when you say but my strong feeling is that the LCA has been designed (by ADA, DRDO, NAL) to show case the technical capability (and have succeeded). But is NOT designed for mass production. and Is it possible that the IAF knows that the plane can't be efficiently manufactured? It is also possible that IAF does not know the underlaying reasons why the LCA can't be procured in numbers. And that reason may be that the LCA design is such that it would be a night-mare to take it for mass production. - this is just speculation.
http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2013/12/fi ... -hals.html
The LCA as it stands is designed to be produced, provided the SOP - standard of preparation is in line with what IAF wants. Yes, there were issues. But the entire intent of making a SP standard is to build it in numbers.
IAF had issues viz LCA both with performance (eg maintainability) & numbers available/yr. Those are both being addressed.
HAL plans to take the production rate to 16 aircraft per year from 2017 onwards. The facility will be upgraded to a major manufacturing complex consisting of sheet metal shop, process shop and heat treatment shop. Additional hangars are also coming up for support and maintenance, with further augmentation in the pipeline to accommodate the Tejas trainers and naval variant.
All hangars are equipped with forced draft systems to maintain dust, humidity and temperature control. HAL has given the mandate to head the new facility to V Sridharan, who has worked extensively on Jaguar and Hawk programmes. “We have embedded the Tejas production with best lean practices in manufacturing. Maintaining highest quality standards have been the driving philosophy behind while setting up this unit,” HAL chairman R K Tyagi told Express from Delhi. Batting for the private industry, HAL says that a total of 9362 fabricated parts will be manufactured by its external supply chain. “This step is critical in propelling HAL as a lead integrator in the national aerospace eco system,” Tygai said.
A gen-next 5-axis CNC machine installed at the facility is capable of robotically undertaking the wing skin drilling, thereby reducing the turnaround time by 80 per cent. The manufacturing jigs have been calibrated with computer-aided laser tracker to 80 micron tolerance. The manufacturing shop has been equipped with appropriate CAD software for working with digital mockup features.
So its not that manufacturing is being ignored. A lot now depends on HAL to achieve the above though.