RELEASE: 99-163October 29, 1999

Upgraded S-3 completes major milestones

By Cmdr. Harry Wedewer
Project Lead, Surveillance System Upgrade

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD-A glimpse of the 21st century S-3B Viking known as the Surveillance System Upgrade or SSU S-3B recently completed two major milestones.

These consisted of the completion of modification work and evaluation at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division followed by the aircraft's incorporation into operational missions at the Naval Strike Warfare Center, Fallon, Nev.

The S-3B SSU aircraft is capable of locating and identifying relocatable targets and simultaneously relaying that information to shooter and command and control platforms via video link and Link 16. Modification of the aircraft was performed at NAWCAD by a team of Veridian and contract personnel at the Naval Force Aircraft Test Squadron. Leading the mod team was Jay Clarke, Russ Danaher and Charlie Brown. Lt. Cmdr. Nigel Nurse and Tim Twigg led the test effort. Cmdr. Harry E. Wedewer is the overall project lead for the Surveillance System Upgrade effort.

Major modifications to the S-3B SSU aircraft consisted of installation of a prototype Synthetic Aperture Radar, Tactical Common Data Link and Joint Tactical Information Distribution System. The systems are networked through a modified AYK-23 Co-Processor Memory Unit which operates a windows-based software and provides storage for targeting data.

At Fallon, the SSU aircraft operated in conjunction with Carrier Air Wing Nine and demonstrated its ability to locate and target mobile, simulated enemy targets and relay their positions via high-resolution video and imagery. Operated by aircrew from Sea Control Squadron Four One, the SSU S-3B participated in strike and combat search and rescue missions and performed demonstrations for senior Department of Defense officials and the commander of the Naval Strike Warfare Center.

The SSU S-3B has returned to Naval Air Station North Island.


POC Name: John RomerPOC Tel: 301-342-7710