France assures cooperation after Scorpene data leak

SansadTV Bureau
File photo of Scorpene class submarine. PTI

File photo of Scorpene class submarine. PTI

The French authorities have promised complete cooperation after sensitive files giving out combat details of Scorpene submarines were leaked. France has said that it has taken the issue very seriously.

On Monday India ordered a probe in the matter after reports of the leak shook the Indian defence establishment.

Six Scorpene submarines were being built in collaboration with French naval contractor DCNS. The leak, which runs over 22,000 pages gives out specific details of what the advanced submarine is capable of.

French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler has said that the French authorities were trying to assess the extent, nature and sensitivity of information that may have been leaked.

“Well, I have seen the report in the press. What can I tell you is that the French authorities are taking the matter very very seriously and working very seriously with DCNS, the French ship building company,” Ziegler told reporters in Bengaluru.

“We (French authorities) are trying to assess the extent; the nature; the sensitivity of information that may have been leaked, and we will do work in this… in very very close cooperation (and) with full transparency with Indian authorities,” Ziegler added.

The Scorpenes were being built at the Mazagon dock near Mumbai at a cost of USD 3.5 billion.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the leak of documents detailing the secret combat capabilities of Scorpene-class submarines was a case of hacking.

Parrikar also ordered Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba to thoroughly probe the issue and seek a report from DCNS.

Australian media reported a leak of 22,400 pages that enumerate the submarines designed by DCNS for the Indian Navy.

The details leaked included what frequencies the submarines 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, the Australian report said.

(With inputs from PTI)