The details that underpin this editorial in today’s Australian are at the link below and were front page yesterday. Bottom line is that even before the keels (or whatever it is) have been laid on this $50 billion spend, the state of the art combat technology security has been compromised in in a 22,400 page leak. I watched Pyne on the new yesterday and thought exactly what the editorial describes as “infantile”
“..Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne’s glib reaction to the massive leak of secret documents from the French shipbuilder designing Australia’s $50 billion submarine fleet was infantile and ill-considered. While the leak detailed the full combat capability of six Scorpene-class submarines DCNS has designed for the Indian navy, such a leak from our project would seriously compromise any stealth advantage for the Australian navy.
China, Russia and other interested parties might not be convinced by Mr Pyne’s snap judgment that the leak, revealed exclusively by Cameron Stewart yesterday, had “no bearing on the Australian government’s future submarine program’’. Should they manage to obtain the documents, other nations will scrutinise them bolt by bolt.
The leak should be a wake-up call for France, Australia and especially the US, which will decide whether it will allow Australia to install its state-of-the-art combat technology in our subs.
The Japanese government, which was deeply disappointed to miss out on the contract after senior US defence officers made it known they believed Japanese-designed submarines would provide a strategic advantage in the region, will also be watching. Defence Minister Marise Payne will face questions about the issue during her visit. Before the contract was awarded, US officers privately questioned the ability of the French to maintain security.
The Turnbull government’s priority now must be to ensure the performance of the $50bn fleet is not compromised in an increasingly dangerous region. And in his present ministry Mr Pyne must put the nation’s defence capacity ahead of the sectional interests of South Australia, where the submarines are to be built..”