General Characteristics
Crew: 4 – two pilots, two detection systems operators
Length: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
Wingspan: 72 ft 7 in (22.12 m)
Height: 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)
Wing area: 485 ft² (45.06 m²)
Empty weight: 18,315 lb (8,310 kg)
Loaded weight: 23,435 lb (10,630 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 26,147 lb (11,860 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-1820-82WA radial engines, 1,525 hp (1,137 kW) each
Maximum speed: 280 mph (450 km/h) at sea level
Cruise speed: 150 mph (240 km/h)
Range: 1,350 mi (2,170 km) or 9 hours endurance
Service ceiling: 22,000 ft (6,700 m)
Hardpoints: 4,800 lb (2,200 kg) of payload could be carried in the internal bomb bay and on 6× under-wing hardpoints
Torpedoes: Mk. 41, Mk. 43, Mk. 34, Mk. 44, or Mk. 46
Depth charges: Mk. 54 or naval mines

S2F-1 Grumman Tracker

After active duty with the Navy, the 175 was purchased from government surplus by California Dept. of Forestry as a bomber to aid in fire fighting. She was purchased by Cactus Air Force in 2009 and began restoration. She is in flying condition and the registration process is complete. The 175 was added to Cactus Air Force in 2012.

Design & Development

Intended as a replacement for its predecessor, Grumman’s AF-2 Guardian which was the first purpose-built aircraft system for ASW, using two airframes, one with the detection gear, and the other with the weapon systems, the Tracker combined both functions in one aircraft. Grumman’s design (model G-89) was for a large high-wing monoplane with twin Wright Cyclone R-1820 nine cylinder radial engines, a yoke type arrestor hook and a crew of four. Both the two prototypes XS2F-1 and 15 production aircraft, S2F-1 were ordered at the same time, on 30 June 1950. The first flight was conducted on 4 December 1952, and production aircraft entered service with VS-26, in February 1954.

Follow-on versions included the WF Tracer and TF Trader, which became the Grumman E-1 Tracer and Grumman C-1 Trader in the tri-service designation standardization of 1962. The S-2 carried the nickname “Stoof” (S-two-F) throughout its military career; and the E-1 Tracer variant with the large overhead radome was colloquially called the “stoof with a roof.”.

Grumman produced 1,185 Trackers. Another 99 aircraft carrying the CS2F designation were manufactured in Canada under license by de Havilland Canada. U.S.-built versions of the Tracker were sold to various nations, including Australia, Japan, Turkey and Taiwan.


The Grumman S-2 Tracker (previously S2F prior to 1962) was the first purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to enter service with the US Navy. The Tracker was of conventional design with twin engines, a high wing and tricycle undercarriage. The type was exported to a number of navies around the world. Introduced in 1952 the Tracker saw service in the USN until the mid-1970s with a few aircraft remaining in service with other air arms into the 21st century.

Sensors & Armament

The Tracker carried an internal torpedo bay capable of carrying two light weight torpedoes or one nuclear depth charge. There were six underwing hard points for rocket pods and conventional depth charges or up to four additional torpedoes. A ventrally mounted retractable radome and a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) mounted on an extendable rear mounted boom were also fitted. Early model Trackers had an Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) pod mounted dorsally just aft of the front seat overhead hatches and were also fitted with a smoke particle detector or sniffer. Later S-2s had the sniffer removed and had the ESM antennae moved to four rounded extensions on the wingtips. The engine nacelles carried JEZEBEL sonobouys in the rear (16 in early marks, 32 in the S-2E/G). Early Trackers also carried 60 explosive charges dispensed ventrally from the rear of the fuselage used for active sonar (JULIE) with the AN/AQA-3 and later AQA-4 detection sets, whereas the introduction of active sonobouys and AN/AQA-7 with the S-2G conversion saw these removed. Smoke dispensers were mounted on the port ventral surface of the nacelles in groups of three each.

Operational History

The Tracker was eventually superseded for U.S. military use by the Lockheed S-3 Viking, the last USN Tracker squadron (VS-37 with S-2G models) was disestablished in 1976. The last Navy S-2 was withdrawn from service on 29 August 1976. A number live on as firefighting aircraft, however. Trackers continued to provide excellent service with the naval forces of other countries for years after the U.S. discontinued them. For example, the Royal Australian Navy continued to use Trackers as front line ASW assets until the mid 1980s.

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