The Lockheed S-3 was an aircraft that saw four companies work together. The first two companies to be involved were Lockheed and Grumman. The two began to develop the concept after the US Navy initiated its VSX program, which called for a new anti-submarine aircraft. This happened in the middle of the 1960s, which was just about the time the Grumman S-2 Tracker should retire. However, Lockheed admitted that it wasnâ€™t experienced enough in designing a carrier-based aircraft. As such, the company sought the help of two more companies during the late 1960s. It contracted Ling-Temco-Vought to work on the aircraftâ€™s foldable wings, tail set-up, and landing gear, among others. To work on the planeâ€™s sensors and computers, Sperry Univac Federal Systems was brought in. The final design was finished and won the VSX program on August 1969. Prototypes, then designated as the YS-3A, were ordered for testing. As modifications piled up and upgrades were done here and there, the plane was re-designated as a later variant, the S-3B Viking. The bulk of the difference between the A-model and the B-model were improvements in the planeâ€™s sensor and computer systems.
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