Upgrades for the C-5

C-5 Polishing (11/16/04 entry)

Strategy Page reports that the C-5 is getting some long-overdue avionics upgrades and new engines.

Engine upgrades include a new pylon to secure GE CF6 commercial engines to the wing, replacing the current 42,000-lb thrust engines. The CF-6 has been in service on the 747 for a number of years and will be downrated from 60,000-lbs of thrust to 50,000-lbs because the C-5 can’t handle that much power. The new engines dramatically improve performance. The C-5’s cruise ceiling will increase from 24,000 feet to 33,000 feet and provide 22 percent greater takeoff thrust, 30 percent less takeoff distance, and 58 percent less time to climb than with the C-5’s current TF39 engines.

Although not as flashy or immediately obvious like new weapons or combat vehicles, keeping our support fleet of planes and ships up to date is just as important to our war effort as keeping the front-line soldier equipped with the latest gadgets. It takes an awful lot to keep an army in the field, and we’re going to be doing it for a long, long time.

Go read the whole thing for more info.


  1. Now if only they would improve the C-130: lighter, more powerful, longe range, carry more. etc. I hear that even a stripped down Stryker could overload the 130, especialy when taking off at high elevations.

  2. Phelps: That’s a great point. Anything and everything that makes the bad guys’ job harder is probably worth it. There are a lot of shoulder-fired SAMs floating around out there. Faster climb means less of a launch window and a smaller area on the ground that needs to be covered.