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 2013, it has only been used regularly on Russian, Indian, and Chinese carriers.
The Russian Navy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is the first STOBAR carrier. Other aircraft carriers that feature a STOBAR configuration include the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (formerly the Soviet carrier Varyag) and the Indian INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov), as well as the future Vikrant class aircraft carrier of India.
When the Eurofighter Typhoon was proposed for the British Royal Navy's Future Carrier Borne Aircraft, it was envisaged that they would operate in a STOBAR configuration. Instead, the Joint Combat Aircraft will be deployed on the next generation Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers in a STOVL configuration.
The Dassault Rafale is STOBAR compatible, after several simulations conducted by Dassault Aviation, the Rafale is able, with no modification, to take-off from a ski-jump carrier and the Indian Navy could consider it for a future acquisition.
- Hoyle, Craig. "Cameron: UK to swap JSFs to carrier variant, axe Harrier and Nimrod." Flightglobal.com, 19 October 2010.
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