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This paper presents a study on reconfigurable transmit-array (TA) antennas based on multilayer tunable elements. The proposed configuration can be referred to as a multilayer antenna-filter antenna (MAFA) and it can be viewed as an extension of the antenna-filter antenna concept. It consists of multiple antenna layers cascaded to form a spatially distributed bandpass filter. Phase agility is achieved by tuning the resonant frequency of each layer. The main objective of this paper is to introduce a new design technique for MAFA TA antennas. As will be shown, the key feature of the proposed approach is that it allows to simultaneously take into account three key design parameters: the phase tuning range, the maximum acceptable losses per unit cell, and the operating bandwidth. Simulations and experimental results for MAFAs based on varactor-loaded slot antennas will be illustrated to prove the validity of the proposed method. In particular, numerical results will demonstrate that MAFA cells can be designed to provide full phase agility over operating bandwidths of up to 10% with maximum insertion losses of 3 dB. Furthermore, a specific example will show how introducing an inter-layer medium with a higher dielectric permittivity it is possible to reduce the array longitudinal size. Finally, experimental results obtained using a waveguide simulator will be presented for a 1 × 3 five-layer MAFA cell.