With regards to the documentation, it was always going to be a short coming. Given that this is our first aircraft development effort, to expect ADA and HAL to be able to come up with the full operation and maintenance manual and pilot training manual, at the time of IOC, is foolhardy. Also the IAF seems to be forgetting its own role in this project. While accusing the HAL of giving the LCA a step motherly treatment and not treating it as its own baby, the IAF should also realize that they too have to treat the LCA as its own baby and not just a product that it intends to buy.
The pilot training manual for the LCA, will have to be and should be a collaborative effort between the ADA and the NFTC/IAF.
The operation and maintenance manual for the LCA will also have to be separate project, that would have to be taken up between the IOC and FOC timelines and would have to be collaborative effort between the ADA, HAL and the IAF.
Most imported aircrafts also do not come with up to the mark documentation and the pilot training manual for all imported aircraft's, has also been worked on a tweaked by the IAF, over the life of the aircraft in IAF inventory.
I never said that IAF should not expect any documentation. All I said was that if the IAF is complaining about lack of documentation at this stage and feel that complete documentation would be available to them, prior to or at the time of IOC-II, then I feel they are expecting too much and going to be in for a disappointment. Realistically, as I suggested, the Maintenance and service manual should be prepared by a collaborative effort between ADA, HAL and the service wing of the IAF, between the IOC-II and FOC timelines. The IAF involvement in this effort would be more to understand and absorb the documentation being prepared by ADA and HAL and offer feedback based on their practical experience of having serviced and operated aircrafts for so many years.
The Pilot manual would be prepared also between the IOC-II and FOC timelines and would have to be collaborative effort between ADA, NFTC/IAF. HAL being just a production agency would not have much to offer in terms of pilot manuals.
Also I suppose the pilot manual in this case would be something like the first edition. The same would be updated and changed, over the years, as the IAF starts to use and understand the plane and its characteristics and capabilities.
Also for all aircrafts that the IAF operates, the pilot manuals have always been revised and tweaked, as per IAFs experience and feedback from IAF pilots from ASTE, MIGOFTU, NFTC etc.
Not accepting the LCA for lack of documentation, at the IOC-II stage would be wrong on the part of IAF. It would just go to show, how much they really want the plane. Hope that's not the case. Complaining publicly about it, even before the IOC-II stage, seems immature at best. In private they can take up the issue, with all concerned.
Complete set of service and maintenance manual and pilot training manual edition-I, should be made available by FOC timeline and the efforts in this direction should be going on....I hope.