Second video is interesting. To me, it is interesting that MiG29 is take off without use of blast protection plates.
The blast deflection plates are primarily used to protect other crew and aircraft on deck during a takeoff. The main use is when lots of aircraft are getting ready for launch in a high tempo situation.
It would be interesting to look at how much time it pass between a launch and the second one in stress situation, given that one of the possible, put forth advantages of STOBAR configuration is allegedly a faster launch rate.
Steam cats need precision settings... use the wrong settings and they cannot be adjusted during a launch.... so a light aircraft might get its nose gear ripped off because the setting might have been for a much larger heavier aircraft, or a heavy aircraft might end up in the water because too light a setting was used and did not increase the aircrafts speed enough to let it get airborne in the space and time allowed.
An EM cat is rather different and can be much more sophisticated and adapt to light or heavy aircraft during the launch stroke... it can have a target launch speed rather than just a pressure setting.
I'm not an expert, but first I think that the skijump could be used by an airplane at a time. If you have four catapults, you can use at least two catapults at a time or in very fast succession. And if you don't have a very big flight deck, you can't move aircrafts so agile enough to supply quickly catapults or skijump. You can have skijump or very fast catapults, but for what? If you can't supply them with aircrafts? In a few words: you need a very big ship (and, I think, a nuclear reactor, for the energy for the steam or the electricity for the catapults and for the lifts ...).
Things like deflector plates and the angled deck means the deck crew can switch from landing aircraft to launching aircraft very quickly.
You could have two aircraft set up for launch on the ski jump at one time and a third aircraft on the long take off position... launch the front two aircraft and then the long takeoff aircraft and the deck is clear for a plane to land while two more aircraft can be moved to the front take off positions on the ski jump.
Aircraft with normal loads would not need the long run so in practise the K could launch aircraft two at a time while able to land an aircraft on the rear angled deck.
Does the Su-33 have an air to air refuelling capability?
Yes, with buddy refuelling pods.
When will it arrive on the Syrian coast? We can really use, the KA 52's in Aleppo right about now.
Would want to see them tested in other areas first so they get to know how to operate them properly first and can check all the systems and weapons work the way they expect them too.