In August 2006, India's then defence minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee announced in Parliament that the government is evaluating experiences gained from the Tejas programme for the MCA.
In October 2008, the Indian Air Force asked the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to prepare a detailed project report on the development of a Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) incorporating stealth features.
In February 2009, ADA director P.S Subramanyam said at a Aero-India 2009 seminar, that they are working closely with Indian Air Force to develop a Medium Combat Aircraft. He added that according to the specification provided by the Indian Air Force, it would likely be a twenty ton aircraft powered by two GTX Kaveri engines.
In April 2010, the Indian Air Force issued the Air Staff requirements (ASR) for the AMCA which placed the aircraft in the twenty five ton category.
The AMCA will be designed with a very small radar cross-section and will also feature serpentine shaped air-intakes, internal weapons and the use of composites and other materials.
It will be a twin-engined design using the GTX Kaveri engine with thrust vectoring with the possibility of giving the aircraft supercruise capabilities. A wind-tunnel testing model of the MCA airframe was seen at Aero-India 2009.
As well as advanced sensors the aircraft will be equipped with missiles like DRDO Astra and other advanced missiles, stand-off weapons and precision weapons. The aircraft will have the capability to deploy JDAM's. The aircraft will feature Extended detection range and targeting range with the ability to release weapons at supersonic speeds. The aircraft's avionics suite will include AESA radar IRST and appropriate Electronic warfare systems and all aspect missile warning suite.
As of August 2011, the aircraft is in its preliminary design phase. The final design is expected to be shown to the air force by 2012, after which full scale development on the aircraft may start.