Lockheed Pitching Revamped Viking to Fill Carrier Cargo and Tanking Roles | USNI News

Lockheed Martin is entering the fray to replace the U.S. Navy’s ageing fleet of Northrop Grumman C-2 Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft.

The company is proposing to refurbish and modify retired Lockheed S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft — currently in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona — to fill the nascent Navy requirement. The rebuilt aircraft would be designated the C-3.

“There is actually 91 [S-3 airframes in storage], but 87 are useable,” Jeffery Cramer, Lockheed’s COD program manager told USNI News on Tuesday.

“There’s about 9000 flight hours remaining on each of those airframes on average.”

In fact, that’s just until the first wing inspection, Cramer said. There are actually more flight hours available on those retired S-3s, which were originally built to last for 18,750 hours. Cramer noted, the COD mission is far more benign than the challenging anti-submarine role.

To refurbish the S-3, Lockheed would completely disassemble the Viking airframe, Cramer said. While the company intends to keep the wings, empennage, engines and flight controls, the fuselage would be discarded. In its place, the S-3 would receive a larger fuselage purposely built for the COD mission. The new fuselage is 22 inches wider and six feet longer and the aircraft would stand about three feet taller.

via Lockheed Pitching Revamped Viking to Fill Carrier Cargo and Tanking Roles | USNI News.

This is pretty much a non-starter idea. It’s far more likely (and likely cheaper) to get new build C-2s.

As for the airframes in storage, South Korea wants a dozen or so as shore based maritime patrol aircraft, and to build familiarity with carrier capable aircraft.

9 thoughts on “Lockheed Pitching Revamped Viking to Fill Carrier Cargo and Tanking Roles | USNI News”

  1. All depends on which supplier is currently in favor or can promise donations in weak Dem Senate races.

    Don’t be shocked, we all know what happens.

  2. I was going to recommend a cutaway Wednesday on the Viking until I saw the plan for a new fuselage to go with that order of wings. Hard time squaring ASW and COD in the same aircraft…

  3. Northrop would still have to make the f135 engine fit the C2. Might have to include designing a new fuselage (article say a new reconfigurable cabin) with more or less the rest of the aircraft staying the same-in other words the same thing LM is doing.

    At least it looks like the navy will have a few platforms to evaluate.

  4. I wouldn’t bet against anything with this administration. You may see a C-3. Regardless, the COD needs to be able to carry an F-35 engine and they can’t at present.

  5. LockMart is just fooling themselves if they think all they need to do is give the Viking a “new fuselage.” In terms of the aircraft’s behavior behind the boat, a “new fuselage” means “new wings” which means “new airplane.”
    When the Viking got to BIS trials in the 1970s/1980s Lockheed just about screwed the pooch with that.

    1. You sir are hyper accurate in your assessment. I’m thinking with my limited knowledge that this re-invented Viking would need some sort of rear loading capability i.e. ramp, or ramp/door and that seems a tall order in terms of modification. So maybe Grumman? I believe you Navy personnel have had great luck with them?? What am I missing aside from a near total lack of institutional knowledge given this subject?

  6. With the current state of military funding, a likely COA for COD will be a variant of the A380. The pitch will be “well they lost the tanker contract, so we have to give them something!” Then after lengthy design studies, the project officer will note, “In the current configuration the A380 can carry 20 F-35 engines, but is unable to land on any existing carrier decks.” In turn, that will prompt a design study for a larger carrier. After another couple years, critics will start screaming about the cost of these “super-super carriers” and call for smaller VSTOL capable decks. Meanwhile, a “60 Minutes” report will highlight the number of C-2 accidents in which the wings have fallen off.

    1. Just use a Herky-Bird. Concept’s already been proven, though it would be a PITA to stuff everything down below on the hangar deck to clear the necessary space.

Comments are closed.