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 Designation||S-3B Viking|
|Primary Roles||Force protection, aerial tanker|
|Secondary Roles||Day/night surveillance, search and rescue|
|Original Contractor||Lockheed-California Company|
|Operator||United States Navy|
|Wingspan||68 feet, 8 inches (20.6m)|
|Length||53 feet, 4 inches (16m)|
|Height at Tail||22 feet, 9 inches (6.9m)|
|Armament||Up to 3,958 pounds (1,781kg) of AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 SLAM missiles, torpedoes, rockets and bombs|
|Engines||Two General Electric TF-34-GE-400B turbofans|
|Cruise Speed||518 mph (828.8kph)|
|Range||2,300 nm (4232km)|
|Service Ceiling||40,000 feet|
|Max Takeoff Weight||52,539 pounds (23,643kg)|
|Total in Service||Unknown|