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DCNS submarine program for India springs a huge leak

There are reports today of a 22,400-page leak of details on submarines designed by DCNS – which will design Australia’s upcoming submarines – for the Indian navy.

The Australian reports that it has obtained thoroughly detailed data on the Scorpene class vessels by the French company, including 4457 pages on underwater sensors, 4209 on above-water sensors, 4301 on the combat management system, 493 on the torpedo launch system, 6841 on the communications system, and 2138 on the navigation systems.

The classified information ranges from the frequency at which intelligence is gathered at to noise levels at certain speeds.

The stealth of DCNS’s design for Australia’s competitive evaluation process is believed to be a major reason it was successful over German and Japanese bids. If such information on Australia’s upcoming submarines was to be leaked, it would severely compromise any such stealth advantage for intelligence gathering.

The news will also be of concern to the United States, which is likely to provide the combat systems for Australia’s new submarines.

The Advertiser notes that DCNS is preparing to replicate its Cherbourg shipyard in France to build Australia’s fleet of 12 Shortfin Barracuda vessels.

It is not completely clear who is responsible for the dump of information. The French company claims that it occurred at India’s end, while the report in The Australian suggests it could be sourced back to an ex-French navy officer who has acted as a subcontractor for DCNS.

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