Scorpene leak: Data includes details on missile likely to be used

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Leaked documents on the Scopene submarine include details of the capabilities of the SM.39 anti-ship missile expected to be used on the submarine, The Australian has said in its latest report.

Cameron Stewart, the journalist who broke the story of leak of French company DCNS’s documents, also said in the latest report that the firm is threatening legal action against the newspaper to prevent further publication of information.

The report comes a day after Stewart tweeted he will publish the documents with weapon information.

“India’s Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, who has ordered an investigation of the leak, has tried to allay fears of the damage, saying the leak was most likely ‘not a big worry’ because the data did not contain weapons system details. However, the leaked secret data seen by The Australian includes details of the capabilities of the SM39 anti-ship missile expected to be used on the Scorpene,” said his story in The Australian.

“The data includes the number of targets the missile is capable of processing, its launch details and how many targets could be downloaded before firing,” the report said.

The Scorpenes, with six torpedo launching tubes, are to be armed with SM-39 Exocet missiles, a sea-skimming, solid fueled, anti-ship missile with an operational range up to 180 km and terminal active radar homing.

The report also said the DCNS is threatening the newspaper of legal action.

“The French shipbuilder at the centre of a global submarine data leak scandal is threatening legal action today to prevent further publication of the information contained in 22,400 secret documents obtained by The Australian.”

The report said lawyers for DCNS have told The Australian the company will seek an injunction in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on Monday to prevent further publication of documents.

It added that DCNS is also seeking a court order to force the newspaper to hand over the documents and remove them from its website.

“The publication of this highly valuable document causes a direct harm to DCNS and its customer in terms of spread of sensitive and restricted information, image and reputation,” The Australian quotes an affidavit by DCNS’s lawyer Justine Munsie as saying.

Around 22,400 pages of data was leaked from DCNS, which contains critical information of India’s Scorpene submarines. The Indian Navy has however maintained that the information is not alarming, as the real signature of the under trial first boat, as well as others, is yet to be finalised.

Parrikar, on Friday had said the leaked documents do not contain information on the weapons systems.

–IANS

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