Why is India not ahead of Pakistan in building fighter planes, while India is way ahead in space technology, etc.?

Today I read in the newspaper than Pakistan's indigenously built JF 17 ( with Chinese help ) are now being exported to other countries. However Indian Tejas has not only missed many deadlines but nowhere near completion and might need foreign help.


Who said India is far behind? Actually it is much ahead. 

In case of Pakistan they are only building the aircraft and the actual developers were Chinese. But in Indian case a 4++ generation aircraft is being developed from scratch. You can compare Pakistan's aircraft building program with our Su-30 MKI program.  And the Tejas program is entirely different and it involves developing a complete aircraft and its majority subsystems here in India. off-course some of the components were outsourced but the design is ours and we are free to integrate any kind of weapon systems in to the aircraft unlike Pakistan which may need Chinese help. 


When you are developing an aircraft on your own, it will take more time to give an good result given that India doesn't designed lot many aircraft in the past. Even for countries which have experience it took more or less same time to develop an fighter jet which is of 4++ gen.

I hope now you realized India is not behind in aircraft in building and its related technologies.
And now the reason for why India is way ahead in space technologies...
  • There was a total ban in place against India(After our first atomic test in 70s) with respect to dual use technologies like rocket engines and satellite components which can also be used in Ballistic missiles. After the 1974 and 1998 Indian nuclear tests there was a strict ban maintained by US and its allies that didn't allowed any dual use technologies to be sold to India. When Russia was ready to transfer the technology for cryogenic engines which is required for ISRO's GSLV, USA effectively vetoed the deal and finally Russia ended up just selling a handful of fully built cryogenic engines which powered most of ISRO's GSLV flights until now.
  • The same case applied for Indian spacecrafts built by ISRO. There were no foreign help available so we have no choice other than we have to develop on our own. As there was no foreign lobby and bribe money involved, we succeed with flying colors with Mangalyaan to Mars in first attempt being the latest example!!
Now According to me the you real question was " Why can't India develop an aircraft when it can send missions to Mars". Well the answer, believe it or not, is that it is rather easier to send a man to the Moon than to design an aircraft. Not that I am saying Mars mission was a mean feat and I salute our scientist for this successful endeavour. However If you think about it, A Space shuttle fired in a good sunny day will get out of earth atmosphere in relatively no time and once you are in space it is almost the same between earth to the Mars. And it is kind of difficult for Space to throw sudden surprises like our atmosphere does. Now an aircraft like Tejas should be able to withstand tests in cold atmosphere of Leh and laddakh, and a hot and dry climate of Rajasthan and Hot and Humid climate of chennai and should be able to withstand sudden storms and all. 

And also it is not as difficult for ISRO to get assistance from NASA, as it is for DRDO to get from say Lockheed Martin. In fact, unlike the prior case, Foreign Defence Establishments do there level best to delay or deny any indigenous accomplishment as it feeds into there profit. And trust me one of the major reason for delay in LCA Tejas' development was not only our lack of know how but also Foreign arms lobby filling the pockets of our Defence Acquisition Council,bureaucracy and HAL officials. That's why in most of the cases the specifications are changed on the 11th hour of the tests. Like it happend with Augusta Westland Chopper scam.