The leaked data on the Scorpene submarine may threaten its stealth element, former Indian Navy chief, Admiral Arun Prakash said on Wednesday, adding it has to be first established how relevant the leaked information is.
Asked about the threat posed by the leak, he said: "It's difficult to say how big a threat it is...we have to ascertain that this is related to our submarines."
"The threat would be that they would be able to detect you sooner. When a submarine goes out in the sea, ships are sent to listen to and to record its signature. All navies are eager to find out the parameters. Even otherwise, when the submarine would have gone to a coast, or while crossing someplace like the Malacca strait, the signatures would have been studied," Admiral Prakash said.
Stealth, is considered the most important attribute of a submarine.
He added that if genuine, the leaked documents may have simplified the work for those wanting to record these parameters of the Scorpene class submarines.
"It is a corporate war between the French company and its competitors, whether it actually relates to Indian submarines is to be established," Admiral Prakash told IANS.
He said naval headquarters has said the leaked document is of 2001, and if that is true the information may well be old.
"If the information is valid, it is a concern for the submarine. Maybe we need to make some changes in the design," he said.
Six Scorpene submarines designed by DCNS are being constructed at Mumbai's Mazgaon Dockyard at a cost of around $3.5 billion, one of which is undergoing sea trials and the second one is under construction.
Admiral Prakash suggested changes can be made in the remaining four submarines in case the leaked data is found relevant.
The over 22,000 pages that have been leaked from DCNS, however, contain information on different aspects of the boat including its underwater sensors, above-water sensors, combat management system, torpedo launch system and specifications, communications system and navigation systems.
While the leaked information is still being analysed to gauge the extent of damage, there is fear that it may compromise the submarine's detectability.