As taken out of the inventory in 2009 that decision with hindsight now regretted? S-3 Viking.
"Chief of Naval Operations Richardson: US Navy is Focusing on Enemy Submarine Threat"
American aircraft carriers at this exact moment in time LACKING an organic long-range anti-submarine-warfare [ASW] warplane!
"U.S. Navy: Time to Bring Back the S-3 Viking?"
"The retired aircraft [S-3 Viking] could help fill a significant capability gap for carrier strike groups."
A Viking as taking off from an American aircraft carrier. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Philip A. McDaniel.
"The Lockheed S-3 Viking is a four-seat, twin-engine turbofan-powered jet aircraft that was used by the U.S. Navy to identify and track enemy submarines. In the late 1990s, the S-3B's mission focus shifted to surface warfare and aerial refueling. The Viking also provided electronic warfare and surface surveillance capabilities to the carrier battle group. A carrier-based, subsonic, all-weather, multi-mission aircraft with long range; it carried automated weapon systems, and was capable of extended missions with in-flight refueling."
S-3 Viking needed NOW for both air-air refueling missions and also anti-submarine-warfare [ASW]. American aircraft carriers and attendant warships flying helicopters with dipping sonar what it is called BUT not possessing that ORGANIC long-range ASW capability? A carrier and attendant warships dependent on P-3 Orion and P-8 Poseidon for that mission?
Viking also capable of carrying atomic munitions if necessary. Has that "extended range" NOT normally found in carrier aircraft. Deep-strike more expeditiously against enemy targets far inland a possibility with Viking.
VIKING NEEDED? AND NOW?