An early conceptual CGI rendering of MWF without canards

What Is Different About The Jet?

ADA has increased the all-out weight carriage capacity of the fighter, the weapons carrying capability has been increased to 6.5 ton, the internal fuel carrying capacity has also been increased to 3,330 kg, with that the range and endurance of the combat jet has been increased substantially.

As per IAF requirement ADA has integrated some heavy stand off weapons, which has a range of 100 km. The fighter can also carry the 1,000 kg class of air to ground weapons developed by DRDO, the fighter is capable of carrying BVR and close combat missiles.

In addition, ADA has introduced a Infra-Red Search and Track system which is a new sensor. IRST can search hostile fighters without switching on the radar, because as the radar is switched-on, the position of the fighter is revealed to the enemy. A missile approach warning system is also provided which is part of the avionics package. Sensors passively detects hostile missiles of its ultraviolet (UV) energy from the exhaust plume, tracks multiple sources, rapidly and accurately classifies each source, and provides threat warning cues to the pilot to make a defensive manoeuvre and deploy the available countermeasures to disrupt missile tracking.

What Are The Airframe Changes?

The airframe has undergone major changes to accommodate a higher thrust engine and for this reason the airframe had to be extensively modified and the fuselage has been widened for this reason. The wings have been moved outward to accommodate more stores. A new station has been introduced at the wing tips and the total stores capacity is increased to 11. To increase the fuel capacity the fuselage has undergone major changes and the length has been increased to 1.35 meters.

BrahMos NG can be integrated on the new fighter which is part of the design and development strategy. Apart from the homegrown Astra and the Israeli Derby, ADA is in talks with the IAF to integrate a new set of BVR missiles currently available in the international market.

ADA will be working on the indigenous Uttam Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for the MWF rather than the Israeli one integrated in the rest of the Tejas Mk1.

ADA has confirmed that the the Kaveri engine will not be used for the fighter but it will use the General Electric F414 turbofan. 

What Are The Rough Timelines?

Presently ADA is in the preliminary design phase and it is likely to be completely by this year end and then the detailed design will begin, the estimated target date to conduct the first flight is in DEC 2023. 

What Are The Projected Numbers?

As per IAF requirement, the rough estimates is for 200 aircraft.


Maintainability is one of the major design drivers of this fighter. ADA has been able to mitigate all the problems faced by the Mk1 which in turn has been addressed in the design stage itself.

Adapted transcript from an interview with Mr. Amit Shukla, Group Director of ADA by LiveFist