NEW DELHI: A temporary ban has been placed on Aussie publication ‘The Australian’ from releasing any more confidential data on the Indian Scorpene Class submarines by a court in New South Wales today.
Desperate to plug the hole in the leak of classified data, DCNS had filed an injunction in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia.
The newspaper will also have to remove documents from its website and give French firm DCNS all of the company material in its possession, the court order says. The order will expire on Thursday when the dispute will be heard in the Australian Supreme Court.
DCNS lawyers had reportedly told The Australian, “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, for its part, was on the verge of releasing fresh information on the weapons systems being carried on board the submarine and now says it has seen “details of the capabilities of the SM39 anti-ship missile expected to be used on the Scorpene. 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 leak of these classified documents which have revealed the operational characteristics of a submarine meant to be at the frontline of Indian Navy operations has been an enormous blow for the Indian Navy which says it is working to ensure that the leak of the data doesn’t actually affect the operations of the submarine fleet itself.
Six French designed Scorpene Class submarines are being built at the Mazgaon docks in Mumbai in a project worth more that USD 3 billion. The first submarine of the class, named Kalvari (Tiger Shark) is presently being tested before acceptance by the Indian Navy. The other submarines are in various phases of construction.