Surviving Grumman S2F Tracker Information Repository
By David D Jackson

Focusing on Existing Grumman S2F / S-2 Tracker, TF-1 / C-1A Trader and WF-2 / E-1B Tracer Airframes

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Grumman S2F / S-2 Tracker Basics


136427 in flight over Indiana 

Grumman S2F / S-2 Tracker Basics

Nickname
    "Stoof"  (S-Two-F)
Detection Equipment
    (16) SSQ-2 sonabuoys carried in the rear engine nacelles
    AN/APS-38 search radar which dropped down in a radome from the fuselage
    Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) boom extending from the tail
    70 million candlepower searchlight on starboard wing
Armament
   (6) 5 in. HVAR rockets
   (1) Mk 34 or 43 anti-submarine torpedo
   (20) Marine Markers (smoke)
Crew
    Pilot
    Co-pilot/navigator
    (1) Sonabuoys operator-starboard side
    (1) Radar operator-port side
Dimensions
    Length 42 ft.
    Height 16 ft , 2 in.
    Wing  Span 68 ft., 8 in.
Weight
    26,000 lbs. gross
 Power Plants
    (2) Wright R-1820-82, 1,525 horsepower each
 Performance
    Max. speed - 265 mph
 Service Ceiling
    22,000 ft.
 Range
    900 miles
 Total Built
    1,438 of which 755 were of the S2F-1/S-2A variation
Nomenclature
    In the early 60's the military went to a standard method of identifying its aircraft.  You will see different types of designations for the Grumman Tracker.  Below is a conversion table to help you keep the various models straight;

 S2F-1 became the S-2A - The first flight was Dec. 4, 1952 and 755 were built, of which 130 of these were for export to US allies. DeHavilland of Canada also built 99 under license.
S2F-1T became the TS-2A
S2F-1S became the S-2B
S2F-1F1 became the S-2F
S2F-2 became the S-2C - 60 of these were produced which had slightly enlarged tail surfaces, Julie and Jezebel detection gear, and an extended weapons bay to better accommodate the large nuclear weapons of the period.
S2F-2P became the RS-2C


S-2C
 


S2F-3 became the S-2D - 100 were built; several features were enlarged including the engine nacelle, which doubled to 32 the amount of sonabuoys that could be carried, fuel tanks, fuselage, tail surfaces and wingspan.
S2F-3S became the S-2E 

WF-2 became the E-1B - This was the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) version of the Tracker, with nicknames "Stoof with a Roof' and "Willie Fudd".  The 88 Tracers replaced the AD-5W Skyraider and saw extensive service during the early parts of the Vietnam war, providing CAP and controlling Alpha Strikes over North Vietnam.


E-1B

US-2A,B,C,D - Another variant of the Tracker was the utility series which when complete would involve the conversion of 243 anti submarine versions into utility aircraft.

History
The Second World War demonstrated to the U.S. Navy that one of the key weapons needed to combat the deadly menace of unrestricted submarine warfare was a carrier based hunter-killer anti-submarine aircraft.  The Navy took delivery of its first Grumman S2F-1 Tracker in October of 1953.  The Tracker was the Navy’s first anti-submarine aircraft that combined both the sub hunter and killer roles in one airframe.

Combat
The Tracker never really saw any anti-submarine combat with the US Navy for which it was designed.  And that is good, for its primary mission was to seek out and destroy, if the circumstances demanded, enemy submarines.  The Tracker was a cold war weapon, with the enemy being in this case the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries.  The Tracker was a part of a strategy of strong deterrence, and because it was effective in its mission, it never had to be used launch its weapons on a Soviet missile submarine.

That being said, during the war in Southeast Asia, the Tracker was heavily involved in patrol duty not only for hostile submarines, but for surface vessels.  At least one and possibly two were lost ( I have seen conflicting evidence) when a Tracker on patrol in SEA did not return to the carrier.

It should be noted that S2F Trackers did see combat in 1981 with the Argentine Navy against British forces during the Falklands War.  For more information see the following website:  

http://www.centronaval.org.ar/boletin/bcn/BCN817/817fortini.pdf

This is the English language translation

Countries that have and still may be using The Tracker:
 
 

(Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Peru (not shown), Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela)
 

 


 

Home   Argentina    Australia    Brazil    Canada    France    Italy    Japan    Netherlands   Peru    South Korea    Taiwan  Thailand  Turkey   Uruguay     USA   
Venezuela   S2F Basics   136427   USA Traders    USA Tracers    CVS Carriers    Wing Fold    My Tracker Photos    My Trader Photos   My Tracer Photos
World Wide Master Tracker List   My Cal Fire Turbo Tracker Photos    My Marsh Aviation Photos   Trackers Gone West    Cal Fire S-2T List   Gitmo Bay Tracker   Links

My United Aeronautical Corporation Photos      Archived Tracker Updates   The Chess Players   Brazil Traders   Guest Photos

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