Modest Proposal. Bring back the S-3/ES-3 Viking


Donald McKelvy
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Aug 14, 2009
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"Modest Proposal. Bring back the S-3/ES-3 Vikings to make the carrier air wing great again!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


A real quickie.

We've heard talk and studies about bringing back frigates from the boneyards to get the surface fleet back up to speed but what about naval aviation?

There is a major gap in our capabilities and frigates will only cover a portion of the problem. We need dedicated electronic attack/surveillance platforms that can operate from the carrier and we need long range anti-sub planes that can do the same.

The answer is gathering dust in the boneyards.

The S-3/ES-3 Vikings have TONS of time left on them and can be quickly and easily brought back into service. One squadron per ship of each type along with a nice allotment of anti-ship/anti-sub weaponry with buddy refueling tanks to pick up the load when the UAV refuelers go down would save wing time for the Super Hornets, provide a much needed capability for the carriers and add a new option for everything from Electronic Attack, Electronic Surveillance, Anti-Ship Strike, Long Range Anti-Sub work, Bomb Truck duties in permissive environments and tanker duties when necessary.

When the CMV-22 fails at the COD mission because its just too short legged we can even dust off the plans for this plane to fill that role.

We have a jewel in the boneyards. Time to scrap off the dust and get it back in service!


I really should change my personal text... Or not.
Jan 4, 2012
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This would be relatively easy, quick, and inexpensive, so it will never happen. It would save hours on the Super Hornet fleet which would prevent them from making the case for even more of them. Why consider 100 refurbed S-3's when you can show congress you will need 175 Super Hornets to meet the same general requirements?


Oct 18, 2008
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It would take many years to even only develop the refurbishment/modernisation with the current procurement system.
The tricky part nowadays isn't the structure, but the electronic intestines.

The CSA project should probably have gone forward after the Super Bug/Growler development was done.
It seemed to be based on the Viking.


"I should really just relax"
Nov 19, 2013
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Average airframe age is 12,000 hours vs. a design life of 13,000 hours.
And I believe they are close to the maximum allowable number of cats/traps.

Lockheed's proposed SLEP would bump operational life to 17,750 flight hours and
an provide for an additional 1500 cats/traps.

MITRE's unclassified Future Fleet Study from a year ago states that:

" The Navy is considering procuring KV-22s, reactivating KS-3Bs, and procuring a tanking unmanned aerial system."

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