Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft Program for the IAF, IN

Defence Program: Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

Program Conception Year: 2009

Design Group / Developed By: Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Aircraft Research and Design Centre (HAL) and Defence Research and Development Organization

To Be Manufactured By: HAL, and an Indian private company

Role: Stealth multirole fighter

Primary Users: Indian Air Force and Indian Navy

Quantity: 7 squadrons (126 Nos.) to be inducted by IAF

Development Cost: Rs. 15000 Crores ($2 billion)

Category: Make in India

Current Status: In-development; CCS approval awaited

Project Brief

Conceived in 2009 and being spearheaded by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), formerly known as the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) is basically an extension of the LCA project.

The program is undertaken to develop fifth generation fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy (IN) which will also include sixth generation niche technologies.

The design of the aircraft is carried out by ADA, the aircraft design and development agency under Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Notably, a feasibility study for the program was launched in October 2010 by the ADA, the aircraft design and development agency under Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

This was subsequently followed by Project Definition and Preliminary Design phase in 2013.

From November 2013 to December 2014, 9 design configurations of AMCA, starting from 3B-01 to 3B-09, were studied using CAD, low-speed – high-speed wind tunnel testing, and radar cross section (RCS) testing.

By the end of 2014, configuration 3B-09 was chosen.

In 2015, the basic design configuration of AMCA was finalized, and was accepted by IAF in 2016

Later the project entered the detailed design phase in February 2019.

By February 2023, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) completed the design stage (critical design review) of the AMCA.

Further, extensive inter-ministerial consultations on cost, design and level of indigenous content have also been completed.

Subsequently, in April 2023, DRDO approached the PM-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the final approval of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

However, it has been almost six months but the program is still awaiting CCS clearance.

To read the complete coverage about this project click on