S-2T making a retadant drop.

The S-2T is an airtanker used in fighting wildfires. The S-2T is operated by Cal Fire. There are currently 23 in operation.

The S-2T was commissioned to replace the fleet of S-2A airtankers with a faster and more maneuverable aircraft. This model has been in operation since 1996, although the airframes are as old as 1958 with the newest being 1975.

The S-2T is based on surplus S-2E/G anti-submarine warfare aircraft purchased from the United States Navy. The aircraft were outfitted with upgraded turbo-prop engines to allow the planes to carry a greater load of fire retardant.

Conair Aviation Ltd of Canada began similar turbo-prop conversions in 1988 using the name Turbo Firecat. These aircraft were in service in Canada until 2012. France continues to operate a small fleet of Turbo Firecats with the Securite Civile.

  • Manufacturer: Grumman Aerospace
  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Payload: 1,200 gallons (4,542 ) fire retardant
  • Gross Weight: 29,150 pounds (13,200 kg)
  • Max. Operating Speed: 270 mph (430 kph)
  • Range: Loaded: 500 miles/Empty: 800 miles (800 km/1,280 km)
  • Wing Span: 73 feet (22.3 m)
  • Endurance: 4.5 hours
  • Engines: Two Garrett TPE331-14GR turbine engines. (1,650 horsepower each)