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The requirement for a new multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) to equip the German Luftwaffe and Marineflieger, Italy's Aeronautica Militare and the UK’s RAF was established in the mid-1960s. This led on 26 March 1969, to formation of the European industrial company Panavia Aircraft GmbH, based in Germany, combining the aviation talents of Aeritalia (15 percent), British Aerospace (42.5 percent) and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm  (42.5 percent) to design, develop and manufacture this aircraft. Later these were Alenia of Italy, Daimler-Benz Aerospace and British Aerospace. The feasibility study for an aircraft to meet the tri-national requirements was completed by 1 May 1969, and within four years a go-ahead for the Panavia MRCA was given.

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