Lockheed S-3 Viking


The S-3B Viking is an all weather, carrier-based jet aircraft, providing protection against hostile surface combatants while also functioning as the Carrier Battle Groups’ primary overhead/mission tanker. Extremely versatile, the aircraft is equipped for many missions, including day/night surveillance, electronic countermeasures, command/control/communications warfare, and search and rescue (SAR).


Derived from the S-3A and formerly configured for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), the S-3B of the 1990s has evolved into a premier surveillance and precision-targeting platform for the Navy along with modern precision-guided missile capabilities. On March 25, 2003, an S-3B from the “Red Griffins” of Sea Control Squadron Thirty-eight (VS 38) became the first such aircraft to attack inland and to fire a laser-guided Maverick missile in combat. The attack was made on “significant naval target” in the Tigris River near Basra, Iraq. VS-38 was embarked in USS Constellation (CV 64).


The S-3B’s high-speed computer system processes and displays information generated by its targeting-sensor systems. These systems include; Inverse/Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR/SAR), infrared (IR) sensor and an Electronic Support (ESM) system. To engage and destroy targets, the S-3B Viking employs an impressive array of airborne weaponry including the AGM 84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile, AGM 65 Maverick IR missile and a wide selection of conventional bombs and torpedoes. Future Viking aircraft will also have a control capability for the AGM 84 Standoff Land Attack Missile Extended Range (SLAM-ER) missile. The S-3B provides the fleet with a very effective fixed wing, “over the horizon” aircraft to combat the significant and varied threats presented by modern maritime combatants.


Official DesignationS-3B Viking
Primary RolesForce protection, aerial tanker
Secondary RolesDay/night surveillance, search and rescue
National OriginUSA
Original ContractorLockheed-California Company
OperatorUnited States Navy
Wingspan68 feet, 8 inches (20.6m)
Length53 feet, 4 inches (16m)
Height at Tail22 feet, 9 inches (6.9m)
ArmamentUp to 3,958 pounds (1,781kg) of AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 SLAM missiles, torpedoes, rockets and bombs
EnginesTwo General Electric TF-34-GE-400B turbofans
Thrust9,275 pounds
Cruise Speed518 mph (828.8kph)
Max SpeedUnknown
Range2,300 nm (4232km)
Service Ceiling40,000 feet
Operating WeightUnknown
Max Takeoff Weight52,539 pounds (23,643kg)
Basic CrewTwo/Four
Date Deployed1975
Total in ServiceUnknown