The leak of sensitive information about the Indian Scorpene submarines program was done from an office in Adelaide which is believed to be South Australian crossbench senator Nick Xenophon’s electorate office, an Australian newspaper reports.
Former submariner turned political staffer Rex Patrick, an adviser to Xenophon, has been identified as the source of information for a front page newspaper story in August that triggered an international furore that embarrassed India and the French government-owned submarine builder DCNS, Sydney Morning Herald reports quoting an investigation done by Fairfax Media.
The leak of thousands of pages of information included stealth capabilities and sensitive data related to diving, sonar, noise and the combat system.
According to the report, it was revealed that Senate fully supported his staffer who alerted the media organisation to its existence along with a few redacted sample pages to prove the breach was real.
An investigation has also discovered Mr Patrick tried to tell the Department of Defence in 2013 that DCNS had suffered the major data breach, but the senior navy officer he spoke to did not act on the information.
In August, The Australian revealed details on the leak which contained the entire secret combat capability of the six Scorpene-class submarines that French shipbuilder DCNS has designed for the Indian Navy.
The leak sparked grave concern in Australia and especially in the US where senior navy officials have privately expressed fears about the security of top-secret data entrusted to France.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne was quoted as saying that the government "does not consider the unauthorised disclosure of information to be appropriate or in the public interest".
"The Australian government will review the security clearance of any individual or individuals who may have been involved in the alleged unauthorised disclosure," she said on Saturday.
Malaysian Defense ministry is least worried over a recent data leak report as their Scorpene submarines have different specifications from what DCNS had designed for India and Chile. The leaked documents in The Australian had mentions details about the “entire” combat capability of six Scorpene-class submarines DCNS had designed for India, variants of which are used by Malaysia and Chile ― should be investigated and verified first, the defense minister ministry stated
A fresh tranche of sensitive documents pertaining to Indian Navys Scorpene submarine project have been uploaded by ‘the Australian on its website Thursday even as the Indian ministry of defense tried to downplay the leak as ‘not serious. The new set of documents with Indian Navy insignia on it and marked “Restricted Scorpene India” include the sonar system, including the frequencies used by its key components, the Flank Array, the Sonar Intercept Receiver, the Distributed Array and the Active Array have been compromised
The leaked documents on Indias Scorpene submarine that have been posted on the website by an Australian news agency have been examined and do not pose any security compromise as the vital parameters have been blacked out. The Indian MoD has seized the documents and have examined the documents, it said in a press statement Thursday
Even as French naval contractor DCNS said on Wednesday it may have been the victim of "economic warfare" after secrets about its Scorpene submarines being built in India were leaked, question arises as to who will benefit from the data leak. DCNS is perhaps the most successful submarine manufacturer in recent times with contract wins in India, Austalia, Norway, Brazil and Poland among others
According to the Indian ministry of defense, the said leak of documents related to Scorpene submarines is being examined and an analysis is being carried out by the concerned specialists. It further states that the source of leak is from overseas and not in India
Australia today sealed a 50 billion Australian dollars ($37 billion) submarines deal with France, termed the “largest defense procurement program in Australias history”. The inter- governmental agreement (IGA) signed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, is for 12 sophisticated submarines to be built by French defence major DCNS
The Australian Navy will commence sea trials of its Air Warfare Destroyer 'Hobart' by early next year. The trials of the first Hobart-class ship will undertake testing of combat and communications systems and further platform system testing
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