- Secret combat capability of 6 Scorpene submarines leaked
- Submarines being built in Mumbai for $3.5 billion with French firm
- Navy says leak happened "outside India", France investigating
More than 22,000 pages list the combat capabilities and other information on the Scorpene submarine and excerpts have been released by The Australian newspaper.
The Scorpenes, being built for 3.5 billion dollars at the state-run Mazagon shipyard, are considered some of the most advanced of their class in the world. They are so silent underwater that they are extremely difficult, if not impossible to detect. But now their sonar capabilities, the noise they generate and details of the combat system they are armed with are totally exposed.
Ship maker DCNS said in a statement that French national security authorities are investigating the size, seriousness and cause of the leak, which, it said, could be part of "an economic war" with competitors who it beat for a massive $38 billion contract in Australia.
"There is India, Australia and other prospects, and other countries could raise legitimate questions over DCNS. It's part of the tools in economic war," said a spokesperson for DCNS quoted by news agency Reuters.
India has a fleet of 13 ageing submarines, only half of which are operational at any time, opening up a major gap with China which is expanding its maritime presence in the Indian Ocean.
The first of the Scorpene class submarines being built in India, the INS Kalvari, took part in sea trials in May and is expected to go into service by the end of the year.