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S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 3:46:45 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:


Why did the navy do away with the S-3 Viking? Often, I see that when a carrier group detects a sub it may be 100 miles, or more, away. Without the Viking, the only option is to send helos. They fly so slow that it takes forever to get there. Plus, when they get there they are essentially out of fuel.

The Vikings could respond much quicker, and could remain over the are much longer.

So, why did they do that?


When the Soviet Union fell, and they weren't talking about carriers escorting convoys across the Atlantic or striking on the Pacific side of the Soviet Union, they weren't as concerned about the ASW threat in regions which were outside the reach of land-based aviation. If they could always fly MPAs out of a land base to protect the carrier when there were submarines around, it was better to free up the space for strike aircraft on the carrier. A carrier strike group (CSG) includes at least a squadron of land based MPA. As they transitioned away from the P-3 to the P-8 things changed even more, because now the P-8 could refuel in midair. The result has been all kinds of interesting ways of sustaining MPA protection even further out from land bases.

It took a while to get rid of the S-3 entirely, though. In addition to their ASW role, they were pretty useful, having evolved into the "pickup truck" of fixed wing carrier based aviation. They carried a lot of really good sensors, so they had an ISR role, they also were useful as tankers, and even occasionally as light bombers carrying JDAMs and laser guided bombs, performing in a uniquely Navy-like role flying SUCAP. There's still a community of people who think it was a bad idea to take away carrier based, fixed wing ASW. So far they've been vetoed by those who think it's better to have more strikers.

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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 3:57:49 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks again for your insight.

To me, I'd love to have a couple of Vikings in the mix.

What is your opinion, given that they could possibly be used for other tasks as well? In other words, which camp are you in?

Doug

(in reply to SeaQueen)
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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 4:40:32 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese
What is your opinion, given that they could possibly be used for other tasks as well? In other words, which camp are you in?


They could, I suppose, although they were getting old. I have no camp. Admirals and Generals get to join camps. I'm probably too short to be either, even if I was in the service.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 6:44:50 PM   
deepdive

 

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The Orion took its place and freed up deck space, how it worked out i dont know. I suspect that even the Hornet could drop both the newest sonoboy and torpedoes and act as comm relay to the nearest ASW asset.

(in reply to SeaQueen)
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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 7:48:56 PM   
Cik

 

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the viking was before my time but it me just be a case of them aging out of service. once the fleet as a whole starts approaching it's maximum safe flight hour lifetime, you can't do much except extend it (expensive) or replace it with a new, similar plane.

obviously they opted not to extend or replace it, in favor of land-based solutions (P-3 / P-8) or helis.

it's hard to say what was the better option, because obviously only one timeline happens so it's hard to compare what happened to what didn't happen.

(in reply to deepdive)
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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 8:39:17 PM   
SeaQueen


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I have noticed that the MQ-25 seems to be getting a lot of the non-ASW "odd jobs" that S-3s used to get (i.e. tanking, ISR, light strike v. surface vessels). To me that suggests that demand for those services hasn't gone away. They just got taken over by newer (sexier?) platforms.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/14/2019 11:08:59 PM   
CV60


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I had a bit of experience working with the S-3 on active duty. IMHO, it was a mistake to get rid of them. The S-3 provided dedicated ASW coverage at mid-ranges from the CVBG. Yes, an MPA/P-3 could do so. However, if you were 1000 miles away from Diego Garcia (or wherever the MPA was based), it would take the P-3 three hours to get ONSTA, and he could only remain there for five or so hours. And if the P-3 broke, or ran out of bouys? You were SOL. The concept was for helos to do the short range ASW work, with S-3s doing mid-range, and P-3 doing long range sanitization. Without the S-3, the P-3 does both mid and long range work. Further, since it is not a dedicated asset, ie, does not belong to the CVBG it is less responsive to immediate tasking than something that is sitting on your deck.

The other good use for the S-3 (aside from tanking) was surface surveillance. It had a good radar and long legs, so you could easily do SSC searches 500+ miles from the CVBG. When a Kirov SAG could reach out and touch you from 200+ miles, being able to spot him with 300+ miles to spare gave you the ability to "do onto him before he does onto you."

The other good use for a S-3? When the CVBG happens to come across a indicted terrorist in the middle of the Mediterranean, you can take the rear seats out of it, strap the terrorist to a stretcher in the hole left by the missing seats, put an FBI agent in the right seat, and fly 13 hours back to the US without landing for gas on any country that might not let you take off again. https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/stories/2004/september/yachted_091504

< Message edited by CV60 -- 6/15/2019 2:38:13 PM >

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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/15/2019 12:14:08 AM   
DWReese

 

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I absolutely love your last paragraph.

Doug

(in reply to CV60)
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RE: S-3 Vikings - 6/15/2019 12:25:02 AM   
jtoatoktoe

 

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Every once in awhile you hear a rumor about bringing them back into service from the boneyard but that's highly unlikely. If they still had good time left on their frames and costs were manageable then they should have kept them.

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 9
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