In 1992 the F16 was already emerging as the go-to multirole fighter for NATO countries. And even though the F16 was technically advanced, NATO wanted to plan its replacement in good time. The result was the Joint Strike Fighter program. Lockheed Martin group contributed with the X-35 prototype which was selected as the platform for the program.
The first F-35 Lightning II flew in 2006 and the aircraft has been produced since. But the airplane is caught up between a general rapid technological advancement and the ambitions of the stakeholders in the Joint Strike Fighter program. So much so, that some elements on the original plane are no longer in production and cannot be serviced.
Nevertheless, the F35 is a formidable fighter jet. It is not faster or more maneuverable than any of its predecessors. The F35 is superior due to technological capabilities and stealth technology.