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Grumman AF-2 Guardian

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The Aircraft

In February 1945, the US Navy ordered prototypes of the XTB3F-1 as a replacement for the TBF Avenger.  The Navy reappraised its needs in late 1946 and changed the program to develop an anti-submarine aircraft.

Redesignated the AF-2, two aircraft were designed to work in pairs.  One was a "hunter" aircraft with a ventral AN/APS-20 search radar which first flew in November 1948.

The second aircraft was the "killer" aircraft that could carry up to 4,000 lbs of stores internally and on six hard points.  This aircraft first flew in November 1949.

Front-line service of the Guardian was limited as its replacement, the S2F Tracker, began development in 1950.

A number of squadrons flew combat missions in Korean waters between March 1951 and May 1953.

193 AF-2S (killer) aircraft and 153 AF-2W (hunter) aircraft were produced.  40 AF-3S improved killer aircraft were also produced.

Specifications (AF-2S)





Type: anti-submarine aircraft
Engines: 2,400 hp (1780 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-48W Double Wasps
G-70: Grumman model number
AF-2S: "killer" half of the hunter/killer pair
AF-2W: "hunter" half of the hunter/killer pair
AF-3S: AF-2S with an added MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) boom

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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010