Military Photo: Viking Over the Gulf


Arabian Gulf (Oct. 25, 2004) - An S-3B Viking assigned to the "Diamond Cutters" of Sea Control Squadron Three Zero (VS-30), flies over an oil rig in the Arabian Gulf during flight operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Kennedy and embarked Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17) are deployed to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Description: 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).

Features: 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.

Background: 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).

General Characteristics:

Primary Function: Force Protection, Organic overhead/mission tanking
Contractor: Lockheed-California Company
Unit Cost: $27 million
Propulsion: Two General Electric TF-34-GE-400B turbofan engines (9,275 pounds of thrust each)
Length: 53 feet 4 inches (16 meters)
Wingspan: 68 feet 8 inches (20.6 meters)
Height: 22 feet 9 inches (6.9 meters)
Weight: Max design gross take-off: 52,539 pounds (23,643 kg)
Speed: 450 knots (518 mph, 828.8 kph)
Ceiling: 40,000 feet
Range: 2,300+ nautical miles (2,645 statute miles, 4232 km)
Armament: Up to 3,958 pounds (1,781 kg) of AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 SLAM missiles, torpedoes, rockets and bombs.
Crew: Two/Four
Service Entry:1975

Posted: 10/01/2004

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