Military Airlift: C-17 Aircraft Program
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The C-17 Globemaster III is a long-range cargotransport aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force since 1993. Congress approved development of the aircraft in the late 1970s, when it was recognized that the Air Force did not have enough airlift capability. In 1981, the McDonnell Douglas C-17 emerged as winner of a competition with Boeing and Lockheed to develop a next-generation aircraft to replace C-130s and C-141s. Full-scale development of the C-17 got underway in 1986, but technical problems and funding shortfalls delayed the program, leading to slipped schedules and increased costs. Despite those difficulties, the C-17 has retained broad congressional support and enjoys strong Air Force and Army backing. Defense officials view the C-17 as essential because of its ability to fly long distances with large payloads yet still use smaller bases in remote areas.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Transport Aircraft