Now that China is building a 2nd Aircraft Carrier and getting into the Aircraft Carrier club. Their are some major differences that people need to know. First is that China is building a STOBAR carrier, which is Short take off but arrested carrier. Which means China uses a Ski-jump to launch Aircraft but their are some advantages and disadvantages to a STOBAR vs a CATOBAR which the US Navy uses. On top of that a STOBAR carrier will be limited to what kind of Aircraft they can carry such as aircraft that have a high thrust to weight ratio such as the Naval HAL Tejas, MIG-229K, SU-33 and J-15.
Unlike CATOBAR carriers, STOBAR carriers are less costly to develop and easier to operate and maintain. Since they operate on a Ski-jump, it’s less costly to maintain than a Steam catapult or EMALS. Which is why Countries like China, Russia, India and the UK operate STOBAR Carriers
Limitations to STOBAR
One major limitation of STOBAR configuration is that it only works with aircraft that have a high thrust to weight ratio such as Su-33 or MiG-29K or Dassault Rafale, and thus limits the kind of aircraft that can be operated from the carrier. In order to become airborne, the aircraft may be required to limit its weaponry and fuel package in order to reduce the launch weight of the aircraft. Short take off using ski-jump leads to more stress on the airframes of the aircraft, thus limiting the ability to conduct sorties faster on STOBAR aircraft carrier. STOBAR carriers must maintain a speed of 20kn-30kn in order to generate wind speed required on deck which is essential for conducting aircraft launch operations
Here are prime examples of what a STOBAR carrier looks like from Russia and India.
Which is why the US Navy still holds the Advantage when it comes to Aircraft Carriers. The US Navy has 10 Active Aircraft carriers and still reigns supreme because the US navy has the numbers. When people try to say stupid shit about China’s carriers, they don’t see the fact that China is still going to be limited to a STOBAR carrier and that STOBAR has some advantages and disadvantages in comparison to a CATOBAR carrier that the US Navy operates.