Last Vikings to retire soon

Navy ‘Volkswagon’ being phased out

The S-3B Viking is nearing the end of its acitve service:

Four Viking squadrons remain in the Navy’s lineup, all based on the East Coast. One is set to retire this spring, followed by VS-31 in March 2008, a third later in 2008, and the final squadron bidding adieu in early part of 2009.

VS-31, based in Jacksonville, Fla., flew across the country to embark on the West Coast-based Stennis for the squadron’s farewell deployment, which finds the ship and squadron patrolling the Arabian Sea and conducting air strikes over Afghanistan.

I’ve never really thought that this move makes much sense.


  1. Obviously a lot of people haven’t been thinking about this. As the PLAN has been building more and better submarines, the USN has lost its ability to find them far enough out from the CVBG to do any good.

  2. Seems to me, it’s best not to place all your eggs in one basket. I’d rather have S-3s and subs and surface vessels (destroyers, or these days probably frigates) in the ASW role, rather than just subs or just subs and surface vessels. Is this just a cost-cutting measure or is there more to it? Do they need room on the carrier for F-18s? If so, why?

  3. Why does it seem so ill-conceived to do away with the fixed wing ASW asset? I mean, I know that this is not 1984, but in some ways I would think you would want to have something with its capabilities. Is the plan to have the Hornet now do ASW as well?