He was skeptical about ADA's ability to design a digital FBW, the composite technologies, the glass cockpit and micro-processor controlled general systems. But, can you blame them for that?
Well, he was wrong. All those things have been developed and that too in the face of sanctions, pull out of all support on which the original timelines were based on and all that.
While I agree that the IAF has a significant share of blame thanks to their pathetic foresight and support for the HF-24, his job at Air HQ was to make a call on whether or not ADA could develop those challenging technologies within the timelines that the PDP claimed they would be developed in..we know that they did underestimate the effort and difficulty in developing these technologies.
The IAF's blame is not with asking for the project to be delivered within timeframes, but rather in not thinking strategically on a long term vision beyond just.. oopss. Pakiland got F solahs for fokat ,so I need Mirage 2000, Chinese got 250 Flankers, I need Flankers, on how the industry should develop, how it should be structured, what are the crucial techonology and capability building blocks the country should have, what will it entail , how to go about it.. Kind of like how ISRO thinks. Rather, the IAF and Army method seems to be, whip HAL and other civilians and feed them Poo and also send in a bunch of uniformed "Omleteers" once in a while to throw their weight around , rather than strongly roll up the sleeves like the navy and get a team in there that can actually work together.
Do you guys believe that had a Tech Demo phase not been there, we'd have seen the Tejas in service earlier?
The LCA is "overburderned" because of the need to do fundamental tech development. The others experimented with their existing platforms to do tech development. The brits developed FBW on their Jaguar, the French on Mirage III . WTF stopped us from developing an FBW on the same Jag or on a Mig 21 , what stopped us from putting a composite wing on an Mig 21? That kind of thing should have been done from 1970 to 1990 and if we had done so, we could have kept key skills alive with very moderate costs and launched the fighter program with a great knowledge base and set of technology assets and experienced people. The Tech Demo phase basically compensated for what the IAF and the MoD , HAL babus in their Russian import / screw driver assembly passed of as "indigenous" fetish, collective slumber for 35 years. Not a mean achievement. If those jokers had not been asleep for that time, we wouldn't have needed the Tech Demo stage.
The REAL Tejas Fighter effort started only in 2003 or so in my opinion.