Lockheed S-3 Viking


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Lockheed S-3 Viking

The Lockheed S-3 Viking is a United States Navy jet aircraft used to hunt and destroy enemy submarines and provide surveillance of surface shipping. The S-3B version can be fitted with buddy stores, external fuel tanks that refuel other aircraft, to act as an airborne tanker. The ES-3A electronic reconnaissance version was fitted for electronic warfare and reconnaissance. Because of the high-pitched sound of the aircraft's engines, it is nicknamed the "Hoover" (after the vacuum cleaner).

The S-3A Viking replaced the piston-engined Grumman S-2 Tracker and entered fleet service in 1974. The S-3 is a carrier-based, subsonic, all-weather, long-range, multi-mission aircraft. It operates primarily with carrier battle groups in anti-submarine warfare roles. It carries automated weapon systems and is capable of extended missions with in-flight refueling.

The last production S-3A was delivered in August 1978. The inventory includes S-3As and S-3Bs. Sixteen S-3As were converted to ES-3 Shadows for carrier-based electronic reconnaissance (ELINT) duties. A few units were also converted for utility and limited cargo duty, known as the US-3B, all of which were retired by 1998. Plans were also made to develop the KS-3A version out of the basic airframe, a carrier-based tanker aircraft to replace the retired KA-6 but these were ultimately cancelled.

On May 1, 2003, US President George W. Bush rode in the co-pilot seat of a Viking that landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, where he delivered his "Mission Accomplished" speech announcing the end of major combat in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That Navy flight is the only one to use the callsign "Navy One".

Since the submarine threat has been perceived as reduced Vikings have had their antisubmarine warfare equipment removed and are now used primarily for sea and ground attack, sea surface search, over the horizon targeting, and aircraft refueling. As a result, crews are now usually limited to two people, but three people crews are not unusual with certain missions. Navy plans call for the retirement of all Vikings by 2009.

Lockheed S-3 Viking

 ENGINE2 x GE TF-34-GE-2, 41.2kN
  Take-off weight19280 kg42505 lb
  Empty weight12070 kg26610 lb
  Wingspan20.9 m69 ft 7 in
  Length16.3 m54 ft 6 in
  Height6.9 m23 ft 8 in
  Wing area55.6 m2598.47 sq ft
  Max. speed815 km/h506 mph
  Cruise speed650 km/h404 mph
  Ceiling11000 m36100 ft
  Range w/max.fuel5700 km3542 miles
 ARMAMENTbombs, missiles, torpedos, mines

John Coy, e-mail, 21.03.2020 02:11

I loved working on the S-3A as an AT in VS-37. Reported for duty in 1976 and made one West-Pac on the Connie (78-79). Working on the S-3 was the foundation for my Airspace Career for the next 38 years. VS-37 deployed with the first US-3. We were able to get mail and supplies way out in the I.O.


Arthur E Bowen AXC, e-mail, 09.10.2016 20:19

I went to Lockheed Factory school in the fall of 1973 for all electronics aboard the new S-3A. Stationed at VS-41 North island. Was on the accepting team to recieve the first plane into the Navy in March of 1974. After retiring from service I was able to land a job with NAESU on north Island and was Electornics Field engineer. Even went to sea as a civilian,


Jim, e-mail, 23.03.2015 00:43

I have over 1800 flight hours as a Naval Air Crewman sensor operator (SENSO) and Naval Aviation Observer tactical control officer (TACCO) in this aircraft. A blast to fly in!


Gerald Lillie, e-mail, 23.01.2015 18:33

TO CHRIS STOCKTON; The other 2 positions were aft of the cockpit and were for 2 sensor operators, one on each side of the A /C.


Chris Stockton, e-mail, 20.10.2014 08:08

I know the viking has a crew of four.....but nowhere can I find exactly what the other 3 crew members duties besides the pilot. I hope you can help me out!


Grummancat, 07.05.2014 06:01

I used to dream about taking a small fleet of Vikings and converting them into commuter airliners for short hops up the Pacific coast.


JOHN SEARLES, e-mail, 18.09.2011 15:16

Worked as a Navy rigger on these babies. Carrying two chutes and seatpacks up to the flight deck was fun.


Mike (PRAN), e-mail, 24.07.2011 02:13

Also known as the "Hoover" becaise ot will suck a ramp clean. FOD was a big issue with this bird.


Ron Constable, e-mail, 22.12.2010 09:48

The original mission avionics system for this aircraft was totally new and quite advanced. Fully integrated, with five sensors: radar, forward looking infrared (FLIR), electronic support measures (very accurate radar warning type system), acoustics (using several types of passive and active sonobuoys deployed from 60+ tubes in the aft fuselage), and magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). All sensor data was integrated by a single main computer. Sensor data was presented to the crew on multipurpose CRT displays, vs the dedicated displays of earlier systems. Earlier acoustic systems had used electro-sensitive paper rolls for display of passive acoustic data. The aircraft could carry two torpedos, multiple conventional and nuclear depths bombs, and even 3.75 inch artillery rockets. All four crew had ejection seats, which were automatically sequenced to prevent them from colliding after ejection.


Vince, e-mail, 13.06.2008 16:40

affectionally known in naval aviation as "The Hoover" for the whoop whoop sound made by the engines spinning up on the flight deck sounded like a vacuum cleaner.


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