STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Lockheed / Vought - USA
LENGTH: 53.35 feet (16.26 meters)
WIDTH: 68.67 feet (20.93 meters)
HEIGHT: 22.74 feet (6.93 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 26,649 pounds (12,088 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 52,541 pounds (23,832 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x General Electric TF-34-GE-2 turbofan engines developing 9,275 lb of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 506 miles-per-hour (814 kilometers-per-hour; 440 knots)
RANGE: 2,302 miles (3,705 kilometers; 2,001 nautical miles)
CEILING: 35,007 feet (10,670 meters; 6.63 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 4,200 feet-per-minute (1,280 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed / Vought S-3 Viking Naval Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Aerial Tanker Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 10/19/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The S-3 Viking series of carrier-borne aircraft was a joint production effort from the Lockheed and Vought aircraft firms. Selected from no fewer than five proposals from various other companies an including the two aforementioned firms, the S-3 was designed to a United States Navy requirement for an anti-submarine aircraft platform built around the then-powerful Univac digital computer. The system was a direct result of the ever elusive new generation of Soviet submarines constantly testing the waters in an around the United States. The Viking would go on to become the Navy's most advanced and all-computerized aircraft at the time.
By 1972, the YS-3A was developed into eight service evaluation models. Vought's contribution to the overall aircraft was in the production of the wing elements, tail assembly, engine nacelles and the landing gears system. The resulting aircraft was a highly-identifiable high-shoulder mounted wing design with the two large General Electric turbofans hung underneath. Crew accommodations amounted to a total of four and included a pilot, copilot, sensor systems operator and the tactical coordinator. A single large rudder was fixed atop the tail assembly. An internal weapons bay provided storage for up to four torpedoes, bombs and mines.
Upgrades to the base S-3A system eventually produced the standardized S-3B, fitted with updated acoustic processing, newer sonorbouy system, improved radar and the ability to mount, target and fire the powerful AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile system on two new external hardpoints to compliment the internally-held stores. Most all existing "A" models were now modernized to the "B" standard. B-models were field by 1984.
With the need for such a dedicated anti-submarine system diminished on the new modern battlefield, the S-3 system has be relegated to "buddy" tanking services. As such, fewer and fewer S-3 systems are kept aboard carrier groups these days, though the system itself is intended to be fielded up through 2015. An electronic warfare conversion model exists as the ES-3A "Shadow" Elint as well.
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General Assessment (BETA)
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating (BETA)
The MF Power Rating takes into account over sixty individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (506mph).
Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Lockheed / Vought S-3A Viking's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units