In the context of above post of Kartman:
The success and failure are relative as well. That is how you define success and its parameters/components used to measure the success? If functional MMR arives by 2020 and Kaveri gets thurst of 110% by 2020; then although you can claim that project was a success, but will be a failure in eyes of IAF/the end user. It seems like LCA, its Avionics, design, MMR all are state of the art. But its late and will be very late by 2012, due to advancement in Techs, as the user wanted the product in 1995. In this respect Swedish Grippen was a success.
Secondly, the defense industries and technologies are not static and they are constantly changing,evolving and getting more challenging which is a direct function of time, dedication,environment and needs of the situation you are in. The Gold standard in 1983( when LCA was conceived/thought of) was F16 and and F15. Now they would be F22 and F35.As future Acs would compared against these fighters.
The LCA can still be the gold standard for India in 2010 ! We are not the US, and will be nowhere close to them even in 2020 or 30, so it's futile to compare ourselves with the
Even the EF and Rafale achieved FOC only earlier in this decade, and these programs are still ongoing ! So the LCA would be competitive globally in its class, not to mention in the Indian subcontinent vs the Paks/Chicom...
The Kaveri Engine is a shining example of reinventing the wheels. Even they could have gone for 50/50 venture to begin with( French/Russians or Germans) and would had operational Engine by 2001. The question of sanction will always be there- as we are taking risks with 40 LCAs by using GE engines.
Kaveri = reinventing the wheel ?
There are no shortcuts if you want to get up there (i.e. a military low-bypass turbofan designed to Western maintenance specs) ... you have to "reinvent the wheel" (as you put it), simply because no one is going to give you the tech for love or for money.
All this talk of a 50/50 venture comes up only when they (i.e. foreign manufacturers) know that indigenous programs are progressing, even if with problems... as a way of cashing-in on whatever they can. Else, without the indigenous development, they would only be interested in selling their finished products.
Note what's happening with the Shakti... despite the (so-called) co-development, the "hot" section would still be supplied by the French (someone correct me if I'm wrong)
Same issue with MMR- they could have chosen the Blue-Vixen radar/FCS and continued to work on MMR/ AESA at their own snail pace to develop the radar, when time was right. In case of Kaveri, DRDO has realized, that they have hit technological road block. They might be able to solve if time and money was not a factor.
Here what you're assuming is that the product (replacement for MMR or Kaveri) is actually available, with deep ToT/source codes, etc.
Wherever available, DRDO/HAL/etc do
source foreign components with parallel
However in today's world time and money are big factor, except in India( in context of PSUs), where ploitics is the big factor. In private sector as well as in global business, on time performance and delivery of the product is a single most important parameter to judge.
You'd probably have a heart-attack if I told you stories about places like Bell Labs, IBM Research, NASA, etc.
... often considered the benchmarks.
R&D is inherently unpredictable, more so when you start from scratch, rather than developing incrementally from an existing base. The most common approach to minimizing this risk is to have multiple programs, at least some of which do not make a significant leap in tech (so-called incremental tech. dev.)
The Americans have choice, as they always have a competing product and back up plans in case one fighter project gets delayed.
And why is that ? Does money have anything to do with it ? If so, do we have that sort of money to throw around ?
Do we have the scale to fund parallel projects ... say, HAL v/s Tata Aerospace
DRDO in its zeal to get credit and money( and it is not DRDO bashing, but a healthy criticism) did not realize the complexities involved in these projects, ultimately it is IAF who is suffering. i saw news flash that they will be down to 28 squadrons pretty soon. If this is so,then IAF will loose edge & its numerical superiority against PAKI's, which is not very good scenario. The Indian Defence Doctrine is based on being able to simultaneously defeat both Chinese and Pakis conventionally. Chanakya's principle calls for- Do not underestimate your adversaries and Gen Schwartzkoff's principle calls for overwhelmig force of 3 times for Shock and Awe.
Vacuous platitudes apart, what do you suggest ?