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Tracker Types

The first production version wasn't much different from the prototype. The engine power was increased from 1500 hp to 1525 hp. The S2F-1 had an AN/APS38 search radar in the fuselage that could be lowered during ASW missions and a MAD boom in the tail area that could be extended 9 feet. On the fuselage, over the cockpit a APA69 ECM antenna was installed. This was later replaced by an AN/APA69 antenna in a radome. The fuel tanks could contain 520 gallons of av gas, enough for a combat range of 841 sea miles or a 6 hours flight. The cruising speed was 130 knots and the top speed was 230 knots. Under the right wing a very powerful search light was installed for night missions. Later version received an even more powerful light. The Tracker could carry three underwing station for 5 inch HVAR rockets, Mk54 depth carges or 2,75 inch rocket pods on each side. In the internal bay the S-2 could carry a Mk34 or Mk43 torpedo. In the end of both engine nacelles tubes were installed for 8 SSQ2 and 2 SSQ1 sonobouys. A total of 755 S-2F-1s were built.

Specifications S-2A
Length 42 feet Maximum speed 265 mph
Wingspan 68 feet 8 inches Range 841 miles
Height 16 feet 3 inches Service ceiling 22,000 feet
Weight, empty 18,315 pounds Crew 4
Weight, maximum 26,000 pounds

51 S-2As were converted to US-2A transport aircraft and taget tug. All ASW equipment was removed, including the search light. These aircraft could be recognized by the absence of the sonobouy installations in the engine nacelles. The US-2A was flown by both US Navy and Marines Corps.

This variant was almost identical to the US-2A, but could carry five passengers, and cargo in the weapons bay. A total of 75 S-2As were converted to US-2B.

Grumman built 200 S2F-Ts for and multi-engine and ASW training. The Trackers used for multi-engine training lacked ASW equipment or radomes. S2F-1Ts used for ASW training did have all the ASW equipment onboard, but also had training armament: 25 practice depth charges and practice rockets and bombs.

Only a few S-2As were modified with newer ASW equipment and designated S-2Bs. The equipment was a JEZEBEL acoustic search system and a JULIE acoustic echo ranging system. The conversion proces was stopped when a more advanced Tarcker model became available.

The S-2F looked like the S-2A but was much more advanced. The F had improved ASW electronics and newer JULIE acoustic echo system. Lots of S-2Fs were used by the US Navy and a few were delevered to other countries under the MDAP programme.

In the 1950s the weapons bay of the Tracker turned out to be to small for (large) nuclear depth charges. Grumman redesigned the aircraft and gave it a weapons bay large enough for a nuclear bomb. This was easy to recognize. The flying characteristics were improved by a larger horizontal stabilizer. The engines and ASW equipment were retained. A total of 60 were built.

After the first S-2Cs were replaced by newer models, a large number of airframes were converted to transport aircraft. All ASW equipment was removed but the sonobuoy installations in the engine nacelles were retained.

Only a single S-2C was modified to carry out photo reconnaissance missions. The ASW equiment was removed and six cameras were installed in various places in the underside of the fuselage. The RS-2C was a good aircraft, but no more S-2Cs were modified.

In the early 1960s the first of 100 factory fresh S2F-3s entered service with the US Navy. This version showed many major changes. The radome on the forward fuselage was gone and the engines were replaced by new R1820-82A engine with larger intake on top. An enlarged weapons bay was no longer needed due to the introduction of smaller nuclear depth charges. The forward fuselage for extended 0.5 meter, making this Tracker more comfortable to the crew and adding space for more fuel. The wing tips were rounded and fitted with ECM equipment. The end of the engine nacelles was slightly redesigned to increase the sonobuoy capacity. Not visible were the stronger weapons pylons under the wings. All ASW equipment was modernized.

A total of 54 S-2Ds were modified as transport and training aircraft. The US-2D retained the radome in the belly of the fuselage and the search light. Alle the ASW equipment however was removed. The end of the engine nacelles were not closed.

An unknown version was the ES-2D, of which only 7 were built for the Pacific Missile Ranges of the US Navy. They were former S-2Ds mainly used for clearing the test areas of unauthorized persons during missile launches. The ES-2D was also used as a AEW platform. Some received an additional search radar under the forward part of the fuselage.

The last new version of the Tracker built by Grumman was the S-2E; later versions were all modified S-2s. There were some external differences between the S-2D and S-2E. The E had a long retractable antenne under the fuselage and an extra small radome behind the belly search radar. Internally there were more changes. The tactical navigation system was modernised and added with a computer. Improvements in the MAD system doubled the detection range compared with the S-2A. A total of 252 S-2Es were built, of which 238 entered serbvice with the US Navy.

Specifications S-2E
Length 43 feet 6 inches Maximum speed 242 mph
Wingspan 72 feet 7 inches Range 1000 miles
Height 16 feet 7 inches Service ceiling 18,000 feet
Weight, empty 19,033 pounds Crew 4
Weight, maximum 29,150 pounds

The S-2G was the last version used by the US Navy. This version look very much like the S-2E, but had an installation for smoke markers on the starboard engine. The ASW equipment was updated further. The modification from S-2E tot S-2G was carried out by the US Navy.

Various companies offered to stretch the life of the Tracker by installing turboprop engines. Untill today only Argentina and Taiwan have chosen for this option. Some civil users have modernized their Tracker to Turbo Trackers, most of which are in use as firefighters.

Canada was the only country that built its own Trackers. DeHavilland in Toronto started building 44 CS2F-1s for the Royal Canadian Navy in 1956. This version looked very much like the S2F-1, but lacked the radome on the fuselage. This was replaced by a considerable smaller antenna. In the wing tips, cilinder shaped ECM antennas were applied.

DeHavilland soon received a second order for 55 CS2F-2s. This version looked almost identical to its forerunner. The CS2F-2 had a better MAD system, more powerful radar and more sensitive ASW sensors.

In the mid 1960s the Canadian Trackers were updated in order to stretch their lifes. This update involved a new tactical navigation computer, a Doppler radar and more sensitive JULIE/JEZEBEL sensors. In February 1968 the Trackers the designation CS2-F changed to CP-121 and the Royal Canadian Navy became part of the Canadian Armed forces.