Philip sir, I believe the AMCA and LCA will go well into 2070. Just as people had written off gun on fighter in 60s, US had even created a new fighter minus gun, which they had to change during their vietnam misery. The gun is very much there on raptor, f 35 and FGFA too.
So personally I feel that manned fighters will go well into 2070s. If we have our own AMCA getting FOC by 2035, then it is completely our own thing, we can go on replacing foreign radars, engines, avionics etc. whenever we can, plus a huge databank experience on our own a/c-s.
I think even Tejas will go upto Mk-15 version in next 50 years.
There was even an article sometimes back, that how TATA spent more money developing 'Indica', than money spent on developing Tejas.
It may look like OT but you see until we have Italian passport holder sonia gandhi who wants to control and bleed this nation for her mother country in VIP helicopter deals, foreign arms funded media men castigating homegrown projects. That stupid vinod dua did a program on NDTV when Tejas completed the IOC 1 by the same title as your "reinventing the wheel'' for Tejas.
These Migs, FGFAs no matter how good will always be foreign. We can't do a silent eagle to f 15 kind of upgrade for Mig 29s, but we can always do that to Tejas sometime in future as its our own.
Sadly the fight always ends up here on brf like :
russian vs indigenous
IAF's brochritis vs DRDO's slothness
But to create MIL its the govt's call to take a decision, ok let the IAF have whatever jets they want, as they have to go fight and kill enemies, not like me picking up my bajaj chetak and going to buy vegetables in market.
Its the govt. which has to create 20 squadrons separately - other than
IAF's sanctioned 44 of rambhas and rafales.
Now first 10 squadrons can be Tejas Mk1 with completely our own radar even if it can only detect and antonov 225
at 15 kms. range. We persist with it, we work on it we improve it. Who knows by 2035 the same radar's next avatar may detect an f 35 at 300 kilometers.
The second 10 squadrons can be Tejas Mk 2 again with whatever radar, IRST etc we have.
After few years the first 10 squadrons' Tejas can have Kaveris and we persist with them even if the a/c can only pull 2gs(no pun intended)
with it instead of 9gs, that can always come later.
Since mid 80s our coins are being made in italy instead of desh itself, and all these VIP helicopter scams... so much money looted. But you'll see if anyone proposes 20 extra squadrons for IAF of purely desi stuff, all this media dalaals will go
over wastage of money.
Now as jaguars, 29s and m2ks retire in 30s, these 20 indigenous Tejas squadrons can replace them.
While we repeat the same 20 squadrons formula for AMCA.
So yes we as a Rashtra can survive fighting 3 front war Pakistan - China - Britain without FGFA, but can't survive without indigenous Tejas, AMCA, Destroyers, arihants!