The S-3B Viking provides multimission support to battle group and joint commanders in the antisurface, antisubmarine, electronic surveillance, overland strike support, mine warfare, and aerial refueling roles. Ongoing service-life initiatives will allow the Viking to remain in service until FY 2015.

The current avionics upgrade program replaces obsolete or high maintenance safety of flight avionics systems. This effort includes the replacement of autopilot components, electronic flight instruments, and the Carrier Aircraft Inertial Navigation System with digital, highly reliable, COTS/NDI systems. Future planned efforts will replace obsolete tactical displays and the high-maintenance Armament Control System, resulting in improved in-flight weapons stores control and carriage.

Other avionics modifications will improve the Viking's mission computer, communication suite, and navigation systems. The AN/AYK-23 computer upgrade replaces the obsolete AN/AYK-10 General Purpose Digital Computer and ASW mission-specific components with a single VME-based processor. Two obsolete AN/ARC-156 UHF radios will be replaced with two AN/ARC-187s and one AN/ARC-182 (VHF) radio suite. This suite will preserve current Link-11 capability while adding on-line VHF and satellite communications using an advanced narrowband digital voice terminal. All S-3 aircraft will be GPS operational by the end of FY 2000.

In the area of antisubmarine warfare, the S-3B will be the first aircraft to receive the Improved Extended Echo Ranging/Air Deployable Active Receiver. This active search capability will significantly improve S-3B ASW effectiveness in the littoral operating environment.

The S-3B Weapon System Improvement Program (Phase II) is in the planning stage. The program incorporates separate system modifications and upgrades required to improve S-3B multimission capabilities in the joint warfare environment. The program includes:

System Overview Safety Affordable Avionics C4/ISR Aircraft Carriers Carrier Air Wings
F-14 Tomcat F/A-18 Hornet Joint Strike Fighter Airborne Reconnaissance Vision E-2C Hawkeye S-3B Viking
ES-3A Shadow Common Support Aircraft EA-6B Prowler Helicopter Master Plan
Marine Corps Fixed-Wing Aircraft Marine Corps Rotary-Wing Aircraft P-3C Orion EP-3E Aries II E-6A/B Mercury
Air-to-Air Missiles Air-to-Ground Weapons Air-to-Subsurface Weapons Naval Reserve Aviation Logistics Airlift
Training Aircraft Aircrew Training Aviation Specialized Skills Training Logistics Expeditionary Airfields
Air Traffic Control Ranges and Airfields