S-3B retiredU.S. Navy retires last Lockheed Martin S-3B Viking
U-Bootjäger geht außer Dienst<br /> The U.S. Navy retired the last Lockheed Martin S-3 Viking from fleet service in ceremonies, closing out the aircraft's distinguished 35-year Naval career.
Development of the S-3 began in August 1969, and first flight occurred on January 21, 1972. Sea Control Squadron 41 (VS-41), the S-3 training unit known as the Shamrocks and the first operational S-3 unit, received its first aircraft in February 1974. A total of 187 S-3s were built (eight test and 179 operational aircraft) between 1971 and 1978. Over its career, the Viking served with 18 Navy squadrons and accumulated approximately 1.7 million flight hours.
"The S-3 Viking was known as the 'Swiss Army Knife of Naval Aviation' and served the U.S. Navy well in a wide variety of roles over the course of its operational service life," said Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin vice president of P-3/S-3 programs. "The Viking has played a critical role in carrier-based anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as overland operations, refueling, targeting, and electronic surveillance. And of course Lockheed Martin is proud of the role it will continue to play in support of these critical Navy carrier-based missions, as many of these missions will eventually be carried out by the F-35C Lightning II."
Sea Control Squadron 29 (VS-29), known as the Dragonfires, made the first S-3 deployment aboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-67) in July 1975. The S-3 fleet surpassed 100,000 flight hours less than two years after that first deployment.