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The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov with a ski-jump for STOBAR

STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier, combining elements of both short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) with catapult-assisted take-off but with arrested recovery (CATOBAR).

Aircraft launch under their own power using a ski-jump to assist take-off (rather than using a catapult like most carriers). However, these are conventional, rather than STOVL aircraft, and thus require arrestor wires to land on the ship. The STOBAR system is simpler to build than CATOBAR — but it works only with aircraft that have a high thrust to weight ratio. As of 2015, it has only been used regularly on Russian, Indian, and Chinese carriers.


Compared to catapult-assisted take-off but with arrested recovery (CATOBAR), STOBAR is less expensive to develop. It is easier to operate than a CATOBAR configuration which requires large number of operators to launch the aircraft. Lack of any moving parts in ski-jump makes it less expensive to maintain the launch system.[1][2] It does not require any additional system to generate force required to launch the aircraft unlike CATOBAR where an external force is needed to be generated either from steam catapult[3] or Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System(EMALS)[4] to launch the aircraft.


Construction of the ski-jump on INS Vikramaditya

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.[1][5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

List of STOBAR aircraft

HAL Tejas (NP-1) short take-off during test flight.


The Russian Navy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is the first STOBAR carrier. Other aircraft carriers that feature a STOBAR configuration include the Indian INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov), lead vessel of Vikrant-class INS Vikrant as well as the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (formerly the Soviet carrier Varyag) .


  1. 1.0 1.1 "What are carriers ?".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "CHINA'S AIRCRAFT CARRIER AMBITIONS (page 20)".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "STEAM-POWERED CATAPULTS" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "EMALS: Next Gen Catapult".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "How Effective Will China's Carrier-Based Fighters Be?".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "US-India Collaboration on Aircraft Carriers: A Good Idea?".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Indian Navy seeks EMALS system for second Vikrant-class aircraft carrier".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "LCA naval variant's first flight on Friday".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Maiden flight by 2nd prototype of LCA Tejas' naval variant".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Naval Version of Light Combat Aircraft Rolls out a Defining and Memorable Occasion for the Nation – Antony".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "J-15 successfully landed on China's carrier Liaoning: Navy".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>