The Fairey Firefly was originally conceived in the late thirties as a carrier based fighter for the Royal Navy. It was built as a two seater because the authorities felt that a single pilot would not be able to navigate and fly under combat conditions at sea. While other similar aircraft, notably the Defiant and Blackburn Skua and Roc had power operated turrets, the Firefly dispensed with these, and throughout the protracted development of the type, the rear gun was never adopted for widespread use. Performance, however, was exceptional, and the type was ready for limited service in 1942. Development was slow, and it never really made the grade as a carrier based fighter, although many variants were developed for specialized uses, including night fighter, target tug, attack bomber, and trainer.