Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases.
Naval aviation units are typically projected to a position nearer the target by way of an aircraft carrier. Carrier-based aircraft must be sturdy enough to withstand demanding carrier operations. They must be able to launch in a short distance and be sturdy and flexible enough to come to a sudden stop on a pitching flight deck; they typically have robust folding mechanisms that allow higher numbers of them to be stored in below-decks hangars and small spaces on flight decks. These aircraft are designed for many purposes, including air-to-air combat, surface attack, submarine attack, search and rescue, matériel transport, weather observation, reconnaissance and wide area command and control duties.
Naval helicopters can be used for many of the same missions as fixed-wing aircraft while operating from aircraft carriers, helicopter carriers, destroyers and frigates.