In its reply to an RTI query, the Air Force has said that it cannot share any information about the agreement signed between Indian and French authorities for the procurement of 36 Rafale aircrafts. The Air Force said that the information was of confidential nature and is being held by it in fiduciary capacity. It may be recalled that India and France had signed an inter-government agreement on September 23, 2016 for the supply of Rafale aircrafts. The agreement also covered the supply of initial consignment of weapons and associated equipment, long-term maintenance support, simulators, etc.
The reply provided by Air Force says that if such confidential information is released in public, it can be used by adversaries, something that would be against the interests of the country. The reply also highlights that the disclosure of such information will not serve any larger public interest, which is why it cannot be shared.
The RTI query was originally filed with the Defense Ministry, asking for details about the agreement and price of the Rafale deal. The query was later forwarded to the Air Force.
The delivery of 36 Rafale aircrafts and other equipment will start from September 2019. All the deliveries will be made by April 2022.