What do "lesser" requirements mean?
If Boeing was determined to win this (even if that means running the risk of never ever turning profit on the initial program) what could HAL have done even if one assumed it wanted to compete? Would they have been in a position to go $ for $ with Boeing?
As per this link, Group Captain HV Thakur, deputy chief test pilot, HAL says
"Work started last year when we wanted to participate in the US' T-X programme for new-generation trainers. Our platform was a bit expensive as it was built on the Tejas platform and capable of combat. The United States wanted a pure trainer
I am not aware of T-X program fine print, but available open source info suggests if LCA trainer had couple of features less it may have been affordable to be evaluated in the program. The M346 MASTER and Hawk are transonic so they dont completely qualify the primary criteria for which T-X program was launched. HAL could have thrown $ on this dedicated trainer version to create a T-50 competitor early on say post 2010 instead of focussing on HAwk-i which I believe is purely internally funded . Boeing was determined to win this, the T-50 lost out, even HAL may have lost out but that happens in a trial.
USN trainer (T-45) requirement is up next with usual suspects above in the fray. None of them are carrier capable. HAL will miss this bus too despite having LCA NP-1.