CANBERRA: India may have a suffered a huge strategic setback, particularly on the naval front. Some 22,400 pages of data related to the six Scorpene-class submarines that the French government-owned company DCNS was building for the Indian Navy has been leaked, The Australian reported on Aug. 24. “The stunning leak- details the entire secret combat capability of the six Scorpene-class submarines..,” the report said.

Nevertheless, India’s naval strategies may suffer grievously following this development, particularly if the leaked documents are made available to India’s rivals Pakistan and China.

The leaked documents list out the frequencies at which the submarines gather intelligence and the levels of noise the subs make at various speeds, the news report said. They also contain information on the submarine’s diving depths, range, and endurance, besides its magnetic, electromagnetic, and infrared data.

India is currently building six Scorpene-class submarines in partnership with DCNS. The project, named Project 75, is being executed by the government-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai. The Indian government had signed the $3.5-billion deal with DCNS in 2005.

The first of the six submarines, INS Kalvari, is likely to be inducted into the Indian Navy by the end of 2016. The remaining is likely to be delivered by 2020.

“Marked ‘Restricted Scorpene India’, the DCNS documents detail the most sensitive combat capabilities of India’s new $US3 bn submarine fleet and would provide an intelligence bonanza if obtained by India’s strategic rivals, such as Pakistan or China,” the report said.

DCNS also won a bid in April to design Australia’s new $50 billion submarine fleet, and the report said the leak could affect the security of top-secret data on the submarines. DCNS, which is two-thirds owned by the French government, will design 12 new submarines for Australia.