Why does India need Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs?

What purpose do they serve in the Indian Military?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there somewhere some rule that one should downvote questions that are simple or easy to answer? Because I'm trying to find a reason for the downvotes and I can't. It's a legitimate question, in my opinion, even if a bit simple. $\endgroup$
    – user12873
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 3:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @DigitalDracula, the reason you can see in the edit history. Deletion of a sentence is giving this question up votes. $\endgroup$
    – user366312
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ I find it incredibly hard to understand that the purpose of a transport aircraft would not be self-evident. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ It’s a transport aircraft. It’s self-explanatory. $\endgroup$
    – MD88Fan
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Jpe61 It's not the only transport aircraft in the world. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 4:16

1 Answer 1


The C-17 serves the same purpose in the Indian military as it does in other armed forces: it provides large-scale airlift.

India is a large country that has long borders with unfriendly neighbors, so it has a requirement to move troops and supplies quickly to any hotspots.

"The Indian military needs to do three things: augment its ability to quickly lift larger numbers of troops as it views possible threats on its border with China; strengthen its presence on the Pakistani border; and fight terrorism and low-intensity warfare", said a senior Defence Ministry official. "India needs to triple its lift capacity", said the official.

India spent on the order of $5B buying these aircraft, it's unlikely they'd pay that much for aircraft they don't need.

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    $\begingroup$ In addition, India has almost 7000 troops deployed worldwide on UN peacekeeping missions, these airplanes help transport and supply them. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ there were no Globemasters in the Indian inventory before 2009. $\endgroup$
    – user366312
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 5:21

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