Posted by John McHaleMARIETTA, Ga., 22 Sept. 2010. Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] first production C-5M Super Galaxy with new avionics made its first flight sporting the new "Super Galaxy" tail flash and nose art. It is set to be delivered Sept. 30 and will arrive for duty at Dover Air Force Base, Del., in November. Once operational, the C-5M Super Galaxy will have a 58 percent greater climb rate to an initial cruise altitude that is 38 percent higher than the current C-5. This improved capability will enable the C-5M to carry significantly more cargo from more airfields, over great distances, with reduced dependency on tanker assets.
C-5 modernization provides improved reliability, efficiency, maintainability, and availability -- reducing total ownership and operating costs, according to the Lockheed Martin website. The C-5M Super Galaxy is the result of a two-phase modernization effort: the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP). AMP adds a new, modern cockpit with a digital, all-weather flight control system and autopilot; a new communications suite; flat-panel displays; and enhanced navigation and safety equipment, according to the Lockheed Martin website. Enhancements such as the integrated datalink capabilities, predictive flight performance cues, and situational awareness displays (the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System) ease crew workload and enhance situational awareness. RERP adds new GE CF6-80C2 commercial engines (military designation F108-GE-100) plus 70 other enhancements to major components and subsystems. The RERP increases fleet availability; improves reliability, maintainability, operational performance, and allowable cabin loads; and reduces total ownership cost and fuel consumption. Re-engining is the centerpiece of the RERP program. The new engine produces more than 50,000 pounds of thrust -- a 22 percent increase over current TF39 engines -- and is Stage III noise compliant, according to the Lockheed Martin website.