In email discussions with peeps in Australia and the U.K., whose respective nations are also enduring <cough> turbulence with the F-35 the notion arose…
It’s almost as if, gee, there was a pattern…where a U.S. government has a) this really smokin’ jet plane that costs a bundle, even for the USA and b) asks allies to help contribute to development costs on the wink-wink they override domestic procurement processes to make it so on the understanding c) they will get a discount on the final per unit costs.
Neither a) nor c) worked out.
Could be, could be….
And that’s not even engaging in reckless speculation about kickbacks!