Honeywell International is being tapped to support the Air Force's fleet of C-5M Super Galaxy
transport aircraft. Under this $7.8 million firm-fixed-priced order
the company will be responsible to upgrade 85 Versatile Integrated Avionics/Avionics Integrated Units (VIA/AIU) to the 905 configuration. The upgrades are part of the Galaxy's Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) avionics program. The VIA software system has six primary “partitions” or applications that include flight management, com/nav/surveillance/identification (CNSI), communication management, display services and all-weather flight control. The C-5M VIA/AIU repair and upgrade effort is a key component
to the overall Core Mission Computer/Weather Radar aircraft modification/installation kit that replaces the current mission computer, and replaces the weather radar with a commercial off-the-shelf color weather radar. Work will be perfumed at Honeywell's location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by June 14, 2020.
When it was introduced, back in 1970, the C-5 Galaxy was the largest plane in the world. It also has the highest operating cost of any US Air Force weapon system, owing to extremely high maintenance demands as well as poor fuel economy. Worse, availability rates routinely hover near 50%. To add insult to injury, the Russians not only built a bigger plane (the AN-124), they sold it off at the end of the Cold War to semi-private operators, turning it into a commercial success whose customer list now includes… NATO.
Meanwhile, the USA still needs long-range, heavy load airlift. The AN-124’s commercial success may get its production line restarted, but the C-5 has no such hope. Boeing’s smaller C-17s cost more than $200 million per plane. That’s about the cost of a 747-8 freighter, for much higher availability rates than the C-5, and a longer lifespan.