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KS-3 Viking Tanker

The Lockheed KS-3A was a Navy S-3A configured as self-contained tanker with bomb bay and internal tanks.

The S-3A Viking replaced the S-2 Tracker. The VSX program (S-3) started in 1968, and in 1969, Lockheed was awarded the contract to develop the S-3. Vought played a major role in construction of the S-3 by producing the wings, empennage, and landing gear. The S-3 entered fleet service in 1974. The last production S-3A was delivered in August 1978, with 187 being the total number of aircraft built. Most S-3As have been upgraded to the S-3B version. Also, 16 S-3As were converted to ES-3As for carrier-based electronic reconnaissance. Early variants of the S-3 included the CS-3A (cargo version), KS-3A (dedicated tanker), and US-3A (personnel transport, or COD aircraft) - these versions have been either reconverted or put in storage.

Most of the S-3B fleet gained KS-3B tanker capability in the late 1980's with the incorporation of modifications to allow it to carry an air refueling store (AKA Buddy Store). The current active fleet inventory was all S-3Bs, with the ES-3As, S-3As and US-3As in storage.



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