In 1936, the Air Ministry had a requirement for a new fighter aircraft with airspeeds that would eventually have to be over 300 mph (480 km/h). Fortunately, two designs had been developed entirely as private venture exercises: the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. Both were designed around the PV-12 instead of the Kestrel, and were the only British modern fighters to have been so developed. Production contracts for both aircraft were let in 1936. The PV-12 was instantly catapulted to the top of the supply chain and became the Merlin.