all of them ordered few for testing and evaluation.... the planned will only push thru if it passes their requirement more future MRFs.. lets just wait their evaluation.. and in other words, they still doubt the capability of the F35s
i am old enough to know that both the USAF and the USN initially rejected the F-16 in the mid-70s as an export market cheapo... and compared to the F-15 and the F-14, they were right... even the now much-heralded F-18 started life as the YF-17... which lost to the F-16 as the Export Fighter-Bomber of the Western World...
You always order a few in advance so that you can train the pilot and grounds years ahead of the bulk order. Also for commander to evaluate the utilization since tatics employment would be different.
It is hard to be subjective when you are already on the train and have bought a ticket. No smoke without a fire.