The AF Guardian was developed as a replacement for the Navy's TBF Avenger anti-submarine search & strike aircraft. Grumman's G-70 design even featured a turbojet engine in the tail for high escape speeds instead of any defensive armament as in the TBF Avenger. The first prototype flew on 19 December 1945 and it was discovered that the increase in speed produced by the turbojet was not high enough and so this addition was cancelled.
Two variants of the Guardian were produced: The AF-2S for torpedo or bombing missions and the AF-2W with the large ventral radar. The latter was manned by a crew of three instead of one pilot only. Two radar operators found a place to work in the fuselage. The AF-2S was equipped with much smaller radar under one of the wings. Both Guardians worked together in a team: The AF-2W detected the target and the AF-2S attacked it.
153 AF-2Ws and 193 AF-2Ss were built until 1953. Additionally, some 40 AF-3S (with a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection) radar under the fuselage were delivered in 153.
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