A day after thousands of secret files on Scorpene submarine were leaked, the Indian Navy’s internal audit revealed that the leak happened from outside India.
“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,” the Navy said.
The leak appears to be “from overseas and not in India,” confirmed the Navy.
On Monday India ordered a probe in the matter after reports of the leak shook the Indian defence establishment.
The Navy also took up the matter with France’s Directorate General of Armament and asked the French government to investigate the incident with urgency and share its findings with the Indian side.
“The government of India, as a matter of abundant precaution, is also examining the impact if 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,” a statement by the Navy said.
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.
Interestingly, The Australian, a newspaper based in Australia, had put out only few of the 22,400 pages that were in its possession. Citing security concerns of India, the paper claims that it had itself blackened out vital information.
But, defence experts have raised concerns over the leak, irrespective of the leak compromising Indian security or not.
Reports said the leaked details 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 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.
Meanwhile, Opposition pressure continues to mount on the government to clarify on how the leak happened and what impact it has made on the defence establishment.
(With inputs from PTI)