Refugees from LCA dhaga.
So the issue appears to be that IN is holding out for STOBARS-compatible fighters. If you think through this it becomes clear that STOBARS should ****NOT*** be allowed to drive aircraft design. Any way you look at it, the only way to accommodate STOBARS is to take off with much less than your max design fuel+payload. So your real engine/airframe capacity will never be utilized, which is a ridiculous way to design any aircraft. Consider that an engine with T/W 11 will cost a heck of a lot more than one with T/W of 8, etc.
So the only way to handle STOBARS is to use thrust that costs weight only during takeoff
. Meaning rocket thrust, used up at takeoff. The rockets must be cheap and swift to attach to the wingtips or under wings. And safe and compact to store a bunch of them on the ship, enough for X takeoffs at max load. The routine flights can be at lower fuel and payload.
The other political implication (sorry CainMarkoji) is that IN is
for Shri Brar's eph-35. But I don't want to go there. Even this design carries this huge lift fan around all the time, not at all worth it just to accommodate STOBARS.
The other technical point I see in this thread is that ppl are wondering about STOBARS vs. CATO before deciding how to design airplanes. I think this totally wrong for the reason mentioned above. The choice of STOBARS is very understandable for cost efficiency. Carting a humongous airfield on the ocean needs a nuclear plant and is immensely expensive (and vulnerable). In think in not too distant future, such point-defence force concentrations will become nice juicy targets that cannot be defended, against, say, a shower of hypersonic cruise missiles. Baaad investment at this stage. So even if India goes for 1 or 2 massive CATO carriers, most of the force projection must come from STOBARS carriers which are fine 99% of the time, for interceptor and helicopter and drone operations.
So it's back to RATO. Or a very efficient afterburner which is basically an air-augmented liquid rocket. More on STOBARS in next post.