Lockheed Martin delivers last upgraded C-5M to USAF

Lockheed Martin has announced the delivery of the final C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft to the US Air Force, which effectively ends Air Mobility Command´s the upgrade program to modernize the C-5s, the company said.

Air Mobility Command began a programme to modernize the C-5s in 1998 after a study concluded the decades-old aircraft had 80 percent of their service life remaining. Since, Lockheed Martin upgraded 52 C-5s for the USAF with new engines, avionics and diagnostics systems — upgrades which will extend the service life of the fleet out until the 2040s.

As part of the modernization programme, the C-5´s engines were upgraded from four General Electric TF-39 engines to General Electric F-138 engines. The new engines delivers a 22% increase in thrust, a 30% shorter take-off roll, a 58% faster climb rate, according to the USAF.

The first C-5 was delivered in 1970, with 128 aircraft of the original A, B, and C variations delivered up until 1989, according to the USAF. Aircraft that weren´t scheduled to be upgraded were retired by September 2017.

The first operational C-5M was delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware in 2009. The aircraft are manufactured at Lockheed Martin´s Marietta, Georgia facility.

Touted as the USAF´s largest transport, the aircraft´s nose and aft doors open, allowing ground crews to simultaneously load and off-load cargo from both ends, reducing cargo transfer times. Its wide berth and drive-on ramps enable double rows of Humvees to be carried.

Lockheed Martin is a global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company located in Maryland.