French defence contractor and shipbuilder DCNS has suffered a massive data leak, raising doubts about the security of one of the world’s biggest defence projects, including India’s new $3.5bn submarine fleet, The Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The leak contains more than 22,000 pages outlining the secret combat capability of six submarines that DCNS has designed for the Indian Navy.
The leaked documents have the sensitive combat capabilities of India’s new submarine fleet and would be a threat to country's defence programme if obtained by India’s rival countires like Pakistan or China.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has sought report from the Navy on the issue.
"It appears that the source of leak is from overseas and not in India," Indian Navy said in a statement on Scorpene submarine project leak on Wednesday.
A Reuters report quoted a DCNS spokeswoman as saying, "As a serious matter pertaining to the Indian Scorpene program, French national authorities for defence security will formally investigate and determine the exact nature of the leaked documents."
Earlier this year, DCNS had won a $38.06 billion contract to build Australia’s next generation of submarines.
(With inputs from Agencies)