YouTube – S-3 Viking
2 x 9,275 lbf. ea.
53 ft. 4 in.
68 ft. 8 in.
The origins of the S-3 Viking, produced by Lockheed, trace back to the late 1960’s in response to a request by the U.S. Navy for a carrier borne aircraft to counter the threat from the latest deep diving nuclear powered submarines of the Soviet Union.
Lockheed, with help from Vought Aeronautics, answered the request by producing the S-3 Viking, one of the most versatile U.S. Navy aircraft of all time. It was primarily a carrier borne aircraft, capable of operating 24 hours a day, even in conditions of poor visibility.
S-3 Viking most recent versions specialized in anti-surface vessel missions, and acted as in-air fuel replenishment aircraft. Other missions included attack, mine laying, over the horizon targeting, ASW (anti-submarine warfare), ECM (electronic counter-measures), surveillance, command and control, and SAR (search and rescue).
Innovations of the S-3 Viking included the ability to retract its refueling probe, magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) boom, and various sensor antennas. These provided an aerodynamically cleaner design, allowing greater speed and range. The most up to date avionics available at the time were fitted to the aircraft enabling enhanced sonar buoy deployment and control.
The S-3 Viking received major upgrades in the mid 1980’s including the ability to carry Harpoon anti-shipping missiles, stand-off land attack missiles, smart and conventional bombs. A high speed computer system enabled the display of information gathered by targeting sensor systems.
In 1990, during the Persian Gulf War, S-3 Viking aircraft went up against Iraqi sites which were firing missiles at Israel. Again in 2003, S-3 Viking aircraft saw action over Iraq, this time using laser guided missiles to attack inland targets.
The S-3 Viking was the aircraft that transported then U.S. President George W. Bush to and from the aircraft carrier from which he delivered the “mission accomplished” speech.
The last S-3 Viking aircraft were retired from active service in September of 2008. Several of the aircraft have since been reactivated to perform utility duties.
A total of 187 S-3 Viking aircraft of all types were produced.
RC S-3 Viking