2H4
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Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:09 am


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Suppose for a moment that the US Navy determined there was a need for a new, dedicated, fixed-wing ASW aircraft. If Lockheed-Martin were to simply upgrade the S-3 with modern weapons and avionics, could the resulting aircraft be at all improved upon, or would it be 100% perfection?

I wonder, because everything I read about the aircraft suggests that it was the perfect tool for the job. Disregarding cost and politics, did it in fact have any shortcomings, or was it truly that good?

2H4
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N74JW
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:05 pm

It is not a comfy aircraft to fly in, especially if you are tall?

Some of the airframes are just old... The S-3 is from the same point in time as the F-14. I do think the US Navy needs a fixed-wing, carrier-based ASW component. Perhaps not a dedicated platform, but a multirole solution similar to the US Navy's LAMPS platform of the 70's and 80's.
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STT757
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:29 pm

I think it is really dumb move to retire the S-3s and move all Navy ASW to the SH-60s, fixed wing aircraft can cover a much larger area and faster. Why not develop a new fixed wing ASW aircraft based on existing E-2 or C-2 platforms, it would provide savings in pilot training (one less type) as well as maintenance costs.
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Devilfish
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:28 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
If Lockheed-Martin were to simply upgrade the S-3 with modern weapons and avionics, could the resulting aircraft be at all improved upon, or would it be 100% perfection?

Modern, economical engines could do wonders, but the Vikings simply had too much punishment already for a reengining effort to pay off. If new-builds with new engines could be had, those modern weapons and avionics (including the latest sensor suites) would make for a killer, carrier-launched ASW platform. However, the Navy seems to have totally given the ASW function to future land-based Poseidons, complemented by helos and UAVs, linking with the BAMS network.
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ebj1248650
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:59 pm



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 3):
However, the Navy seems to have totally given the ASW function to future land-based Poseidons, complemented by helos and UAVs, linking with the BAMS network.

So the helos are just for fleet protection from opposition submarines? And the land based birds will cover the rest of the world's oceans? O.K. in theory that might work, but as has been mentioned before, there's the issue of range. Wouldn't you want your defensive circle around the fleet to be as far beyond the fleet as practical? Or has the Navy come to the conclusion that submarines are only a minor threat?
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CaptOveur
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:35 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 4):
Or has the Navy come to the conclusion that submarines are only a minor threat?

The Chinese already tried to give the Navy a lesson in that

Sad that every 50-100 years we have to re-learn every lesson of modern war. Everything from Submarines to fighters with built-in internal guns.
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michlis
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:50 pm



Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 5):
The Chinese already tried to give the Navy a lesson in that

And I'm sure numerous heads rolled for that little "lesson."
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2H4
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:59 pm



Quoting N74JW (Reply 1):
Some of the airframes are just old...

I wasn't suggesting that the old airframes be refurbished....I was suggesting that new airframes be built.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 3):
If new-builds with new engines could be had, those modern weapons and avionics (including the latest sensor suites) would make for a killer, carrier-launched ASW platform.

Exactly. But even with the current engines, could anything else...new or existing...do the job more effectively?

Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):
Why not develop a new fixed wing ASW aircraft based on existing E-2 or C-2 platforms, it would provide savings in pilot training (one less type) as well as maintenance costs.

Interesting. Would this be a feasible option, or would a new-build S-3 offer capabilities that would make a C-2/E-2 based ASW aircraft a less-effective option?

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AAR90
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:28 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):
Why not develop a new fixed wing ASW aircraft based on existing E-2 or C-2 platforms,

Right off the top of my head: Speed, Range, Endurance, and Crew Fatigue come to mind. Hummers are significantly lacking in all but the last (ask the "moles" how the "hummer" got that name).  sigh 

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 4):
Wouldn't you want your defensive circle around the fleet to be as far beyond the fleet as practical?

Yes, but how far. The larger the circle, the more difficult the detection/prosecution. Ask a sub-driver and he'll tell you... when trying to "get" a surface ship, you would be surprised how often I stick something "up." The sub _wants_ to get close... _needs_ to get close. Longer ranges require someone/something else to help with the targeting, and that someone/something else will become a "target." It is a trade-off and the current point USN has decided to make the trade is the helo's max range.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 7):
could anything else...new or existing...do the job more effectively?

Of course a new platform "should" be more effective (new avionics, new airframe, new engines, etc.). OTOH, the Hoovers were the best of their era. Exceptional airframe with a good system (IF the ship provided the required support).
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LMP737
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:43 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):
I think it is really dumb move to retire the S-3s and move all Navy ASW to the SH-60s, fixed wing aircraft can cover a much larger area and faster.

I'm pretty sure if the Navy had the money to either reopen the S-3 line and develop a new version or start from scratch they would have.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):
Why not develop a new fixed wing ASW aircraft based on existing E-2 or C-2 platforms, it would provide savings in pilot training (one less type) as well as maintenance costs.

Given the size of the E-2/C-2 you would not be able to have as many frames as you would with the S-3. Then there's the development costs for such a system. I see what you are saying but it would be more economical to update the S-3.
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L-188
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:33 am



Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
Suppose for a moment that the US Navy determined there was a need for a new, dedicated, fixed-wing ASW aircraft.

Know the current US Navy, I suspect they would call on the Chuck Norris of Naval Aircraft the F-18F and build a subhunter on that airframe.

Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
I wonder, because everything I read about the aircraft suggests that it was the perfect tool for the job.

Agree with that.
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LMP737
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:17 pm



Quoting AAR90 (Reply 8):
Hummers are significantly lacking in all but the last (ask the "moles" how the "hummer" got that name).

I'm guessing low frequency noise combined with a bit of vibration makes for a worn out NFO.  Wink
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:49 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 10):
Know the current US Navy, I suspect they would call on the Chuck Norris of Naval Aircraft the F-18F and build a subhunter on that airframe.

The Hornet does posess a killer roundhouse kick.....

There's only one more unit sitting at NAS Jax, they're about to go out on the boat for the final time, then after that, no more runway-vacuuming services provided.

I have to admit, it is funny seeing a Hornet tow a buddy store...who'da thought. 15 yrs ago the A-7's, A-6, KA-6D' and S-3 all had the ability to move the gas.

DeltaGuy
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AAR90
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:34 am



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 11):
I'm guessing low frequency noise combined with a bit of vibration makes for a worn out NFO.

And pilots. At least we could sit "level." Poor NFO's were always rubbing their left cheek. blush 

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 12):
15 yrs ago the A-7's, A-6, KA-6D' and S-3 all had the ability to move the gas.

True, but who were they giving it to?  drool 
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:02 am



Quoting AAR90 (Reply 13):
True, but who were they giving it to?

Each other right?  Wink. Or the guzzling Phantoms.

DeltaGuy
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AAR90
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:44 am



Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 14):
Or the guzzling Phantoms.

Phantoms were all but gone in 1980's with only Midway & Coral Sea having them early in the decade. Big-E's CO "forced" our airwing into continuous Flex-Deck ops (eventually we named it "Battle-Flex-Deck") for only one purpose.... how to get more gas to the not-yet-in-our-airwing.... Hornets.  hissyfit 
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wvsuperhornet
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:42 am



Quoting N74JW (Reply 1):
Some of the airframes are just old... The S-3 is from the same point in time as the F-14. I do think the US Navy needs a fixed-wing, carrier-based ASW component. Perhaps not a dedicated platform, but a multirole solution similar to the US Navy's LAMPS platform of the 70's and 80's.

I thought the new F-18G's were suppose to replace the A-6's and the S-3's?
 
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:15 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 16):
I thought the new F-18G's were suppose to replace the A-6's and the S-3's?

The F-18G is meant to replace the EA-6B. Personally I would have liked to have seen the EA-6 line reopened. Composite wings, F404 engines, FBW flight controls etc, oh well.
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N74JW
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:43 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 16):
I thought the new F-18G's were suppose to replace the A-6's and the S-3's?

It is looking that way, but a multi-role platform that can perform multiple missions, while based on a single airframe is valuable on a carrier's flight deck.
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ebj1248650
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:48 pm



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 17):
The F-18G is meant to replace the EA-6B. Personally I would have liked to have seen the EA-6 line reopened. Composite wings, F404 engines, FBW flight controls etc, oh well.

Adding improved avionics and the F404s would have made a huge difference. For the life of me I can't see a two place airplane doing the job the EA-6B does. Yes, the EF-111A is supposed to have done it, but the system in that airplane was largely automatic and now the EF-111A is gone. I suppose there's something to be said for the four man crew on the EA-6B; that added human element adds something to the airplane's capabilities in a combat situation.

Air Force regretted retiring its F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasels after Desert Storm; apparently the F-16 Weasel is good but not as good as the F-4G was.

As for the EF-18G being a sub hunter, I think that's asking too much of even the remarkable Super Hornet.
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cactushp
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:47 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 19):
As for the EF-18G being a sub hunter, I think that's asking too much of even the remarkable Super Hornet.

Possibly. But with the EA-18 with jamming pods etc., a new F-18G (or whatever the name would be) ASW would replace the S-3 nicely with MAD pods etc. and carry torpedoes on the wings.
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AGM100
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:16 am

If I had to bet on a ASW replacement it would have to be some type of UAV. Pre-programed flight paths , buoy dropping and MAD signals could all be done remotely I would assume. The UAV could stay linked to strike elements or have strike capability itself.

I was also thinking maybe the V-22 could operate the role ? Would not need a gun for that !
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STT757
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:06 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 21):
If I had to bet on a ASW replacement it would have to be some type of UAV. Pre-programed flight paths , buoy dropping and MAD signals could all be done remotely I would assume. The UAV could stay linked to strike elements or have strike capability itself.

I was also thinking maybe the V-22 could operate the role ? Would not need a gun for that !

I think that would be the perfect solution, a UAV that has the capability to dump a ton of buoy's, supports a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), armed with Mk48/50 torpedoes and Harpoon missiles. It would have to loiter for a long time over a search area and send back signals to either a Destroyer or Carrier.

The V-22 sounds like a good idea, but where can you put the weapons unless you build an internal bay.

Something needs to be done, the Navy is ignoring the real threat posed by the proliferation of quiet diesel submarines.

Finally Congress stepped up with increased funding so Virginia Class sub production can go to two per year in 2010, two years earlier than planned. The rapid retirement of Los Angeles class subs is bringing the attack sub fleet way too low, it should be no less than 50 attack subs. Ideally the total fleet of attack subs including the three Seawolf Class Subs would be between 55-60. Absolutely no fewer than 50!

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc...14.artnov14,0,4085102.story?page=1

Then there's the closure of NAS Brunswick Maine and the disbanded of all Reserve P-3 Squadrons, which is brining the size of the P-3 fleet too low. The new P-8s will be an improvement, but again the fleet size will be an issue. There should be atleast 150 P-8s, including atleast 4-7 Reserve Squadrons.
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L-188
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:52 am



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 16):
I thought the new F-18G's were suppose to replace the A-6's

The A-6's have been gone for a while, the F/A-18D replaced those.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 22):
The V-22 sounds like a good idea, but where can you put the weapons unless you build an internal bay.

Actually it sounds like a great idea.

You would just need to add a couple of hardpoints to the cabin sides.
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cactushp
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:15 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 23):
You would just need to add a couple of hardpoints to the cabin sides.

I don't know. The flaps on the wings might be a problem with carrying longer weapons (like harpoon etc). Also since the wings fold, the weapons might not be able to be loaded until ready for takeoff (which might be a problem). If these problems could be worked around, having the V-22 has a ASW/ASUW platform does sound like a great idea, at least to me anyways. I still think that a modified EA-18 for ASW would be best for the job.
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AGM100
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:05 pm

Looks like they may be working on a SV-22 variant of the Osprey. I guess it just makes sense to explore it. If the US Navy is buying the V-22 what else would they be using for other than SAR/ASW/GenTrnsport. ? It seems like ASW would not be some afterthought.


http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/hv-22.htm

Quoting CactusHP (Reply 24):
I still think that a modified EA-18 for ASW would be best for the job

How exactly would a fast mover make a good ASW platform .. ? Maybe for dropping buoys but loitering far from ship would be a problem I would think.
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cactushp
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:02 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 25):
How exactly would a fast mover make a good ASW platform .. ? Maybe for dropping buoys but loitering far from ship would be a problem I would think.

Possibly.

A Navalizied V-22, if done correctly and without too much problems (cough Marine Corps V-22) would be an excellent ASW/multi role platform if properly utilized.
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STT757
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:14 am



Quoting CactusHP (Reply 26):
A Navalizied V-22, if done correctly and without too much problems (cough Marine Corps V-22) would be an excellent ASW/multi role platform if properly utilized.

If done right an SV-22 could replace both the S-3 and the SH-60, it would offer benefits the benefits of each platform (S-3, SH-60) combined into one aircraft. We know it can operate off Carriers and Amphibious Assault Ships, question is could it operate off of a Frigate, Cruiser or Destroyer?
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747400sp
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:25 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):
Why not develop a new fixed wing ASW aircraft based on existing E-2 or C-2 platforms, it would provide savings in pilot training (one less type) as well as maintenance costs.

That's not a bad ideal, see that E-2/C-2 both use T-56 the same engine that P-3 and older C-130 use. Part would not be hard to get. But on the other hand, E-2/C-2 are space hog on carriers, so if there was ASW plane base on the E-2/C-2, only be a small amount could be on board a carrier.
 
deskflier
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:48 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 4):
Wouldn't you want your defensive circle around the fleet to be as far beyond the fleet as practical?

What are we protecting here? The carrier? Or the entire Task Force? What the authors of previous entries seems to have overlooked, is that a helicopter doesn't need to be operated from a carrier, it can fly off a platform on a destroyer or even a corvette. And as I understand USN tactics, (feel free to correct me) USN Task Forces disperse over vast expanses of ocean, sometimes with destroyers at more than half helicopter range from the carrier. So, to close to torpedo (or whatever weapon modern subs use) range, the submarine first has to sneak by the destroyer based helos, then the destroyers themselves, after that the helos from the carrier. And there are more than one ring of helicopter carrying destroyers cruising with the Task Force. So why not make do without fixed-wing carrier-based ASW aircraft for a while? I'm sure that if exercises or action (hopefully not action) shows the need for a fixed-wing ASW system, the USN will issue requirements for such a system. And finally, the Royal Navy and the Aeronavale has operated without carrier-based fixed-wing ASW aircraft for quite some time now. How have they suffered, if at all?
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cactushp
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RE: Lockheed S-3 Viking

Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:05 am



Quoting Deskflier (Reply 29):
So why not make do without fixed-wing carrier-based ASW aircraft for a while?

The speed advantage. A jet (or osprey whatever) can cover much larger distances faster, and with greater efficiency. Nothing a regular helicopter like the Seahawk can do.
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