Thirteenth C-5B Galaxy aircraft

Lockheed Martin has received the thirteenth C-5B Galaxy aircraft from the US Air Force (USAF) as part of the reliability enhancement and re-engining programme (RERP).

The aircraft is the second C-5B Galaxy from Travis Air Force Base undergoing modification to C-5M Super Galaxy standard, the largest airlift aircraft in the USAF’s fleet, at the company’s Marietta facility in Georgia, US.

The RERP modifications involve more than 70 improvements and upgrades to the C-5 airframe and aircraft systems, such as pylons and auxiliary power units, landing gear, cockpit and pressurisation systems, as well as installation of new General Electric CF6 turbofan engines.

The enhancements are intended to enable the aircraft’s fully-loaded take-offs and landings on short runways, optimising its cargo carrying capabilities. The enhancements also meet the performance requirements of the Global Air Traffic Management initiative.

A total of 52 C-5 Galaxy aircraft including 49 B-, two C- and one A-model aircraft, which have already completed the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), are scheduled to be upgraded through the RERP by the end of 2016.

Following the completion of RERP, the aircraft will be re-designated as C-5M Super Galaxy.

Implemented in 1998, the AMP is the first part of a two-step CM-5 modernisation programme, aimed at providing increased reliability, maintainability and better fuel efficiency to the aircraft, while also extending service life beyond 2040.

Lockheed had secured a $70m C-5 AMP contract to upgrade all of the USAF’s existing C-5 A, B, and C model aircraft in 2004.

As part of C-5 AMP, 79 aircraft were equipped with a mission computer, a glass cockpit with digital avionics, autopilot capabilities and state-of-the-art communications.

The C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, to carry oversize cargos, including all 100% air-certifiable cargo.

Image: The thirteenth C-5B Galaxy on the way for RERP at Lockheed’s facility in US. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.