The F-16 was flying with all it's external tanks and ordnance, while the F-35 was 'clean' and it still sucked. Granted, the F-35--development began in 2001--was designed mainly as a ground attack aircraft but guess what? So was the F-16. When it's all said and done, the F-35 will have cost the U.S. taxpayer over $2 trillion. That's two...trillion...dollars (imagine a Dr. Evil voice.) Eisenhower could not have imagined how awful it would get. https://medium.com/war-is-boring/test-pilot-admits-the-f-35-can-t-dogfight-cdb9d11a875 During WWII, new fighters went from blueprint to combat in an average of nine months.