S-3 VikingThe 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 ES-3 version is fitted for electronic warfare and reconnaissance.
An S-3B Viking launches from the catapult aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, August 2002.
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. Also, 16 S-3As were converted to ES-3 Shadows for carrier-based electronic reconnaissance. During 2003 a Viking performed a ceremonial function, flying President George W. Bush to the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean homeward bound from operations to attack Iraq, for an elaborate yet memorable photo-opportunity with airmen and seamen of the US Navy and Marine Corps on May 1st, 2003.