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The advantages brought about by using classical linear control theory in conjunction with neural approximators have long been recognized in the literature. In particular, using linear controllers to obtain the starting neural control design has been shown to be a key step for the successful development and implementation of adaptive-critic neural controllers. Despite their adaptive capabilities, neural controllers are often criticized for not providing the same performance and stability guarantees as classical linear designs. Therefore, this paper develops an algebraic synthesis procedure for designing dynamic output-feedback neural controllers that are closed-loop stable and meet the same performance objectives as any classical linear design. The performance synthesis problem is addressed by deriving implicit model-following algebraic relationships between model matrices, obtained from the classical design, and the neural control parameters. Additional linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) conditions for closed-loop exponential stability of the neural controller are derived using existing integral quadratic constraints (IQCs) for operators with repeated slope-restricted nonlinearities. The approach is demonstrated by designing a recurrent neural network controller for a highly maneuverable tailfin-controlled missile that meets multiple design objectives, including pole placement for transient tuning, H infin and H 2 performance in the presence of parameter uncertainty, and command-input tracking.