The Boeing (originally McDonnell Douglas) C-17 Globemaster III is a large American airlifter manufactured by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and operated by the United States Air Force, British Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Canadian Forces. NATO and Qatar will also acquire the airlifter.
The C-17 Globemaster III is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. It is also capable of performing tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions. The C-17 takes its name from two previous United States cargo aircraft, the C-74 Globemaster and the C-124 Globemaster II.
The C-17 is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,500 ft (1,064 m) and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate out of unpaved, unimproved runways (although there is the increased possibility of damage to the aircraft). The thrust reversers can be used to back the aircraft and reverse direction on narrow taxiways using a three-point (or in some cases, multi-point) turn maneuver.