Lockheed Martin has finished a 17-year-long project to upgrade the Air Force’s C-5M Super Galaxy at the company’s facility in Marietta, Georgia.
Since 2001, Lockheed Martin has been carrying out the mammoth task of upgrading 52 C-5Ms. The last of the upgraded Super Galaxy aircraft took off from the Marietta facility Aug. 2, marking the end of the project.
The Air Force’s Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program extends the C-5M’s service lifespan into the 2040s.
According to a Lockheed Martin press release, RERP "incorporates more than 70 improvements that improve reliability, efficiency, maintainability and availability. RERP included changes or modifications to the airframe structure; environmental and pneumatic systems; hydraulic systems, electrical system; fuel system; landing gear, and flight controls.”
The C-5M has been a part of the Air Force’s fleet since 1970. It is the largest strategic airlifting platform in the Air Force. Fully loaded, the Super Galaxy can fly at a gross weight of 800,000 pounds.
According to Lockheed Martin, the upgraded Super Galaxy now boasts, “a 22 percent increase in thrust, a shorter takeoff roll; a 58 percent improvement in climb rate; [and] allows the C-5M to cruise — at maximum gross weight — in the Communication/Navigation/Surveillance/Air Traffic Management flight environment."
The upgrade greatly enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced the demand for tanker support.
Neil is a former US Army Captain and served operational deployments in South Korea and Afghanistan. He is currently an Editorial Fellow at the Military Times.