The US Air Force (USAF) has received the 32nd upgraded C-5M Super Galaxy lifter from Lockheed Martin, closing the deliveries of the aircraft for this year.

Originally brought into the USAF’s service in December 1987, the aircraft has recorded approximately 21,510 flight hours before getting refurbished.

Lockheed Martin is modernising 52 C-5s, including 49 B-, two C- and one A-model aircraft through the Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program (RERP).

The first modernised C-5M Super Galaxy was delivered to the USAF in 2010.

Under the modernisation programme, the C-5 aircraft are undergoing 70 changes and upgrades, including the installation of new GE CF6-80C2 engines, for tenfold increase in engine reliability, 22% increase in thrust, and 58% greater climb rate.

The upgraded aircraft have reduced failure rates and maintenance hours by 50%, and meet stage four noise and emission standards.

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According to Lockheed Martin, the Super Galaxy is the only strategic airlifter capable of linking the US directly to the warfighter, without refueling.

"The upgraded aircraft have reduced failure rates and maintenance hours by 50%, and meet stage four noise and emission standards."

The C-5M can carry a payload of 129,274kg, equivalent to six mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs) or up to five helicopters. It can haul twice as much cargo as any other airlifter.

Lockheed Martin delivered nine Super Galaxy aircraft this year.

The ninth aircraft was ferried from the Lockheed Martin facility to Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, where it will undergo internal paint restoration.

The aircraft will finally be assigned to Travis Air Force Base, California, which already operates 13 Super Galaxy lifters.

Image: The ninth Super Galaxy received by the USAF this year. Photo: courtesy of Andrew McMurtrie / Lockheed Martin.