Dileep wrote:^^Well, may be he was a Matheswaran clone. Who knows? But the fact is that the buttons on the glass of F-35 moved back to the old tactile buttons on the panel at the same convenient location for left hand operation as in F-16 when it is adapted to F-21.
The F-35 cockpit and displays aren't moved to the F-21 (I don't know whether this is just spin from LM or a misrepresentation of info from an official). I don't know who suggested that but if they suggested that then they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Same with the insinuation that it was somehow surprising to him/her that combat pilots got to design the cockpit and and PVI, something that has been done on most fighters (in the US and beyond) for decades as far as I am aware and most definitely was the case on both the ATF program and the JSF program. All teams on both of those programs had fighter pilots composing the teams working on next generation PVI (and in most cases the person leading was a current or former fighter pilot).
The F-21 cockpit has evolved via multiple iterations during the block 50 and block 60 transitions and with the block 70 and F-21 proposal now. I haven't seen high res. (or in person) the F-21 proposal but from the photos it appears that they have simply separated the Upfront controls and re-located the ICP to the left while keeping the DED functionality on the panels itsel or in the space b/w the HUD and the flat panel (and it's just not shown on the "road-show" demonstrator). This was likely done to accommodate the larger touch display (and larger HUD?) so moving things around was probably the simplest way to do that without changing too many things. they've used a smaller central display than the one they are putting on the block 70 probably to save on cost or for a lack of need (since the central area is so much bigger now). So essentially, they've broken up the UFC, moved the ICP to the left (compare original location from the first picture) to accommodate a larger single panel display. To claim that they would have gone in for an F-35 like setup but chose instead to do minimal work and just move things around, white retaining their functions (tactile ICP), because of xyz is some really really good spin. Lockheed's objective with the F-21 cockpit is to present a proposal that is the lowest cost/risk and schedule to them and much like Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale or Shornet only thing that will do is to move things around allowing for new capability to be fitted in. They are not even assured of an order so it is ridiculous to claim that they have completely revamped the PVI based on a proposal when no one else is using this cockpit layout (or intends to). All the USAF asked of them for its Viper upgrade (cockpit) was a larger central display.
Boeing has done something similar on the F-15 QA by moving the ICP down
(instead of to the left or right since they don't have a secondary central display below the primary one) and accommodating a larger wide flat panel touch display in the space freed up. Do note that these are OEM's looking to accommodate touch displays and wider panels into the existing cockpit layouts and avionics set up. They are not fundamentally changing the cockpit, PVI or re-designing the cockpit from scratch.
On the T-X Boeing has done something completely different from what LM has done on the F-21 or Boeing on the F-15QA/EX.
^ They kept the ICP and UPC at the same traditional location (center, below the HUD) but used a digital/touch panel UPC instead of a tactile system. This likely forced them to use smaller wide panel displays but since its just an advanced trainer that is likely to be inconsequential (they may change that in case they ever develop an attack variant).
The USAF is asking for an all touch display on the F-15EX (and USN likewise for the block III Super Hornet) as well and will likely utilize the same co-primary means of accessing additional functionality (touch, voice, or cursor) as they did in the F-35 though these aircraft will inherently demand more manipulation and tweaking given the lack of the fusion capability relative to the F-35 . Each aircraft will be designed differently and with different trades and limitations in mind. The F-21 lacks the F-35's ability when it comes to the fusion engine and how threats are characterized in real time using on board (central and sensor level processing) and offboard (MADL seamlessly sending tracks in formation and even beyond) data and sensors so while its advanced cockpit will make things simpler, easier to visualize threats and sensor data you are not going to get the same level of automation or processing and input power as you are on the F-35 thereby affecting the trade space that is available to them. Another area is cost and complexity. The F-21 is and will never have the internal budget of an F-35 so they aren't going to magically build a complex interweb of sensors and processing all feeding into the fusion with the level of computing that is available there. Nor will they fundamentally re-do the cockpit and PVI just for a bid. Those are much heavier lifts. Current strategy, much like every other 4+ gen fighter is to drop in as many advanced capabilities as possible hence new wider displays are being accommodated by moving stuff around.