The US Air Force's (USAF) Air Reserve Component, 433rd Airlift Wing (AW), has received the first C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft.
Named The City of San Antonio, the C-5M is the first to be delivered to a reserve unit. The Lockheed Martin-built strategic transport aircraft is a modernised version of the legacy C-5.
The 433rd AW will have nine C-5M aircraft in total by the end of 2018.
Lockheed Martin Air Mobility and Maritime Missions vice-president Tony Frese said: "The biggest step up the C-5M brings are the upgraded engines, which provide not only about 22% improved thrust but up to 20% more fuel efficiency.
"That converts into over 20% more range for this aircraft, much shorter takeoff distances, much faster time, but also more reliability. Also, the engines are ten times more reliable than the previous version's engines.
"However, what most people don't realise is the other 70 improvements that have been made to other systems of the aircraft, and they really bring together the significant reliability of this aircraft."
As part of a two-phase upgrade programme, the USAF intends to modernise 52 C-5 aircraft, including 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs and one C-5A.
The C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft has been designed to extend the capability of the C-5 fleet to remain in service until 2040.
Fourth Air Force commander major general John C. Flournoy Jr said: "The opportunity to take an older aircraft and bring it up to today's standards for aviation is absolutely phenomenal.
"This was my first time landing in a C-5M and let me tell you it flies like a dream. It's absolutely a wonderful piece of modern technology in that cockpit, and it felt great."
Image: 433rd Airlift Wing commander colonel Thomas K. Smith Jr. addresses a crowd during the C-5M Super Galaxy transfer ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Benjamin Faske.