Sensitive data on submarines being built for India's Navy have leaked from a leading French shipbuilder with military customers around the world.

Shipmaker DCNS said in a statement that French national security authorities are investigating the size, seriousness and cause of the leak.

India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters that he asked the Navy chief to find out what data was exposed about the Scoprene submarines.

The newspaper The Australian reported that the leaked data includes descriptions of what frequencies the submarines use to gather intelligence, where a crew can speak safely to avoid detection, and specifications of the torpedo launch system.

Australia's government, which signed a big-budget deal in April with DCNS for 12 submarines of a different class, said the leak shouldn't affect the Australian ships.