The next production version of the Savage was a an improved aircraft specialized for the photographic reconnaissance role. It was initially designated AJ-1P. The first AJ-1P was created by converting a production AJ-1 (BuNo 124850). An order for 23 was placed on August 18, 1950, but by that time the designation was changed to AJ-2P.
The AJ-2P differed from the AJ-1 in having a redesigned bomb bay that carried photographic reconnaissance cameras rather than bombs. The bomb bay was fitted with both down-looking and side-looking cameras, and had distinct transparent areas for the camera lenses. Perhaps the most readily-noticeable difference was in the nose--the bulbous radar installation in the nose was replaced by a forward-looking K-38 camera. There was a fold-down access bay for the K-38 camera in the nose, giving the aircraft a distinct "chin". Improved R-2800-48 and J33-A-10 engines were used. The vertical fin was increased in height by about a foot, and made slightly longer. The elevators of the AJ-1 had a distinct dihedral, but in the AJ-2P they had no dihedral.
The early AJ-2Ps had three crew members, with the third crew member being a camera technician sitting in a compartment in the forward part of the bomb bay. On later AJ-2Ps, a fourth crew member was added, with the extra seat in the upper deck facing aft. The four crew members were plane captain, photo commander, photo navigator, and photo technician.
The AJ-2P served with VJ-61 at NAS Miramar, California and with VAP-61 on Guam, and with VJ-62 and VAP-62 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida.
128043/128054 North American AJ-2P Savage c/n 175-1/12. 129185/129195 North American AJ-2P Savage c/n 175-13/23 130422/130425 North American AJ-2P Savage c/n 183-1/4 134073/134075 North American AJ-2P Savage c/n 183-5/7