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CATOBARCatapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery
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He acknowledges that ski-jump carriers cannot launch aircraft that are as heavy, carrying as much fuel or weaponry, or do so at the same high rates as can a CATOBAR ship.
China may also pursue this course, but again only as a supplement to STOBAR, and possibly CATOBAR.
STOVL carriers would be excellent for supporting humanitarian and disaster-relief missions in the Asia-Pacific region or noncombatant evacuations farther away if China wished concurrently to make a show of force but in a less inflammatory way than a full-size, strike-capable STOBAR or CATOBAR carrier would represent.
CATOBAR designs can also launch heavier fixed-wing AEW and ASW aircraft.
China's naval analysts have identified several benefits of a STOBAR design over a CATOBAR design.