Scorpene Submarine: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

Scorpene Submarine: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

What is it?

  • They are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines developed jointly by the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and the Spanish company Navantia, and now by DCNS.
  • It features diesel propulsion and additional air-independent propulsion.
  • India had ordered 6 such submarines in 2005 costing $3.5 bn including technology transfer and building at Mazagon dock shipbuilders, Mumbai.
  • INS Kalvari is the 1st Scorpene class submarine, 2nd is INS Khanderi built under Project-75.
  • Recently huge amount of data of DCNS was leaked which included sensitive information upon Scorpene class submarines such as design, frequency, depth etc.

Khanderi Submarine

  • Its naming is done after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century.
  • The state-of-the-art features include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface.
  • The stealth features will give it invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.
  • The submarine is planned to operate in all theatres, including the tropics.
  • All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other modules of a Naval Task Force.
  • It can commence diverse types of missions usually undertaken by any modern submarine like anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.

Scorpene data leaked

  • It happened through an Australian newspaper that the entire world now knows about it.
  • One of DCNS previous employee leaked it for some reasons yet to be known.
  • 24000 pages of data were leaked.

Data leak implication on India’s Security   

  • The documents list out everything from the attack submarine’s diving depth, range and endurance, besides its magnetic, electromagnetic and infrared data.
  • The frequencies at which the submarines gather intelligence and the levels of noise the subs make at various speeds.
  • As per defence ministry the leak is not much harmful but still it’s not good.
  • It shows that how India’s dependence on weapon import is not immune to data breach and therefore security issues.
  • Pakistan and China have now an intelligence freebie through this leak.
  • Even release of 1st submarines of this class which is INS Kalavari is now delayed and is expected to be out in mid-2017.

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