Return of the Viking: Restoring a Proven Asset to Combat an Advanced Threat
JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT NAVAL WAR COLLEGE, NEWPORT United States
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Since its inception in the 1920s, the three characteristics that have defined the strategic relevance of Carrier Air Wings are range, mass and payload capacity. The end of the Cold War, coupled with the United States involvement in a series of permissive conflicts, has led to a conscious reduction in overall carrier striking distance and the overall size of Carrier Air Wings. As more advanced threats loom on the horizon, alternative methods need to be considered to bridge the production delays associated with more capable replacement aircraft. Returning the S-3B Viking to the fleet would increase the number of StrikeFighter assets available and would increase the lethal radius associated with those assets. Additionally, as Sea Control returns to the forefront of national policy, the S- 3B would enhance the range associated with the Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions, thus improving the survivability and lethality of the entire Carrier Strike Group.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics