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.
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.