Lets learn our F-35 history boys and girls. via JSF.mil.
Advanced Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) 1983-1994Go here to read it all.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began a program in 1983 to begin looking at the technologies available to design and manufacture a follow-on supersonic replace for the AV-8 Harrier.
STOVL Strike Fighter (SSF) 1987-1994
In the late 1980s the Lockheed Skunk Works was involved in a classified, non-acknowledged program with NASA Ames that looked into the feasibility of designing a stealthy supersonic STOVL fighter.
Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF) 1993-1994The ASTOVL/SSF concepts were originally seen as developing a replacement for the U.S. and U.K. Harrier jump-jet. As the ASTOVL/SSF concepts became multi-service with the suggestion of multiple variants, the program was re-christened as the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF).
Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) 1990-1993
The U.S. Air Force’s MRF program began in 1991 as a relatively low-cost F-16 replacement. Similar in size to the F-16, the MRF was to have been a single-seat / single-engine aircraft, with a unit flyaway cost in the range of $35 to $50 million.
Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) 1983-1991
The U.S. Navy Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) program began in 1983 as a proposed long range, very low observable, high payload medium-attack aircraft to replace the Grumman A-6 in the carrier-based, medium-attack role
Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) 1990-1991
Due to Congressional intervention, the U.S. Navy agreed to evaluate a navalized version of the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter (now the F/A-22) as a possible replacement for their F-14s. In return, the U.S. Air Force would evaluate a derivative of the ATA as a replacement for their F-111s.
Advanced-Attack/Advanced/Fighter-Attack (A-X/A/F-X) 1992-1993
In January 1991, with the cancellation of the ATA and the NATF, the Secretary of the Navy directed that planning commence for a new A-6 replacement program. This new program became the known as the A-X, an advanced, “high-end,” carrier-based multi-mission aircraft with day/night/all-weather capability, low observables, long range, two engines, two-crew, and advanced, integrated avionics and countermeasures.
However, FY95 budget legislation passed in October 1994 by the U.S. Congress directed that ASTOVL be merged into JAST immediately.
Stop jacking up the history people.
Oh and don't blame the USMC, blame your Congressman for ordering the programs combined.