To me , this sudden set of posts taking "holistic"views of things is NOT meant for the public but rather directed at Babus/Defence ministry. Is there an Aerospace command with MIL-IND-UNI linkage planned? Are posts there up for grabs?
Absolutely spot on. It has been the IAF's fondest wish to gain control of the HAL and make it an extended workshop /larger BRD kind of business and put an ex IAF dude there. That would be an absolute disaster and will ruin the HAL beyond repair , exactly the same way that posting Ex IN officers in Cochin, Vizag and GRSE and Goa and MDL yards led them to a terminal decline and an extension of the IN. A basic poor captive to what the IN decides.
That will be the death knell of any aerospace stuff in the long term. HAL should be run on business lines. In fact it should privatised and made to venture out into the wide world to go out and conquer, after it is split into airframe, engine and avionics businesses separately.
The ex IAF types always wanted to get parked in the HAL as a CMD/Director level positions after retirement there and this is a way of them trying to throw their hats into the rings.
Frankly, the IAF , beyond it's ability to operate planes has zero design and and even design analysis capability. They harrumph a lot, just like the Army, but don't have the capability to come up with a requirements specs (the sorry state of an orphaned LCA having to have it's wings re-designed as postulated and later confirmed by an ex ADA guy because the IAF couldn't bother putting up a realistic weapon spec and a delay of 1 year on that count) that is in anyway meaningful.
They cannot come up with a weapon concept , which of course is a trade off between requirements, capabilities and what can be realistically achieved in a given time frame, along with an operational doctrine /use case to go with it, or anything new beyond some hackneyed thing that exists. For e.g., the F-35 has a LOWER field performance than the F-16. There is no way in hell any IAF officer would have signed off on a concept like that. The only guys here again are the Navy, because they have a competent R&D specialised branch which can actually make engineering and design sense. They can sign off on putting an existing power plant from the Leander into a larger Hull when their designers analysed it and promised the same top speed. The Navy puts it's money where it's mouth is and puts up Rs 900 cr of it's own money for purely R&D on a carrier derivative of the LCA (and hey, it just took off a few days ago from the shore based test bed) and based senior folks there in Bangalore for that.
The Air Force couldn't even be bothered to put a few of their folks together and say what weapons the LCA should carry! Then when the Navy put up the modification of the LCA with the GE 414 engine, the Airforce guys claim that this was the version that they "always" wanted ! No sir. No NAVAIR China Lake like expertise or US Airforce Systems Command , nor could they be bothered or have made any efforts to develop that. Instead an attempt at empire building by grabbing HAL and it's manufacturing base and turning into an extension of it's BRD. Let the Air Force first invest and build a cadre of trained aerospace engineering folks ( not the maintenance kind, but the design and R&D guys), by hiring and training internal folks and actually build serious program management capabilities. That will be a serious long term contribution of consequence , rather than attempts to pad their post retirement nests.