CANBERRA – French shipbuilder DCNS is seeking legal action against The Australian newspaper as it fears its publication could reveal secret details of its Scorpene-class submarines after more than 22,000 files were leaked to the public last week.
In April 2016, France has beaten Germany and Japan to build a 12 submarine for Australia worth A$50 Billion.
DCNS is contracted to produce 12 next-generation submarines but suffered a massive leak last week.
DCNS suspected, a hack is the cause of the leak but said the details of Australia’s fleet was secure.
On Monday, however, DCNS took legal action against News Corp’s The Australian newspaper, with an affidavit from the company seeking a directive to prevent the further publication of the leaked documents.
The shipbuilder is also seeking a court order to force The Australian to remove any published details of the material from its website.
“The publication of this highly valuable material causes direct harm to DCNS and its customer concerning spread of sensitive and restricted information, image and reputation,” the affidavit said.
Last week, The Australian said it had redacted the most delicate information found in the leaks, but DCNS is reportedly concerned about more sensitive information making its way into the public eye.
Meanwhile, the federal government moved quickly to allay concerns over Australia’s submarine fleet.
It said the leak had no bearing on the 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines it has ordered from DCNS, but later in the week warned the shipbuilder to employ the highest level of security it can for Australia’s subs, which are expected to enter service in approximately 2030.