I think there's more a case for some DRDO labs to be amalgamated with DPSU's beginning with ARDE & OFB , ADA & HAL, preceding which the said OFB & HAL ought to be restructured with the latter into 4 distinct units. DRDO ought to be associated with cutting edge stuff & into R&D of strategic systems not available for sale/ ToT or JV's.Excellent Post;
You raise an excellent question, why wouldn't HTT40 meet the same fate as Insas from product development stand point. The key take away for this is the difference in the developmental agency.
Insas was developed by ARDE DRDO, while HTT40 is being designed by ARDC HAL. lets look at development cycle for another product , Advanced light helicopter. With zero participation from DRDO, HAL worked on platform with Messerschmitt, owned the design cycle and exploited the full potential of the Dhruv with an entire portfolio of products including 4 distinct mk's for military applications with incremental improvement, mk1 was the basic military variant, mk2 was with glass cockpit, mk3 with glass cockpit and higher o/p engines, and mk4 the Rudra WSO weaponised; Similarly it made 4 distinct civilian variants, the platform also spun off the Light Combat helicopter and single engine scaled variant Light Utility Helicopter.
4 military variants, 4 Civilian variants, 1 NPD common chassis Attack variant, 1 Scaled NPD single engine variant, and given the expertise gained in the process, (HAL if not shut down by this government); has positioned itself to build a knockout medium lift platform to compete in the lucrative Mi17/ UH 60/ AW101 bracket.
So HAL followed a full optimization cycle for and indigenous platform; all of the platforms with the necessary performance characteristics, and that is the exact model that HTT40 will follow if that product or the parent company is not killed at this point of time. HTT40 will spin off a light armed variant, a civilian export variant, a civilian aerobatic single seat performance unit, a specialized recon low heat signature variant. Unlike DRDO projects like insas which did not follow any VAVE for the product development.
Unfortunately, Modi had 5 years in which the DM's post was vacant for nearly 2.This is unimaginative leadership at best and criminal negligence at worst. To conclude, I've often wondered at times, what prevented him from at least reorganizing DPSU's, initiating internal reforms , modernising them, Autonomising them, etc given that reforming the MoD & integrating the civilian & military arms into a DoD kind of set up involves selection of a CDS, which in turn triggers inter services rivalry & will take some doing. All this could've been achieved under a capable DM like MP, except for Modi's overbearing style of functioning which saw him take the first opportunity he got to go back home. His replacement took nearly 6 months too materialise by which time the incumbent had less than 1.5 years time.
It also goes to demonstrate that Modi is no reformer either incremental or exponential but more of a status quoist , perhaps with minimal reforming tendencies along with doing the job more efficiently with minimal corruption.I'm extremely disappointed with the lack of reforms in the entire defence set up be it the DPSU's, the services, the R&D establishments or the MoD.