Bottomline is, India is looking for a strategic partnership and to tie in to a global defense industry. Investing in the LCA cant do it. In fact, the LCA project is in need of technology infusion. Hence the need for this fighter line.
Investing in Tejas is the only way, even with faulty original "flying coffin" F-104 the US didn't turn to allies in europe and imported their safer jets. They continued to work and operate on their own jets.
Even with their 50 hour life engines the soviets continued with their own jets, and today have reached Al-41 levels.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but at the moment, the 120 units order for Tejas is among the largest orders for a single air force in the entire world, barring perhaps the US and China. Further, this is only one tranche, and its likely, there may be more.
A separate line of 120 Tejas with Kaveri engine even with 300 hour life and indigenous radar should be inducted and continued to be improved.
What will that gain us? It'll give you a Kaveri engine with a 300 hour life. Sort of like the PLAAF in the early days when they were flying thousands of Mig19s and claiming to be the largest AF in the entire world. Eventually, even the Chinese had to turn to the West (in the J10-Lavi pathway) and the Russians.
There is no certainty, given our educational, social and technological infrastructure that 15-20 yeas hence, that 300 hr Kaveri will magically transform itself into a GE EPE. What is more likely is a 1000 hr Kaveri while the GEs of the world are producing something even better than an EPE. I personally dont have any interest in a 1000 hr Kaveri. Itll be much better if there is a GE factory in India that is manufacturing the EPE or something cutting edge like that.
Having a self sustaining defense industry 'island' is a nice to have but only a means to an end. Those that are attempting it, such as the Russians/Soviets/Chinese/Sweden have niche products or are far far behind the tech. curve. Realistically, even the US does not have a defense industry island, their complex is maintained by massive orders from allies and client states. If this werent there, the cost equations are such that the industry would simply collapse under its own weight.
The coming decades are going to be exceedingly dangerous for India. We could end up with Chinese bases right next door and a powerful ideological subversion campaign hiding behind nukes!
While order of Tejas Mk 1 with GE 404 replacing all the 450 Mig 21 & 27s should be placed. The lure of EJ 220 for AMCAs can bring the might of German MIC to help in production big numbers of LCA with partnership of TASL, L & T and Kalyani.
Americans can be told to not bother with transferring their 100 jets from 70s to us. It will be anyway a "pressler" type time bomb ready to explode anytime.
American policy is governed by self interest, same as Indian policy. American interests have changed and in many ways, align remarkably well with ours. Rapprochement with Iran, bellicosity towards the Chinese, Russian alignment with the Chinese, inclusion of Vietnam into the American sphere with the TPP.. These are all tectonic shifts. We will do well to recognize it.
FWIW, Pressler Amendment was a way for the US to circumvent its own laws (AECA and Symington amendment). Much as Pakis want to badmouth it, it enabled the US to support its ally for a few more years and with a few more Billions of dollars in addition to support in the UN etc. It gave both states time to reach some mutual accommodation. Pakis, being Pakis, refused any accommodation or understanding the concerns of the US, at which time, the US simply decided to not continue their aid
. This is tom-tommed as some great betrayal by the Pakis, as if the world owes them aid, simply because they are momeens. What is worse is, Indians buy this nonsense!
What tech this new fighter line is bringing that LCA doesn't have? Radar? Engine? composites? alloys?
It is integrating India into a global military industrial complex. At a very high level, Indian problems lie in manufacturing, as much as technology. This will go some way towards solving the manufacturing problem, just as maruti-suzuki kicked the Indian car sector into some shape. The new line will open up Indian defense manufacturing
to a similar type of competition.
Now, flip the question. What will manufacturing 240 LCAs vs 120 get India? Not strategic independence, because the prime mover, the prime sensor and part of the prime weapon system are imported. Neither any new technological know-how in these domains. Its simply a system integration effort, which has its own benefits, but lets not make it more than it is. Capability wise, its a wash at best. F16 or Gripen is a far more mature platform than the LCA. From an economy point of view, its a wash again, because the other fighter will also be manufactured in India! From a manufacturing point of view, will a further manufacture of 100 odd fighters after the initial 120 be a production exercise or a learning exercise too? I feel, itll simply be a production exercise.
Lastly, Sharma ji and Gyan ji, you are bombarding the forum with post after post trying to convince other members about your point of view. I speak for myself, but its getting repetitious. You have made your point, and others have made theirs, but you alleging corruption etc. without a shred of evidence is, I feel, in bad taste. Your efforts may have better rewards if you write to the GoI.