Airlift upgrade deal for Lockheed

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The US government has awarded an initial $23m contract to Lockheed Martin for long-lead tasks related to modernising the first production C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft for the US Air Force. The work falls under the USAF’s Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Programme (RERP).

This initial contract begins the second of two phases in C-5 modernisation. The Avionics Modernisation Programme provides the digital backbone and the RERP completes the process by offering improvements in reliability, maintainability and availability.

The centrepiece for RERP is the new GE CF6-80C2 commercial engine which Lockheed claims delivers a 22 per cent increase in thrust, a 30 per cent shorter take-off roll, and powers a 58 per cent faster climb. There are three C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft (two former C-5Bs, one former C-5A) in flight-testing that have logged more than 260 flight hours.

The C-5 fleet is used for military airlift operations. It carries troops in a separate compartment, enabling troops and their equipment to arrive in an area of operation simultaneously. According to Lockheed, it can carry twice the cargo of other strategic airlift systems.