The article only talks about the Air Force replacing the F-16. The Navy simply doesn't have the money to seek alternatives for the next 10 years with Columbia eating up the biggest chunk. The -B is as good as current technology allows. -B compromised -A. If -B is kept, -C will too to spread current production and future upgrade costs. If only the -B is kept, the per unit cost will be astronomical thus unthinkable. Good example is the F-22 upgrade program. With such a small fleet, you just cannot afford to do much custom for MLU.Why only the A?
The B type has more issues than the A.
C doesn't exist in practice.
If I am China, I wouldn't bother with a VSTOL jet. I'll put all the resources into UCAV's.