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    The Lockheed S-3 Viking: A Versatile Legacy From Cold War Anti-submarine Workhorse To Multi-mission Marvel

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    USS Midway Museum
    USS Midway Museum

    The Viking was the only jet-powered aircraft to operate in the ASW mission for over three decades.

    ALAMEDA, USA - MARCH 23, 2010: S-3 Viking, aircraft carrier Hornet in Alameda, USA on March 23, 2010.
    ALAMEDA, USA – MARCH 23, 2010: S-3 Viking, aircraft carrier Hornet in Alameda, USA on March 23, 2010.

    It earned the nickname “Hoover” from fleet crews due to the distinctive sound of its engines.

    Lockheed S-3 Viking
    Lockheed S-3 Viking

    Initially equipped with state-of-the-art radar, sonar, and magnetic anomaly detection gear, the S-3A version made its mark as a versatile tool in the Navy’s arsenal against the Soviet submarine threat.

    Lockheed S-3 Viking – U.S. Navy Sea Control Squadron 22 (VS-22) ‘Checkmates’ CAG bird at EFD” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    A total of 187 S-3As were delivered, reflecting the Navy’s considerable investment in this specialized aircraft.

    Vought A-7 Corsair IIs and Lockheed S-3 Vikings, USS Constellation (CVA 64)” by kitchener.lord is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The end of the Cold War heralded a shift in the Viking’s role from purely ASW operations to a broader mission scope.

    Lockheed S-3 Viking – U.S. Navy Sea Control Squadron 22 (VS-22) ‘Checkmates’ at EFD” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Beginning in 1987, 132 of the original S-3As underwent equipment upgrades and weapons systems modifications, transforming them into the S-3B variant.

    Lockheed S-3 ‘Vikings’ aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    This included the integration of modern weaponry such as Harpoon and Maverick missiles, and the AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile Extended Range (SLAM-ER) missile., increasing the Viking’s efficacy as a surveillance and precision-targeting platform.

    Lockheed S-3 Viking – U.S. Navy Sea Control Squadron 22 (VS-22) ‘Checkmates’ at EFD” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    It also took on the carrier’s primary overhead/mission tanker role after the retirement of the KA-6D Intruder.

    Lockheed S-3 ‘Viking’” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    On 1 May 2003, the aircraft made history when President George W. Bush was a passenger during a carrier arrest landing on board the flattop.

    Lockheed S-3 Viking (unidentified) US Navy.” by ATom.UK is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    In so doing he became the first sitting chief executive to trap on board an aircraft carrier.

    Lockheed S-3 Vikings” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    As is customary, during the time President Bush was aboard the aircraft it was known as “Navy One.”

    Lockheed S-3 Viking” by Eric Friedebach is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The S-3B Viking’s attributes were many: a 2,645-mile range, a top speed of 518 mph at 25,000 feet, and Up to 3,958 lb. ordnance.

    Lockheed S-3 Viking – U.S. Navy Sea Control Squadron 33 (VS-33) ‘Screwbirds’” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    One of those four last S-3s transferred to NASA, is on its way to its forever home, right here on The Liberty Coast.

    Air Zoo December 2019 119 (Lockheed S-3 Viking)” by Michael Barera is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Former naval flight officer and squadron commanding officer, Ed (call sign “Junior”) Turner shared with Liberty Life that one of those four aircraft (Number 159746) has been acquired by the National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum.”

    S-3B Viking 160599” by Ian E. Abbott is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Phased withdrawal of the S-3B Viking from service began in 2003 and was complete in 2009.

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