Always overshadowed by its far more famous sibling the Spitfire, the Seafire was an aircraft adapted initially in haste to fill a large gap in the Fleet Air Arm's fighter inventory. The first Seafires were developed from the early marks of Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered Spitfore, but although the structure was strengthened to absorb some of the landing loads characteristic of carrier operation, the airframe would exhibit some alarming failures; a trait that continued through the life of the type.
The Seafire Mk XV was the first royal navy carrier aircraft to be fitted with the Rolls-Royce griffon engine. The larger and heavier Griffon produced substantially more power than the Rolls Royce Merlin. Originally planned for use in the Pacific theatre against the Japanese, the first aircraft were however delivered too late to actively participate in combat.