Lockheed Martin has received the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-5B Galaxy aircraft for its planned modernisation, as part of the reliability enhancement and re-engining programme (RERP).
The aircraft will be modified to to C-5M Super Galaxy standard, the largest airlift aircraft in the US Air Force fleet. The C-5B is the 12th aircraft to undergo the process.
The RERP modifications consist of more than 70 improvements and upgrades to the C-5 airframe and aircraft systems, with improvements including the installation of new higher-thrust, turbofan engines.
The USAF has recently taken delivery of the 79th and final C-5 Galaxy aircraft from Lockheed, following completion of the avionics modernization program (AMP).
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 its service life beyond 2040.
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Of the 79 aircraft that received the AMP upgrades, 52 are scheduled to undergo a second set of RERP upgrades which involves reequipping the aircraft with new General Electric CF6 engines.
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.
Lockheed is scheduled to deliver 52 C-5Ms by 2016 to the USAF following the modification of 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs and one C-5A.
The 12th aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to the USAF in 2013.
Image: The US Air Force’s C-5B Galaxy aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s facility. Photo: courtesy of David Key.