Since the war, the price of developing a combat aircraft has steadily risen, with the effect that fewer and fewer companies have been involved in their production, and almost none have been built recently without government funding. In Europe, only France and Sweden have continued to build fighters, with often state- owned companies surviving on exports.
Some European countries have bought US airplanes, like the Phantom and the F-16. Others have joined forces. Companies from the UK, Germany and Italy formed Panavia in the 1970s to develop the Tornado strike aircraft for the three nations. The lack of a dedicated fighter has led to the Tornado's adaptation to serve in the air-to-air role, but the Panavia partners - Aeritalia, British Aerospace and MBB - seeing in 1982 that the requirement for dogfighting capability in a modern air force would continue, proposed a new one-man fighter, the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA), a canard-configured, twin-finned aircraft.
The ACA was never given the go-ahead, but in 1983, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain outlined a joint requirement for a new combat aircraft, to enter service in the 1990s. It was to be called the European Fighter Aircraft (EFA). Towards its development, the British government funded a technology demonstration aircraft, the Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP), built by BAe and Aeritalia. Not strictly a prototype, the EAP was a research vehicle for the technologies involved in the EFA programme.
France withdrew from the EFA programme in 1985, and in 1992, Germany threatened to do the same but was convinced by the remaining nations to remain, although the German aircraft will lack some of the systems present in the other airplanes, and more of the funding will come from industry. Following the four-nation meeting on December 10th, 1992, the name EFA was dropped ... The aircraft was to be called the Eurofighter 2000. "
From the manual