Aircraft History

Grumman Tracker

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) operated 100 Grumman CS2F Trackers, the first of which was delivered to HMCS Shearwater on 13 October 1956. The Tracker, built under license by De Havilland Canada in Toronto, replaced the Grumman Avenger as the RCN's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft. The increasing complexity of ASW required the Tracker to be manned by a crew of four (Pilot, Co-pilot and two Naval Aircrewmen ASW sensor operators) compared to three crew members in the Avenger. The first version of the Tracker, the CS2F-1, was delivered to Anti-submarine Squadrons VS 881 in February 1957 and VS 880 in October 1957. After over a year of conversion training VS 880 embarked on the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure for the first Tracker operations in January 1959. The following July VS 881 merged with VS 880 to form the RCN's sole ASW squadron and the largest squadron in the Commonwealth with 24 operational CS2F-1's and 450 personnel.

After building 42 CS2F-1's, De Havilland switched production to the CS2F-2 with improved Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) and radar systems and minor airframe refinements. The first of 57 CS2F-2's entered service with VS 880 in January 1960 and gradually replaced the older CS2F-1's. VX 10 developed further significant improvements to the Tracker which resulted in Fairey Aviation substantially modifying 45 CS2F-2's which were designated CS2F-3's, the first of which was delivered to the RCN in July 1966. The CS2F-3 featured an ASW Tactical Navigation System, doppler radar, improved Jezebel and Julie ASW systems and an analogue computer to automatically integrate information from the Tracker's ASW sensors.

With unification of the Armed Forces in 1968 and the subsequent demise of HMCS Bonaventure, the Tracker was used for shore based coastal patrols. With the removal of all of the ASW sensors and the installation of a new radar and communications equipment, the CS2F was redesignated a CP-121. Similarly, VS 880 assumed a Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) role and was redesignated MR 880. The Tracker was finally retired in 1990, 34 years after the first flight of the Canadian built CS2F.

Type: Four seat, carrier based, maritime reconnaissance and attack aircraft

Wing Span:
22.47 m (69 ft 8 in.)

Length:
13.54 m (42 ft 0 in)

Height:
5.33 m (16 ft 7 in)

Max. Speed:
426 kph (265 mph)

Service Ceiling:
6706 m (22,000 ft)

Range:
2092 km (1300 mi)

Max. Weight:
11,136 kg (24,500lb)

Empty Weight:
8505 kg (18,750 lb)

Power Plant:
Two 1137 kW (1525 hp) Wright R-1820-82 Cyclone 9 cylinder radial piston engines

Armament:
Sixteen sonobuoys in aft end of nacelles; plus
Torpedoes and depth charges in internal bomb bay; and
Rockets under wings