Lockheed Martin announced that it has inducted the eighth C-5 transport into the modernization line at its facility in Marietta, Ga. Workers there will elevate the massive airlifter to superstar status, giving it significant reliability and performance enhancements, including new engines. Coupled with state-of-the-art avionics that the aircraft already has received, these updates will transform this C-5B into a C-5M Super Galaxy. The aircraft, tail number 85-0003, has been assigned to Dover AFB, Del. It has accumulated more than 19,000 flight hours and more than 4,500 full-stop landings across the globe since joining the fleet in 1986. The Air Force intends to modernize a total of 52 C-5s to the Super Galaxy standard. Lockheed intends to induct two more C-5s at Marietta this year. (See also The Super Galaxy from the Air Force Magazine archives.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.