Within aircraft electrical network designs, energy storage systems (ESS) provide a means of decoupling the electrical-mechanical interactions between the aircraft electrical power system and the aircraft engine, meeting peak load demand and maintaining power quality during network disturbances and variable load conditions. Within the literature to date, control and management strategies of ESSs for such applications has primarily focused on normal network operation with only limited coverage on the behavior of such technologies under abnormal conditions and the subsequent impact on the operation of the wider power system. Through modeling and simulation of a generic aircraft electrical system, this paper will highlight the potential risks of the inherent, sub-optimal operation of certain existing control strategies during fault conditions. It will also discuss the sensitivity of the integrated system response to a number of technological factors including the ESS and wider network converter topologies, protection and control system design, and operational modes. To this end, a holistic approach to optimizing the behavior, control and protection of energy storage during both normal and network faulted conditions is of considerable interest. The paper will discuss what ‘optimal’ may mean in this context and will explore the varying extent to which system-level optimization may be achieved. It will also explore the opportunities for the utilization of energy storage to enhance overall network behavior during faulted conditions, for example by capitalizing on the intrinsic sensitivity of the ESS to fault transients as a potential early indicator of a network fault. The paper concludes by emphasizing the substantial research opportunity presented within the aerospace sector and other related domains where the expected near term solutions will focus primarily on modest developments to application specific ESS hardware and control. In the longer term, the development of an optimized integrated system-level control and protection solution incorporating ESS operation will be the definitive research goal.