India also acquired a load of MiG-21s but most of those were built locally and eventually most of the components were built locally also. The factory (and engine plant) were built in areas with no aeronautical experience but high unemployment and had the purpose been solely to acquire jets, buying direct would have made more sense. However, there were other factors and these may also have applied to the MBT production. It takes longer but it provides local jobs and also establishes s base of engineering skills that might not have existed there previously.
There's nothing cushy about life in the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps