Re: Never mind the software...
makes translation flight a low speed affair. Unlike the Harrier, which could and did use thrust vectoring for VTOL and enhanced dogfighting capability to extreme effectiveness in the Falklands, the F35 is not going to slam the nozzles on to tighten a turn, nor possibly engage vertical lift to deal with loss of lift due to damage.
As an American I'd rather have seen an updated "Super Harrier" (which was kind of what Boeings much uglier entry into the contest was) which used the front engine intake in both modes and simply swivelled nozzles. With independent nozzle movement, computer controlled, some really odd flight maneuvers could have been done at any speed the airframe could support. Could've made the SU-27's Cobra Maneuver look like a skate-park trick.
But politics not need choose our defense systems on both sides of the Atlantic. And our bad decisions force yours. double down :(