Burns & McDonnell guiding Lockheed Martin facility upgrade

Air Force Plant 4, operated by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), is being upgraded to speed production of advanced F-35 fighters with the design-build skill of Burns & McDonnell, Lockheed said.

The project has required a very sensitive design and construction program that has allowed installation of new equipment, and demolition and reconstruction of nearly 20 acres of infrastructure while adjacent F-35 production continued unabated.

Even the smallest stray dust particle in the wrong place could cause considerable damage to the sophisticated aircraft being built “next door,” so the reconstruction has to be built and installed in adjoining work sites completely sealed by temporary barrier systems.

The sprawling plant opened in 1941 to manufacture B-24 bombers and has been a mainstay of US defense work since then. Beginning in 2002, Lockheed Martin began a multi-decade renovation co-piloted by Burns & McDonnell to convert existing production space for F-16 and F-22 fighter aircraft to begin manufacturing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most advanced aircraft in the Air Force arsenal.

Burns & McDonnell is a company made up of more than 5,200 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world.