Tim Ripley

America's global airlift capability could be enhanced, thanks to a major upgrade programme being proposed by Lockheed Martin, Honeywell and General Electric.

"The C-5 Galaxy upgrade will preserve a unique airlift capability into the new millennium," says Micky Blackwell, president of Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics Sector.

"We are happy the USAF has turned its attention to its 126 C-5s," says Blackwell. "Due to funding [cuts] it did not have the parts it needed. It had needed an upgrade from a reliability and maintenance standpoint."


The C-5 Avionics Modernisation Programme (AMP) aims to replace the giant aircraft's existing electronics with modern, digital, highly reliable systems.

The Pentagon has set aside funding the AMP but a follow-on C-5 Propulsion Modernisation Programme is has not budgeted until 2003, although studies may prompt the USAF to review its decision next summer. Under this programme, new GE CF6-80C2 engines will be installed.

"With modernisation, C-5 operators can realise a 34% lower cost-per-flying-hour and 44% lower cost per ton-miles of cargo - all at 20% of the cost of comparable new aircraft," says James Grant, Lockheed Martin Aeronautical System's director of airlift marketing.

Source: Flight Daily News