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    Friday, June 9, 2017

    The Very Very Very Largest US Military Cargo And Transport Aircraft Ever Built

    The Very Very Very Largest US Military Cargo Aircraft Ever Built

    The Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy / C-5M Super Galaxy is a long-range, air refuelable, strategic military transport aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force. It is the largest aircraft in the U.S. armed forces' inventory. Using the front and rear cargo openings, the C-5 Galaxy can be loaded and offloaded at the same time. Both nose and rear doors open the full width and height of the cargo compartment. 

    The C-5 Galaxy routinely carries 73 troops and 36 standard 463L pallets. The aircraft is able to carry two M1 Abrams main battle tanks, or one Abrams tank plus two M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles, or six AH-64 Apache/Apache Longbow attack helicopters. Also, the C-5 is able to carry as many as 15 HMMWV (humvees). 

    The C-5 fleet (A, B, and C models) was delivered to the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1989. In total, 131 aircraft were produced of which 81 were C-5A models (delivered from 1969-1973) and later modified with stronger wings and improved turbofans. The C-5B first flew in 1985 and was equipped with improved turbofans, strengthened wings, color weather radar, and triple INS. The first of 50 C-5Bs was delivered in January 1986. Two C-5As were also modified to the C-5C configuration to carry outsize NASA space cargo. There were 102 aircraft in the USAF C-5 inventory in January 2012. By September 2013, the inventory had fallen to 72. There are 57 C-5A/B/C/M aircraft in the Air Force fleet as of December 2015. Five of that fleet are C-5A-models, which will be retired in 2017. Once the C-5A aircraft fleet is retired, the Air Force will have a fleet of 49 C-5M aircraft and three C-5B aircraft undergoing modification to the C-5M configuration. The target fleet of 52 C-5Ms will be made up of 49 former C-5B models, two C-5Cs and one C-5A. 

    The latest configuration, the C-5M Super Galaxy, is equipped with more powerful General Electric CF6-80C2 (F138-GE-100) turbofan engines, each (4 total) providing 50,580 pounds of thrust. The older C-5A/B/C models are powered by four General Electric TF39-GE-1C turbofan engines with 43,000 pounds of thrust each. 

    The C-5M modernization program (final year of funding was in FY 2015) upgrades older C-5A/B/Cs to the C-5M configuration. The C-5M provides greatly improved reliability, efficiency, and maintainability and thus, reduces operating costs and will enable the C-5 to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force well into the 21st century (estimate is 2040 and beyond). The C-5M Super Galaxy is the result of a two-phase modernization effort featuring the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP). 

    Completed in 2011, the AMP installed a cutting-edge glass cockpit with a digital all-weather flight control system and autopilot; a new communications suite; flat-panel displays; and enhanced navigation and safety equipment. Enhancements such as the integrated datalink capabilities, predictive flight performance cues, situational awareness displays, and an improved Ground Proximity Warning System greatly enhance situational awareness and reduce crew workload. 

    The RERP installs new General Electric CF6-80C2 turbofan engines (+22% thrust) and provides for 70 other enhancements to major components and subsystems. The RERP significantly improves reliability, maintainability, operational performance, and fuel efficiency (8−20% reduction in consumption); and dramatically reduces operating costs. 

    The C-5M Super Galaxy has a 58% faster climb rate, a 30% shorter takeoff roll, and a 30% higher cruise than the current C-5 (A, B, and C models). This allows the C-5M to carry significantly more cargo from more airfields, over greater distances, and with reduced dependency on aerial refueling. 

    In June 2014, C-5M #19 was delivered to Dover Air Force Base (AFB) in Delaware. Lockheed Martin delivered the 32nd modernized C-5M Super Galaxy to the USAF on December 9, 2015. This aircraft was the ninth and final C-5M scheduled for delivery in 2015. Lockheed Martin is expected to complete its work on the last of 52 C-5Ms in early 2018. 

    Once all C-5s have been upgraded, they will be in operation with the 60th and 349th Air Mobility Wings at Travis AFB, the 436th and 512th Airlift Wings at Dover AFB, the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover AFB, and the 433rd Airlift Wing at Joint Base San Antonio. 

    Mission/Role: The C-5 aircraft is a heavy cargo transport aircraft designed to provide strategic inter-theater airlift for deployment and supply of combat and support forces. It can carry fully equipped combat-ready troops to any area in the world on short notice and provide full field support necessary to maintain a fighting force. 

    FY 2016 DoD Program: The last year of funding for the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) was provided in FY 2015. In FY 2016, the primary procurement effort is the core mission computer (CMC) and weather radar (WxRadar) modification. Total proc

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