|Northrop Grumman S-2T Turbo Tracker||Service History||Fleet Images||Fleet Information|
The S-2T were all converted from the S-2E or S-2G while they were assigned to the ROCAF.
The original plan, valued at $260 million USD, called for conversion of 32 S-2T
(from 25 S-2E and 7 S-2G).
Two S-2G were first sent to US for modification to the S-2T standards by Grumman (later Northrop
The first flight took place in July 1988 and the two converted aircraft returned to Taiwan in
The rest of the fleet were then converted in Taiwan using kits supplied by the contractors.
The S-2T conversion program turned out to be a political scandal and it was probably for this
reason that only 27 aircraft has been converted.
(In 2001, eight ROCAF officials involved in the S-2T scandal
were impeached, including former ROCAF CinC General Kuo.)
The most significant improvement of the S-2T over the old S-2E/G is that the original Curtiss-Wright R-1820-82 piston engines, each rated 1141 kW (1530 shp), have been replaced by two Garret TPE-331-15AW turboprops, each rated 1227 kW (1645 shp), with four-blade propellers, resulting in an increase of 500 kg in payload. New mission equipment includes the AN/AQS-92F digital sonobuoy processor, A/NARR-84 99-channel sonobuoy receiver, Litton AN/APS-504 radar, AN/ASQ-504 MAD, and AN/AAS-40 FLIR (replacing the search light on the wing).
ROCAF established its first Anti-submarine unit, the Anti-submarine Squadron, on October 1, 1965, under the auspice of the 6th Wing. However, it did not operate dedicated ASW aircraft unitl 1967, when 10 S-2A were received from the US on February 2. The Anti-submarine Squadron achieved the IOC status on April 1, 1968. Nearly ten years later, the Anti-submarine Squadron traded the remaining nine S-2A for 16 S-2E on June 16, 1977. The S-2A were transferred to the 34th Squadron, which completed the conversion training on January 13, 1978.
On February 1, 1979, then the 439th Troop Carring & Anti-Submarine Wing expanded its anti-submarine structure by upgrading the ASW Squadron to the the Anti-submarine Group. The 34th Squadron was transferred to the Anti-submarine Group and the 33rd Squadron was also established under the Group. During the same period, ROCAF began to receive 18 S-2E. On November 24, 1986, it was reported ROCAF received some number of S-2G.
ROCAF began the conversion to the S-2T from 1991 and completed on July 1, 1993. While with the ROCAF, S-2T 2219 crashed near the border of Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties on May 25, 1996. The crew of four, inlcuding two ROCN officers and the ROCAF pilot and co-pilot, were all killed.
The Ministry of National Defense approved the proposal to transfer of the S-2T assets from the ROCAF to the ROCN on February 12, 1998, as part of the effort to re-organize the entire Taiwan military. The ROCAF General Headquarters announced its transfer plan on July 30, which was to be completed on July 1, 1999.
On July 1, 1999, the original 33rd and 34th Squadrons and the Anti-submarine Group of the ROCAF were re-designated the 133rd and 134th Squadrons and the 1st Aviation Group of the ROCN. All the S-2T were also officially transferred on the same day. Although the aircraft remains the assets of ROCN, ROCAF is responsible for the maintenance.
As the S-2T gains age, they become increasingly difficult to operate. At one time in 2000, the mission capable rate dropped to a mere 23.8%, meaning that only six of the twenty-six aircraft fleet are operatonal. Though the number was improved later on, the mission capable rate average about only 50%. ROCN plans to purchase twelve former USN P-3C to replace the S-2T. But at this moment, the budget has not been approved by the legislature.