Australia and France insist on secrecy of new sub design

DefenseAssociated Press

The Australian and French defense ministers say they are giving top priority to concealing design details of a new Australian submarine after data was leaked from French shipbuilder DCNS about a submarine built for India.

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French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that the mutual concerns of France and Australia to avoid a repeat of such a leak were addressed in an agreement on protecting classified information signed in Paris last week.

Australia announced in April that DCNS, a French state majority-owned company, had been chosen to design 12 diesel-electric submarines at a cost of at least 56 billion Australian dollars ($41 billion).

Fears were raised in August that India's Scorpene subs could be compromised by the leak of sensitive data from DCNS.