Even as Rear Admiral (retired) John Padgett of the US Navy, who is also the president of the influential US Naval Submarine League, alleged that the Scorpene leak had made India vulnerable, top brass in the Indian Navy refuted such claims

 

The Australian, in its expose, has said that the leaked secret data contains plenty of information, including on the capabilities of the SM39 anti-ship missile expected to be used on the Scorpene.

 

There were many Indian naysayers as well. Defence expert Commodore (Retd.) C. Uday Bhaskar said that the leak of classified information related to the Indian Navy's Scorpene submarine project was a setback for the country's submarine building program.

 

Commodore Bhaskar, who is considered an outspoken critic on security and strategic affairs, was of the opinion that if the documents accessed by The Australian contains information on the basic propulsion/cavitation design, it could make Kalveri (the name given to India's Scorpene submarine) a sitting duck.

 

However, Vice Admiral R N Ganesh (retd), former Director-General, Nuclear Submarines project, has said that none of the information published by The Australian makes Scorpene Submarine a "sitting duck."

 

"The information released by The Australian does not make the navy sitting ducks, particularly since much of it in broad terms could be assessed even by the experts working for defence publications such as Jane's," Vice Admiral Ganesh (retd) told Asianet Newsable.

 

"Generic data and performance capabilities are known or can be assessed in broad terms by anyone. and so is the information related to sensors, weapons, control systems, propulsion and power generation," he added.


Amid all the hullabaloo, a consensus among experts and submarine veterans is that the leak did not affect Project-75 in any significant way.

 

Whether it is information related to stealth capabilities, Weapons data or the remaining of the ten types of secret information released by The Australian, former Navy officers firmly believe that the Navy still has the capability of tweaking the design, and the weapon and sensor deployment capability.

 

Such views have been backed by the establishment too.

 

Earlier in the day, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba told the press that the leak of information related to the Scorpene submarine was being viewed "very seriously", but it is "not a matter of much worry." 

 

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has ordered an investigation into the leak, also has made similar remarks, saying that the leak was most likely “not a big worry” because the data did not contain weapons system details.