The above is a recollection by AM P Rajkumar, just before the final FRRB which cleared TD-1 for flight, in 2000. After that meeting, where that momentous decision was taken, he had to justify his decision separately to the then CAS.
Also mentions that his posting in Bangalore was not given due importance.
"There was an irrational view at Air HQ that I was having a good time at Bangalore, which happened to be my home town. The fact that I was working on a project which was to deliver a fourth generation fighter for the IAF inventory
and crucial for the long-term interest of the aeronautical industry in India, was conveniently forgotten".
Should clear up all the claims of Tejas being 3 Generation.
"Back I went to ACM Tipnis and and said it was upto him to address my very genuine grievance. With great reluctance, he promised to do something".
Thereafter, he had to literally threaten legal action for AHQ to take him seriously, and MOD then supported him with the PM (ABV) invoking a special rule to promote him first and paperwork to follow later.
Also mentions that asked for Kirti Chakra for Shri Kothiyal for his test flight on justifiable grounds - flying a FBW aircraft for the first flight, but was denied by then CAS. Met the CAS, and repeatedly pressed for recognition & finally Kothiyal got it over the much lesser AVSM. Also says about 26 January 2001:
"I scanned the morning papers to see which award Dr Kota had been conferred with. I was expecting him to be conferred with the Padma Bhushan. To my utter horror, I found he had not been given any recognition for the stupendous effort over a period of fifteen years. This was a pity, because like justice, recognition delayed was recognition denied."
Also, please note the reports of the LCA being almost cancelled because a certain important and influential person was against it. This supports the view presented in papers how cautious and risk averse the Team LCA had to be, as a few setbacks would have cancelled the program.http://www.deccanchronicle.com/bengalur ... k-hole-073
Weeks before the IAF inducts India’s indigenous light combat aircraft, it has come to light that Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi, who quit as secretary of the Congress parliamentary party in the aftermath of allegations of financial irregularities in the recent Commonwealth Games, was ironically concerned about public funding for the ‘Made in India’ light combat aircraft ‘Tejas.’
He told defence scientists to scrap the project well before the jet had even made its maiden flight. The scientists, according to former science adviser to the defence minister V.S. Arunachalam, held on despite threats by Mr Kalmadi that he would ask the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to probe the accounts of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the nodal organisation for the project. He did not stop with such threats, but moved a private member resolution in Parliament asking the Union government to scrap the project.
Mr Kalmadi’s moves to ground the project when it was in its infancy in 1980s was fuelled by his belief that it was wasteful.
As a sidenote, Mr Kalmadi is ex-IAF. Whether that was a factor, or he genuinely felt what he did, we do not know. Of late, Mr Kalmadi has been in the news for the CWG and the controversy over the use of public funding;
The book also mentions how many IAF officers supported the Tejas & came up with workarounds, suggestions, spent resources & assisted Team LCA. Even the CAS on one occasion circa 2000, managed to get the LCA team a Mirage 2000 trainer.
But clearly, there are also people who were against/not enthusiastic for the project, and were quite political behind the scenes & there has been significant adversity against the Team. I also find Shri Antonys remarks about how many were against the project, yet it succeeded and the developers (PS Subramanyam) noting the same, significant.