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
|Primary function||Electronic warfare|
|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|
|Unit cost||$27 million (original airframe) + $65 million (conversion) = $92 million|
|Dates deployed||September 1993|