Everyone who follows military things knows the F-35 costs are too high and the F-18 may lack F-35's multiple attributes. That isn't a bad thing. The F-35 in military parlance, needs a "Wing Man". The F-18 is auditioning for that position. A "wing man covers another aircraft's blinds spots. In this case its money and development failures over the last years. Some think the F-18 is a mission missile that will bring down the F-35.
President elect Trump is swinging his pre-inaugural power using the F-18 as a tactic to bring down cost by suggesting a competition between the two. This is a brilliant idea where a test of the best on best settles why America should spend so much money on the F-35. The outcome of the tests should put naysayers back on the road out of D.C.
The F-18 makes a brilliant wing man. The fourth generation fighter is needed to mitigate the risk of spending so much on something unproven in its whole of concept. It can defeat all known adversaries, not withstanding any new stuff Russia and China are musing with at this time. The F-18 is a force multiplier of the F-35. The F-35 Multi Costs Fighter enhances all fourth generation fighters found in the US arsenal by making them into Multi Role Fighters. The US should not diminish the F-18 capabilities by canceling the F-35 program. President elect should know this and if he doesn't, he is missing the point.
The US will build a better F-18 by partnering with the F-35 in airspace. Most of future conflicts can be won with the F-18 on its own and it will only win all conflicts as an F-35 Wing Man. Both are needed as layers upon layers of defense are needed. The F-18 is needed to transition the US from dogfight conditions to the F-35's battle space capability while it becomes a command and control monster. The day will come where the F-35 is capable of all it has promised, but it needs a bridge getting there using a fourth generation knife during a fifth generation gun battle.