Navalised aircraft

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Westland Scout and Wasp silhouettes

A navalised aircraft (or navalized aircraft) is an aircraft that has been specifically designed for naval use, in some cases as a variant of a land-based design. An aircraft based on an aircraft carrier is called carrier-based aircraft.


A navalised aircraft typically differs from its land-based equivalent by:

  • There is enhanced protection against ingestion of water (including that from hosing down with fresh water to get rid of salt water).
  • Equipment such as sensors and weapons are optimised for naval roles.
  • The avionics is compatible with the complex electronic equipment of a warship.
  • There is provision for ditching at sea.

For safety reasons the aviation fuel provided by ships may be a different fuel (e.g. AVCAT) from the fuel provided by airfields and tanker aircraft.[1]


The T-45 Goshawk is a navalised version of the BAE Hawk jet trainer. Differences from the Hawk include changes to the undercarriage for aircraft carrier compatibility and a strengthened airframe. The engine design was also modified for the aircraft's at-sea role.[2] A proposed navalised version of the Alpha Jet would have had similar design modifications.[3]

Other examples of navalised variants of land-based aircraft include:


  1. ^ Shell Fuels Technical Data Sheet - F-44
  2. ^ [1] (accessed 16/10/2011)
  3. ^ Flightglobal article from 1991