Boeing C–17 Globemaster III

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Product Type:
Military Transport Aircraft

Using Service (US):
Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:
Sustainment. No more A/C planned.

Prime Contractor:
The Boeing Company
Engines: Pratt & Whitney (UTC)

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

About the C-17 Globemaster III:

By Forecast International /// The following is a snapshot of the C-17 program. For complete data and a forecast outlook, please view our Military Aircraft Forecast


The Boeing C–17 Globemaster III is a wide-body military transport aircraft in service with the U.S. Air Force and six international customers. The C-17 is named Globemaster "III" after the legacy Douglas C-74 Globemaster and Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. Boeing assembles the C-17 at the company's Long Beach, California plant. The C-17 is capable of airlifting outsized and oversized payloads over intercontinental ranges with or without in-flight refueling. The C-17 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, each providing 40,440 pounds of thrust. The F117 is the military designation for the commercial PW2040 used on the Boeing 757.

The capabilities of the C-17 include rapid direct delivery of forces by airland or airdrop into difficult tactical environments. The C–17 is capable of performing both inter-theater and intra-theater airlift missions. The C-17 is the only aircraft capable of routine delivery of outsize cargo (tanks, helicopters, etc.) to short, austere airfields. Carrying a payload of 164,900 pounds, the C-17 can take off from a 7,000-foot runway, fly 2,800 miles (4,500 km), and land on small austere airfields as short as 3,000 feet. The C-17 is equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows for a steep, low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for short-field landings.

The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster), reducing both manpower requirements and operating costs. This cost-effective flight crew complement is made possible through the use of an advanced digital avionics system and advanced cargo systems. In the cargo compartment, the C-17 carries the Army's wheeled vehicles in two side-by-side rows. For example, three combat-ready Stryker vehicles or 10 HMMWV (Humvees) comprise one deployment load. Also, the C-17 is able to transport the M1 Abrams main battle tank. Furthermore, the C-17 can carry up to 102 troops, 36 litter patients, or 18 standard 463-L pallets. Cargo and vehicles are loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft door that accommodates military vehicles and palletized cargo. The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable equipment.

The C-17 is equipped with the AN/APS-150 Weather Radar from Honeywell, the AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Receiver (MWR) and the AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures dispensing system. C-17s upgraded with the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system from Northrop Grumman are equipped with the AN/AAR-54 MWR and a laser transmitter assembly (SLTA or GLTA). LAIRCM provides defense for large aircraft from the growing threat of man-portable air defense (MANPAD) systems. LAIRCM is based on Northrop Grumman's AN/AAQ-24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system.

Design work on the C-17 began at McDonnell Douglas' (now Boeing) Long Beach facility in 1981. The C-17 made its first flight in September 1991 and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina in June 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready in January 1995. Since its first flight, the C-17 has accumulated more than 3 million flying hours (reached the 2 million flight hour milestone in December 2010 and the 3 million mark in May 2015).

The final C-17 departed Boeing's production facility in Long Beach, CA on November 29, 2015. A total of 279 aircraft (incl. one test aircraft T-1 on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH) were delivered including 223 aircraft purchased by the U.S. Air Force +1 aircraft in FY 2012 (operational loss replacement of one aircraft) and more than 50 aircraft flying with seven nations overseas + NATO. Abroad, the C-17 is operated by Australia (8 aircraft), Canada (5), India (11), Kuwait (2), NATO Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program (3 incl. one from the USAF), Qatar (8), United Arab Emirates (8), and United Kingdom (8).




The C-17 provides outsize intra-theater airland/airdrop capability not available in the current airlift force. The aircraft provides rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area.

FY 2020 & FY 2021 - C-17 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), The Boeing Company,
Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, BAE Systems, and Pratt & Whitney.

Military Aircraft Forecast:

Complete and detailed information, including production forecast data, is provided in our Market Intelligence Service: Military Aircraft Forecast.

Forecast International Budget Data:

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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