The posts made here reflect how forum members lacking operational knowledge post opinions based on their pet biases.
Firstly, Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) left the Tejas program in May 2015. So the headline is misleading as he stopped being the face of Tejas in May 2015 itself.
The row was over denying this ace test pilot, the captain’s seat (pilot-in-command) in the ‘Eye-in-the-sky’, the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru, and undergoing evaluation now ahead of its induction by the IAF later this year.
As I've indicated earlier, members here lack the ability to differentiate between developmental trials
and user evaluation trials
but whine about "endless trials".
For airframe developmental trials
, Brazilian pilots were used to test the radome with dummy loads. Because airframe development was Embraer's responsibility.
For CABS development trials
with radar fitted, the developer's pilot hold the captain's seat. In this case, Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) and test pilots at CABS would be responsible for test flights
For user evaluation trials
, the user's pilots need to lead instead of the developer's pilot. No two ways about it.
Read AM Philip Rajkumar's article here on IAF's insistence on their own Test Pilots first hand evaluation http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... -ussr.html
Air Mshl Katre told the Soviets in no uncertain terms that without a proper flight evaluation by his pilots of the two versions being offered, Mig-23 MF (air defence) and the Mig-23 BN (ground attack) he would not be able to make any worthwhile recommendations to the GOI.
Now, for all aircraft developers, eg Dassault or Lockheed, their TPs are all ex military, and quite senior, but they take the backseat whenever user TPs evaluate.
those at the helm at IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bengaluru, insisting that only their officers could occupy the captain’s seat, although they were junior to Group Captain Suneet Krishna (retired).
Now, there might be more to it then it appears, as it always is. But if it was User Evaluation phase, then ASTE has the right of way. Having said that, in the absence of full facts, any opinions, including mine, are incomplete.