The C-5 System Integration Lab at US Robins Air Force Base is set to accommodate new changes to the weapon system’s colour weather radar capabilities.

Currently, Lockheed Martin is performing full-scale development to update the aircraft with a new version of the colour weather radar and its core mission computer, which is designed to enable the crew to identify thunderstorms, tornadoes and high winds.

The USAF personnel at Robins AFB have been preparing to receive this update for several months.

"We had to design and implement this modification to the SIL so that the radar would function just as it does in a fielded C-5 aircraft."

The C-5’s testing environment at the base includes a facility that uses a salvaged cockpit section from a C-5 that crashed at Dover AFB, Delaware, in 2006.

With this flight deck facility, 578th Software Maintenance Squadron electronics engineers, technicians and computer scientists are capable of simulating and testing software and performing preflight tests.

The new update will offer the C-5 SIL with the capability to receive live data from the antenna.

578th SMXS Flight B director Warner Paris said: "We had to design and implement this modification to the SIL so that the radar would function just as it does in a fielded C-5 aircraft.

"For high fidelity testing capabilities, we want to simulate the aircraft and its environment."

The crew carried our several hardware modifications to the existing lab in order to accommodate the pending workload associated with the new colour weather radar.

It included designing, fabricating and installing an electronics cabinet / enclosure, fabricating and installing cables from the lab’s cockpit to the cabinet / enclosure and designing an antenna fixture and pedestal that allows for proper antenna rotation during testing.

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.