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Lockheed ES-3 Shadow

posted by Jiri Wagner

Jet aircraft, used to collect and disseminate tactical reconnaissance information. The aircraft resembles the S-3 Viking, from which it is derived, with the addition of numerous antennas and antenna housings.

The ES-3 Shadow, replaced the EA-3 Skywarrior and entered fleet service in 1993. The ES-3 is a carrier-based, subsonic, all-weather, long-range, electronic reconnaissance aircraft. It operates primarily with carrier battle groups providing Indications and Warning (I&W) support to the battle group and joint theater commanders. It carries an extensive suite of electronic sensors and communications gear.

All 16 ES-3 aircraft are modified S-3 Viking airframes. The S-3's gear was removed and the bomb bay converted to avionics racks to accommodate the ES-3's sensors. The first ES-3A was delivered in 1991, and the last one in 1993. U.S. carriers typically deploy with two Shadow aircraft embarked

General characteristics

Primary function Electronic warfare
Contractor Lockheed-California Company
Power plant Two General Electric TF-34-GE-400B turbofan engines
Thrust 2x 9,275 lb 2x 41.26 kN
Length 53 ft 4 in 16 m
Wingspan 68 ft 8 in 20.6 m
Height 22 ft 9 in 6.9 m
Max. takeoff weight 52,539 lb 23,643 kg
Speed 518 mph 829 km/h
Ceiling 40,000 ft 12,192 m
Range 2,645 miles 4,232 km
Armament None
Crew Four
Unit cost $27 million (original airframe) + $65 million (conversion) = $92 million
Dates deployed September 1993


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Last updated 01.01.2017