The VSX program (S-3) started in 1968, and, in 1969, Lockheed was awarded the contract to develop the Navy's new carrier-based, fan-powered ASW aircraft. It was designed to incorporate the latest concepts in sensors and in computer-based data processing, display and weapons control systems, and in enabling the four-man crew to effectively deal with the anticipated submarine threat. The S-3 Viking replaced the old reciprocating-engine-powered S-2 Tracker. The S-3 Viking has all four crew members seated on ejection seats. The pilot's controls include a control stick in place of the traditional wheel. The slightly swept wing and General Electric TF-34 fan engines provide the S-3A with long-range or on-station endurance at cruise speeds and altitudes typical of subsonic jet aircraft. In-flight refuelling through a retractable refuelling probe can be used to further extend its mission performance. Folding wings and vertical tail provide carrier handling flexibility. The S-3A airframe has been adapted to other roles--a characteristic for which its S-2 predecessor has long been noted. The improved S-3B version incorporates improved technology for increased radar detection range and classification, advanced acoustic processing, and support measures, and has Harpoon missile capability.
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Manufacture Range: 1974 - 1978
Platform Type: Fixed Wing, Surveillance
Initial Maker: Lockheed
Current Final Maker: Lockheed