n>During more than 40 years of service, the Navy’s S-3 Viking—affectionately known as “the Hoover” because of the distinctive vacuum-like sound of its engines—was known as the Swiss Army knife of naval aviation. It could carry out a range of missions, including antisubmarine warfare, antisurface warfare, carrier onboard delivery, electronic surveillance, airborne tanking, and over-the-horizon targeting. When the S-3 was tagged for retirement from the fleet in 2009, the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Naval Test Wing Pacific, and the VX-30 Bloodhounds at Point Mugu saw the opportunity to acquire a few Vikings for their own use. The aircraft’s versatility and sophisticated APS-137 inverse synthetic aperture imaging radar allowed VX-30 to upgrade their sea and air range clearance and surveillance capabilities.
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