The most important question right now is whether the F-35 can chew up and spit out any 4+ generation fighter in this world in aerial combat. Can we all say a 20:1 kill ratio? Enemy fighters cannot kill what they cannot see. The F-35 can approach within 30 km and launch a AA missile without being seen until that missile takes flight. Dead opponent. First look. First shot. First kill. Isn’t that what really matters right now?
Christ. Give me a break. It will be more than a decade before the F-35’s software is complete. That is the lovely thing about software. You do not have to rip the guts out of a fighter to improve its performance. You want a completely unmanned top of the line fighter? Software can do that. You want a fighter that can simultaneously control a dozen drone aircraft? Software can do that. You want a fighter that can simultaneously broadcast the IR, visual and radar feeds to every supporting platform? The F-35 already does that. No hardware modifications required.