The U.S. Navy today increased its order for Lockheed's new S-3A Viking by 35 aircraft--?
The U.S. Navy today increased its order for Lockheed's new S-3A Viking by 35 aircraft-- plus a sophisticated ground simulator for training. This latest contract is valued at $222 million in the Navy's announcement.
The S-3A is a twin-engine, carrier-based, anti-submarine aircraft, making extensive use of computerized techniques for seeking out and destroying enemy submarines.
The Viking first flew in January of 1972, and is on or ahead of schedule in its development program, according to Lockheed, (Fred S. Jacques, program manager for the project).
Seven of eight research and development aircraft are in a test flight program. The eighth plane will fly in April.
An initial thirteen production aircraft are in fabrication and assembly stages. Total orders to Lockheed for the Viking to date total fifty-six. The Navy program envisions a total of one hundred and ninety-one production-type airplanes for delivery by 1977.
Earlier this year, the Viking passed its third development milestone-- considered to be the most difficult of the five periodic evaluations-- and a requirement for this latest purchase of the plane by the Navy.
Recent flight testing has included air-to-air refuelling, as well as land-based catapult takeoffs and arrested landings to prove carrier flight performance.
The last two formal Navy evaluations are scheduled for May and August this year before delivery of the first Viking to the Navy and introduction to fleet service in 1974.