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11:30 AM, September 5, 2016
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DCNS To Lose Additional Three Submarine Order From India
DCNS To Lose Additional Three Submarine Order From India

DCNS is unlikely to garner a proposed order for additional three new submarines from India apart from existing deal for six already being built in the country after sensitive data leak that happened last month.

On August 24, this year, a tranche of 22,000 odd documents of the Indian Navy’s $3.9 billion Scorpene submarine project carrying sensitive data relating to the submarines’ intelligence gathering frequencies, diving depth, endurance and weapons specifications ended up in public domain.

DCNS will now lose $2 billion worth of orders for additional three submarines as per the earlier deal with India. Not just this, DCNS might also lose on the much awaited Air Independent Propulsion system enabled submarines. The Indian Navy is to float a $12 billion tender next year for the purchase of six AIP-enabled subs under Project P 75I.

DCNS earlier last month had proposed for 100 percent foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India for introducing new submarine technology and establish a fully-owned subsidiary in India has hit a roadblock after the Indian defense ministry rejected it.

The government does not consider AIP to be a new technology.

This is because, the company is already using this technology in collaboration with Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in developing the Scorpene-class submarines with Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Businessline had reported quoting officials as saying.

DCNS had offered to build three more submarines to help India replace its ageing Soviet-era fleet, and had held talks over the past year, two Indian sources were quoted as saying by Reuters Monday.

That offer will not now be taken up, according to the officials.

"We had an agreement for six, and six it will remain," a defence ministry official briefed on the navy's plans told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A spokesman of the Indian Navy confirmed that the orders would not be placed for three more submarines.

"Indian has ordered only six Scorpene submarines and orders have not been placed for three more as reported by some media. Therefore question of cancellation does not arise," the spokesman said

A navy officer said there had been a serious breach of data and the navy's efforts were focused on determining the damage done to the existing submarines.

"No order will be signed, nothing is going to happen now," the officer, who is also been briefed on the submarine data leak, said when asked if the government planned to enlarge the order.

The Defence Ministry has written to DCNS asking for details about the extent of the leak and how data relating to the Scorpene's intelligence gathering frequencies, diving depth, endurance and weapons specifications had ended up in the public domain, both officials said.

A naval group headed by a three-star admiral is looking at altering some features of the submarine, the first of which began sea trials in May for induction later this year, to minimise any damage.

The remaining five are in various stages of production at state-run Mazgaon Docks shipyard in Mumbai and they were all due to enter service by 2020.

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