The production of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft is expected to cost more and see a delay of up to three years before its delivery to the US Government.

The projections, based on a preliminary analysis of test and production data, reveal that software, engineering and flight difficulties related to JSF production are greater than expected.

A F-35 technical baseline review was prepared by the Pentagon’s defence acquisition board for an in-depth examination of the $382bn JSF programme, according to Bloomberg.

New delays and higher prices are expected to cause difficulties in the development and combat testing of the F-35, which is already four years behind schedule.

The delay will lead to the $50bn development phase costing $5bn more, and the JSF being significantly more expensive to maintain than the warplanes it will replace.