The deciding factor for DoD was the VTOL gimmick. Also, allegedly the Chinks compromised Boeing's servers and got access to the X-32s technical data too IIRC.Too bad Boeing couldn’t get their act together back then tho. If they had their demonstrator fully completed, they might’ve had a chance.
Also added the A-7 on the poll, just for you!
I got to go inside the one at Pima Air and Space last year. It's a very neat plane even when it's mostly gutted. One of those beautiful late 50s planes that looks like it's going 1800 knots when its just sitting on the groundI am not an expert, but I will always have great affection for the B-58.
The F-5 is way more underappreciated, at least the F-16 had extensive export sales.The F-16 is far to overlooked. Such a versatile and agile aircraft that can be used in a number of roles. M61A1 Vulcan, 10 hardpoints (2 on the wingtips, 6 under the wings, 3 under the fuselage) and a maximum load of 77 hundred kilograms. It comes in single and two seat variants, and also can be configured with numerous different software and avionics. The US even made a completely unmanned prototype, and are considering introducing a full unmanned drone F-16. We are getting closer to Ace Combat 7 than you think.