We are both saying the same thing on choppers with reduced wingspan for storage. The use case works for AC's and for LHD's, etc (including the Mistral class, although that's just one of many).Only for the chopper version - otherwise the general trend is to have a larger wing area.
“Making the necessary changes to allow the F-16 to operate at sea meant the V-1600 had a three-foot greater wingspan and was almost three feet longer than an F-16A. The structural and other changes added nearly 3,000 pounds to the empty weight of the aircraft, and increased the maximum takeoff weight over the F-16A’s by 10,000 pounds, from 35,400 to 44,421 pounds.”
Reducing aircraft size for storage has many approaches including everything from folding wings to tails for fixed wings. The F-14s swing wings fold was a secondary benefit from the early 60s obsession with variable geometry wings and their benefits of allowing both slow speed handling and good transonic & supersonic performance.
The SH-60 folds its tail, so did variants of the sea king. The osprey twists the wings on its axis.
Here they have folding rotors for the Alligator K variant and decided to shorten wings to fit more on the Mistral class(for which it was originally intended).
On -16, back in the days, GD used to own all the rights to it. In fact, it was a General Dynamics plane in the beginning. So they did pitch it and everyone does these things to reduce taxes and get taxable write-offs. The USN does NOT operate single engine jets so -16 had no future as a lead-in fighter / multi-role air craft for the navy. In fact, even in the aggressor role, it still kept it's air force configurations and was never really re-configured to take off from AC's. Tells you that there was no interest. The single engine lead-in fighter dynamics changed due to -35, it's stealthy and super advance tech. Even then, in real conflicts, -35 will not fly solo and will have a missile truck formation behind it with -18's in the Navy's case and the new -15 ER's in the air force's case with over a dozen AMRAAM D's, utilizing -35's powerful radar and advance cueing and data link system.