Had VEAO stuck with the original plan, Hawk - Typhoon, perhaps this mess may never have occurred.

Doubtful, considering the troubles they have had with some basic features of the Hawk.

IMO the problem stems from:

1) nobody at VEAO having any sort of coding background; they’re just managers without anything to manage, playing being a manager. So everything needs to be out-sourced, which is absolutely ridiculous and completely the other-way around in software development. Coders should seek managers when they cannot cope with the scale of the project, not managers seeking coders/artists to satisfy some childish dream.

2) ED not lifting a finger to explain DCS coding to third parties, nor giving any info on what they’re doing that could influence third party modules. Devs learn of changes to DCS pretty much at the same time the community learns about them. Often, they don’t even communicate anything; They just change stuff to the engine without mentioning it even in a basic changelog (as has been proven multiple times by frustrated devs/testers in posts that are now deleted, ofcourse) Also, they don’t do any due diligence on who they give third party status and who they don’t. No background checks, no security deposit, nothing at all.

It is pretty much: “oh you want to develop for us? You look promising from what you’ve shown so far, so here you go”

Fast forward to the present, Britain's politicians are infighting as to how to pull out of the EU....much like VEAO are fighting to leave ED.

They’re bankrupt, so all VEAO work is handled by the administrator. VEAO has already left the building, and the administrator won’t give the source code for free. (Nor would ED do anything with it, considering they would need to understand and fix the Hawk coding, which takes more work than building it from the ground up themselves. Nor is there any incentive to work on the Hawk, since most sales are already made, and taking the project over would mean making an entire module and release it for free to the community.

How sour ED responds to this debacle is testament to their amateurism (being a UK Ltd. wrapped into a swiss société anonyme is already a lawyers’ facepalm of not knowing what in hell you’re doing anyway, so this should be expected from Child Hobbyists & Co).
In the mean-time, ED has an easy scape goat on which to put all the blame: VEAO

Oh, and by the way: Happy birthday Cichlidfan! Better late than never 😉