suggested that a former French naval officer may be responsible for the leak of sensitive data related to Scorpene submarine.
A report by 'The Australian' suggested that the former French naval officer, in question, was working as a sub-contractor for the DCNS – the French company – and he might be behind the leak of the sensitive data which were written in France in 2011.
The French firm had initially suggested the leak might be at the Indian end, saying it supplies but does not control access to technical data.
The leak has hit the Indian Navy hard, which had commissioned the French Scorpene submarine barely a few months back.
The Indian Navy, which is now probing the extent of threat to its security after thousands of secret pages carrying combat details of the new boat popped up in public domain in an expose by The Australian newspaper, has termed it a matter of grave concern.
However, it maintained that the documents that have surfaced till now are technical features and not operational details implying that it can cope up with the grave breach of confidentiality.
Submarine operations are married to the principles of stealth and reams of data in public domain can jeopardise security as the rival navies - particularly that of China and Pakistan - now have access to the information on a platter.
Navy's world over are extremely secretive about its submarines and intricate details of India's latest Scorpene has gone public even before its operational deployment.
The Navy, which is still in the process of gathering all the 22,000 pages said to have been leaked, asserted that India was not the source of the breach.
It has now put the onus on the French company DCNS, which was building the six submarines at Mumbai's Mazgaon Dock Limited under a $3.5 billion transfer of technology contract to explain the leak.
The leak is also likely to damage the reputation of DCNS as a credible defence partner as it faled to maintain secrecy about the Indian project.
Meanwhile, leading opposition leaders have termed leak of sensitive data as various serious issue and demanded an explanation from the NDA government.
Scorpene submarine classifide data leak is a very serious issue which shows that our Defence Ministry is not vigilant.
— SHARAD YADAV (@SharadYadavMP) August 25, 2016
In Scorpene submarine leak responsibility should be fixed and govt should tell how it is going to mitigate the damage done.
— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) August 25, 2016