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North Korea tests submarine-launched ballistic missile

In violation of an UN Resolution North Korea tested a ballistic missile launched by one of their submarines in the Sea of Japan on 24 August 5:30 AM local time. Headed towards Japan it traveled approximately 300 miles, penetrating 50 miles into Japan´s air defense identification zone – which is not congruent to Japan´s airspace – before it crashed into the sea. Most recently the regime in Pyongyang carried out a test of a submarine-launched missile in April with little success – this rocket only traveled 19 miles. This weapons system´s operational readiness is not expected to be reached before the second half of 2018 by the American US-Korea Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Japan regards this test as a serious threat for peace and stability in the region, the Japanese prime minister described it as “reckless act”.

In answer to the annual joint military exercise “Ulchi Freedom Fighter” between the United States and South Korea simulating a North Korean invasion in South Korea which started on 22 August, the regime in Pyongyang already made the threat of nuclear retaliation against South Korea if this exercise showed the slightest signs of agression.


Massive data leak at French submarine maker DCNS

The French military shipbuilding group DCNS which prevailed against it´s German rival TKMS in a bidding war to build 12 submarines for Australia, as we reported in our Flotsam issue June 2016, was hit by a massive data leak. This leak however does not affect the Barracuda-class to be built for Australia but the Scorpène-class exported to India. This submarine class is also operated by Chile and Malaysia.

The malaysian Scorpène-class submarine Tunku Abdul Rahman in Lorient returning from a trial run in 2008. The German-built submarine bunker Scorff can be seen in the background. Foto by Pline, CC BY-SA 3.0

The 22,400 pages of this leak contain detailed, highly sensitive and classified information on the operative capabilitities particulary the stealth abilities and the weapons and communication systems of the Scorpène-class boats built in India, as reported by the Australian Newspaper “The Australian, which took an overview of the data and published it in parts partially blacked out. The data was passed to newspaper by an Australian company which received the data on a data medium by mail from a company in south east Asia. It is probable that the data initially was tapped in 2011 by a French Navy officer who worked as a subcontractor for DCNS. The fact that information on other nation´s defence projects besides information on the Indian Scorpène-class submarines is included suggests this.

The Australian gouvernment emphasized that this leak´s data covers a completely diffrent class of submarines but was highly concerned about the  extent of the data leak at it´s submarine supplier. The Australian Minister for Defence Industry told that this matter most likely will have no effects on the Australian submarine program.

DCNS called the French public prosecution as it suspected the leak to be a defeated rival´s reprisal and pointed out that the data could have been tapped in India. The actual extent of this data leak and the persons responsible for it are yet to be investigated.