MRFA is a very long process. 5+3 years for delivery of French-made jets and 2 additional years for delivery of Indian-made jets. So it's a 10-year wait before the Indian line stabilises.
After they signed the first deal for 36, the IAF wanted MRFA to go ahead in 2017, so deliveries could begin around 2025. Of course they had set their signs on Gripen at the time, until MoD brought in other jets in 2018 and the Gripen requirement was replaced with LCA Mk2. So the first tranche was supposed to sit between the start of MRFA and first delivery. The second tranche is only buying time in order to allow MRFA's postponment by another year or two at best, although it's definitely not desirable to delay it anymore.
A delay to start MRFA by half a decade or more would be meaningless since requirements would change by the time the delivery of Indian-made Rafales happens in the mid-2030s. The idea is to get a production deal signed over the next few years so we are up by another 9 squadrons before AMCA Mk2 deliveries begin after 2035. There's no point in having simultaneous deliveries of Rafale and AMCA.
If it's a small fleet, then fine. But if we want to operate a large fleet, then we need a production line because it's pretty dumb to leave maintenance and operations to a foreign company.
If either the MRFA or a large scale purchase of a similar or better jet doesn't end in a contract within the next 5-7 years, we are screwed.
Tranche 2 would be F4.2 or same standard as before?
Will DRAL get any work share in tranche 2 ?
I think how DRAL progress will give us clue of what's to come.