DCNS, a major ship building company that constructed Mistral-class helicopter carriers, the first of which has been delivered to Egypt on June 6th 2016, has been hit by a major data leak this week. Some 20,000 pages of vital information regarding its Scorpene-class submarine has been reported leaked or, rather, stolen, according to unnamed source in French government.
The Scorpene-class submarine, which Asia-Pacific countries perceive as a means of response towards increasing Chinese military presence in the region, is a contemporary high-tech ship which features a high defense class, which makes it "the most dreadful weapon in world's history of non-atomic submarines", according to DCNS, Scorpene manufacturer.
Only five submarines of this class have been commissioned until now, with 19 more are currently planned. One of the biggest buyers of this class of submarines is India, who expects 5 more submarines to be commissioned until 2021.
DCNS also has been awarded with a highly controversial $38 billion contract to construct 12 cutting-edge Barracuda class submarine for Australia.
With this in mind, no wonder that news about the data leak (or theft) may have serious effect on French manufacturer. The leaked data contained a "sensitive" information, which reportedly includes such crucial parameters as diving times, torpedo ranges, and above all noise profiles while operating underwater.
According to Emmanuel Gaudez, a spokesman for DCNS, the issue is "investigated by the proper French national authorities for defense security," who "will determine the exact nature of the leaked documents, the potential damages to DCNS customers, as well as the responsibilities for this leakage."
Minister of Defense of India, Manohar Parrikar, has played down the issue, by saying that it is "no big worry" and that the data did not contain any weapon specifications. He doubted that India will refrain from further cooperation with DCNS, but he did say, however, that "an incident should be punished with whatever the contractual punishment is there."
The French government also seeks to play down the data leak, by saying that the documents in question have been stolen back in 2011, by a fired employee.
"The documents were not classified and at this stage appeared to only focus on the operational elements of the submarines", the source said.