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  1. 1

    Subarno Sinha

    Although very late but still appreciated move by IAF. It should’ve been done atleast when the Flying Daggers squadron was beginning to take shape, or even better half a decade ago, when Tejas missed it’s FOC deadline of March 2012. Let’s hope that this late impetus turns out good for the project.

  2. 2

    Subarno y

    Although a very late move but still appreciated. It should’ve been done when the Flying Daggers squadron first took shape a couple of years back. It could’ve been done when the HAL and ADA missed the deadline of FOC of March 2012.

  3. 3

    Harshad Datar

    As correctly brought out, IAF should have been associated with LCA from d word “Go”. They did not do it. Seeking administrative control will change nothing. IAF cannot change the actors from DRDO and HAL who relish their ultra slow pace and lack of urgency.

    At present the IAF atleast has HAL and DRDO to blame. Once they take control, they will have no one else but themselves to be blamed while having no control over other two players.

    Hope IAF continues its hands off approach, which was wrong from the beginning but it is now the correct course of action.

  4. 4


    The IAF cannot blame the DRDO for unkept promises. The DRDO was the victim of sanctions post-Pokhran in 1998, which delayed the Tejas project for a full 2 years before it’s first flight in Jan 2001.

    It remained under sanctions for the most part of the previous decade, which explained why flight-tests were done with the utmost caution. Besides, most related projects were never linked to the Tejas’ timelines in the first place. A case in point is the Kaveri engine. It’s failure to meet requirements, never once delayed the Tejas’ progress, because it was anyway cruising along with the GE-F404 engines.

    Now let’s come to how the IAF is directly responsible for many years of delays in the Tejas:

    1) In early 2003, the IAF suddenly demanded a change in the wing-loading of the Tejas prototype. This change took a full 22 months to be executed by late 2004 to early 2005, as the developers had to go back to the drawing board and make structural changes.

    2) (And this takes the cake). In 2010, the IAF boffins suddenly remembered that the Tejas must have air-to-air refueling. The DRDO balked at this, but soldiered on because the IAF held up the FoC certification for want of this and many other 11th hour changes. The refueling probe was finally tested in 2017, though it had cleared many other tests in the interim.

    3) It’s late demands for a bigger engine (not realizing that it’s own demands earlier have led to a weight bloat), an AESA radar, more and more avionics have always forced the DRDO to revisit the drawing board many times in the past 10 years.

    The IAF must realize that project development is best done in phases. The moon can’t be expected in the very first iteration. This recaltricant attitude of the IAF is the primary reason for delays in the Tejas program, besides the US sanctions post-Pokhran 2.

    1. 4.1


      Very true. IAF has been a spoiled brat.


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