Lockheed Martin F-35
An F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off on a training sortie at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, March 6, 2012. REUTERS/U.S. Air Force photo/Randy Gon/Handout

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program has been criticized in a performance evaluation report released by Pentagon. The report documented 276 “deficiencies in combat performance” and said Donald Trump’s administration should “rigorously and comprehensively review” the aircraft's effectiveness.

“Significant, well-documented deficiencies; for hundreds of these, the program has no plan to adequately fix and verify with flight test within [System Development and Demonstration]; although it is common for programs to have unresolved deficiencies after development, the program must assess and mitigate the cumulative effects of these remaining deficiencies on F-35 effectiveness and suitability,” the Pentagon’s Office of Operational Testing and Evaluation said in the recently-released report.

The F-35 program has come under fire for it high cost. With a price tag $400 billion, it is the Pentagon’s costliest program, and additional operating costs are likely to take the total to above $1 trillion.

“The current schedule-driven program plans to close out testing in 2017 do not include enough time to fix these key deficiencies, nor time to verify corrections in flight test,” the report stated. “The program currently has 17 known and acknowledged failures to meet the contract specification requirements, all of which the program is reportedly planning to get relief from the SDD [System Development and Demonstration] contract due to lack of time and funding.”

Last month, Trump blasted the F-35 program over its “out of control” cost in a tweet. He also said that “billions of dollars can and will be saved” on military purchases once he takes office. Following this, Lockheed Martin's chief executive Marillyn Hewson met the president-elect to assure him that the company is committed to driving down the cost of the aircraft.

“I had a very good conversation with President-elect Trump this afternoon and assured him that I've heard his message loud and clear about reducing the cost of the F-35,” Hewson said at the time. “I gave him my personal commitment to drive the cost down aggressively. I know that President-elect Trump wants the very best capability for our military at the lowest cost for taxpayers, and we’re ready to deliver!”

According to Lockheed, three variations of over 2,400 F-35s will replace older aircraft used by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps in the coming years.