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Lockheed delivers final C-5M Super Galaxy airlifter to US Air Force


The 52nd and final C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport aircraft. Photo: Lockheed Martin

MARIETTA (BNS): Lockheed Martin has delivered the 52nd C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport aircraft to the US Air Force, thereby completing the Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Programme (RERP) which entailed modernisation of the C-5A/B/C Galaxy fleet of airlifters to the new configuration.

The final aircraft of the Super Galaxy series was delivered to the USAF at the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility on Aug. 2, 2018.

“The delivery completes the RERP upgrade, which extends the service life of the C-5 fleet out until the 2040s,” Lockheed Martin announced in a statement on August 6.

The company began RERP development work in 2001. The programme incorporated more than 70 improvements, including changes or modifications in the C-5 Galaxy’s airframe structure; environmental and pneumatic systems; hydraulic systems, electrical system; fuel system; landing gear; and flight controls.

The heart of the system was the advanced GE F138 turbofan engine with higher thrust. The new engine replaced the TF39 turbofans fitted on the earlier C-5A/B/C aircraft.

First flight of a modified aircraft to the C-5M standard took place in Marietta, Georgia, on June 19, 2006. The first operational C-5M was delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on February 9, 2009.

A total of 49 C-5Bs, two C-5C aircraft, and one original C-5A was modified under RERP, the official statement said.

The C-5 Galaxy has been operated solely by the US Air Force since 1970 and is the largest strategic airlifter in the USAF’s fleet.

Following their modernisation, the airlifters will remain operational for another 20 years or more.

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