The UK had identified a requirement for a new fighter as early as 1971. The AST 403 specification, issued by the Air staff in 1972, led to the P. 96 conventional "tailed" design presented in the late 1970s. While the design would have met the Air Staff's requirements, the UK air industry had reservations, as it appeared to be very similar to the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, which was then well advanced in its development. The P. 96 design had little potential for growth, and when it entered production, it would secure few exports in a market in which the Hornet would be well established. However, the simultaneous West German requirement for a new fighter had led by 1979 to the development of the TKF-90 concept. This was a cranked delta wing design with forward close-coupled-canard controls and artificial stability. Although the British Aerospace designers rejected some of its advanced features such as engine vectoring nozzles and vented trailing edge controls, a form of boundary layer control, they agreed with the overall configuration.