S-3B Viking

Navy  1

Photographed at the National Museum of Naval Aviation Pensacola Florida

The last carrier-based aircraft designed for the antisubmarine mission, the Lockheed S-3 Viking was introduced into fleet service on 20 February 1974. In 1987, 132 of the original batch of S-3As received equipment upgrades and modified weapons systems and were designated the S-3B. With the end of the Cold War, these S-3B versions of the Viking shifted their focus away from antisubmarine warfare to use as surveillance and precision-targeting platforms armed with an array of modern weapons, including Harpoon and Maverick missiles and the AGM 84 Standoff Land Attack Missile Extended Range (SLAM-ER) missile. In addition, with the retirement of the KA-6D Intruder it assumed the role as the carrier's primary overhead/mission tanker.

This S-3B flew combat missions from the deck of the carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during Operation Iraqi Freedom with VS-35, made history on 1 May 2003, when President George Bush was a passenger during a carrier arrested landing on board the flattop. In so doing he became the first sitting chief executive to trap on board an aircraft carrier. As is customary, during the time President Bush was aboard the aircraft, it was known as "Navy One." It joins a Stearman N2S trainer already in the museum collection that was flown by former President George H.W. Bush during his World War II flight training.  (NMNA)

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