USAF receives modernised C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft

8 August 2018 (Last Updated August 8th, 2018 15:33)

The US Air Force (USAF) has received the 52nd modernised C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin.

USAF receives modernised C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft
C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport. Credit: Lockheed Martin / Andrew Mcmurtrie.

The US Air Force (USAF) has received the 52nd modernised C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin.

The aircraft was upgraded under the USAF’s Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Programme (RERP) at Lockheed’s Marietta, Georgia, facility.

Lockheed Martin began RERP development work in 2001 and the delivery marks the completion of the RERP upgrade, resulting in an extension of the service life of the C-5 fleet out until the 2040s.

As part of RERP, more than 70 improvements were carried out to improve reliability, efficiency, maintainability and availability.

The company made changes to the airframe structure, landing gear, and flight controls, as well as environmental, pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical, and fuel systems.

“The engine is expected to provide 22% more thrust than the TF39 turbofans on the earlier C-5A/B/C aircraft while enabling the C-5M to meet noise reduction requirements.”

Lockheed Martin Air Mobility and Maritime Missions Strategic Airlift director Patricia Pagan said: “With the capability inherent in the C-5M, the Super Galaxy is more efficient and more reliable, and better able to do its job of truly global strategic airlift.

“I am very proud of the contractor-government team that carried out the C-5 fleet modernisation effort. We’ve worked very hard to ensure the C-5Ms are the absolute best strategic airlifters possible for our armed forces.”

The C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft will now undergo interior paint restoration at Stewart Air Force Base in New York, US.

Upon completion of the work, the aircraft will be flown to Westover and it is set to become the eighth C-5M assigned to the base.

Lockheed de-rated the GE F138 turbofan engine to 50,000lb of thrust on the C-5M.

The engine is expected to provide 22% more thrust than the TF39 turbofans on the earlier C-5A/B/C aircraft while enabling the C-5M to meet noise reduction requirements.

Besides the increased thrust, the modifications will cause a shorter take-off roll, a 58% improvement in climb rate, improved fuel efficiency, and reduced tanker support demand.

The C-5 Galaxy is the largest strategic airlifter in the USAF’s fleet, with a capacity to carry two 78t M1A1 main battle tanks or helicopters and other large equipment.