The C-17 is the newest airlift aircraft to enter the Air Force's inventory. The C-17 is a four engine turbofan aircraft capable of airlifting large payloads over intercontinental ranges without refueling. Its design is intended to allow delivery of outsize combat cargo and equipment directly into austere airfields.The C-17 will deliver passengers and cargo over intercontinental distances, provide theater and strategic airlift in both airland and airdrop modes, and augment aeromedical evacuation and special operations missions. The C-17's biggest contribution to the present airlift system will be long range direct delivery. The C-17 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. The aircraft is also able to perform theater airlift missions when required.