Home > Aircraft > Lockheed S-3 Viking

Lockheed S-3 Viking

Carrier-based anti-submarine and littoral warfare aircraft

Lockheed S-3 Viking

The Lockheed S-3B Viking was used by the US Navy for more than 40 years

Country of origin United States
Entered service 1974
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 16.26 m
Wing span 20.93 m
Height 6.93 m
Weight (empty) 12 t
Weight (maximum take off) 23.8 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x General Electric TF34-GE-2 turbofans
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 41.26 kN
Maximum speed 814 km/h
Service ceiling 10.6 km
Combat radius 853 km
Missiles AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missiles
Bombs Mk.82/83 free-fall bombs, Mk.53 mines, Mk.54 depth bombs, Mk.20 Mod 2 'Rockeye' cluster bombs
Other Mk.46/53 Barracuda torpedoes, 127 mm Zuni and 70 mm FFAR or Hydra 70 rockets


   The S-3 was originally designed in the early 1970s to replace the S-2 Tracker. The new aircraft had a sophisticated anti-submarine warfare sensor suite. It was nicknamed by its aircrews as the Hoover.

   The demise of the Soviet Union and the increasing dominance of littoral warfare led to decreased emphasis on the anti-submarine warfare and more emphasis on anti-surface warfare and land-attack missions.

   The S-3A variant was replaced in the early 1990s by the S-3B. This incorporated upgrades such as the APS-137 inverse synthetic aperture radar and the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Each carrier air wing included one sea control (VS) squadron equipped with eight S-3Bs. VS squadrons perform anti-submarine, anti-shipping, mine-laying, and surveillance missions for the carrier group.

   Sixteen S-3A were converted to ES-3A Shadow standard during the early 1990s with a variety of electronic surveillance and intercept equipment to locate ant identify hostile emitters and communications stations. In mid-1998, the Navy made the decision to with draw the ES-3A from service without replacement. The aircraft's mission avionics suite, became obsolescent in the age of interconnectivity in the electronic battlefield, and was deemed as too expensive to upgrade - the ES-3A left service in mid-1999.

   The S-3B Viking carried out the US Navy's carrier-based sea control mission. It also had an important secondary role as an aerial tanker, equipped with D-704 buddy-buddy refueling stores. It was the sole recent carrier aircraft capable of this function, the number of S-3Bs per squadron has been increased from six to eight. Several upgrades were installed on Vikings, including the GPS, carrier aircraft inertial navigation system II, new tactical displays, computer memory, satellite-communication equipment and improved radios. Several S-3Bs have been involved in anti-drug trafficking duties, using camera systems, forward-looking infra red and hand-held sensors.

   In 2009 the S-3B Viking was retired from the US Navy's front line service, though some of these aircraft were still used for secondary duties. These aircraft were finally retired in 2016 after more than 40 years of service. The Viking was retired without proper replacement. Its missions were taken over by P-3C Orion, various SH-60 Seahawk series helicopters and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.



Lockheed S-3B Viking

Lockheed S-3B Viking landing on the aircraft carrier

Lockheed S-3B Viking on the elevator


Personal appeal from Andrius Genys
Please Read

Top 10 Fighter Aircraft
Top 10 Fighter Aircraft

Top 10 Military Transport Aircraft
Top 10 Largest Military Transports

Home  Home     Aircraft     Helicopters     Tanks     Armored Vehicles     Artillery     Trucks     Engineering Vehicles     Missiles     Naval Forces     Firearms     |     Contact Us

ARG 2006 - 2021