On a CVN steam cats make more sense as they can re-use the steam and is much cheaper than EMALs to develop. The US is spending billions on it, we could reverse engineer a steam catapult for a million.
But the technology developing EMALS would be useful... and AFAIK they never actually had an operational steam cat system so it is not like they just need to put it on a ship and start using it... so in that sense there needs to be serious development work to create either and EMALS offers technology in electronics and magnets and plasma... steam cats offer technology in plumbing... and the pumps for fuels etc in modern rockets means they probably already have much of that technology so no real improvements to be gained from using it.
Once Russia has a moon base... manned or unmanned... an EMALS system could be used to return material to earth orbit very very cheaply.
And it would make sense anyway to reverse engineer a steam catapult and build a launching system based on it either in Saki or in Yevsk, especially to learn more about its operations and compare it with the to be developed EMALS (having maybe instead in the other site a prototype for the EMALS launcher.
Building both systems just to test them against each other would be a waste. I am sure Concern Kalashnikov will not be starting with flintlock weapons to develop a replacement for the RPK LMG... technology can move backwards but you need a really good reason for doing so to actually do it.
Apparently there was already a steam catapult prototype in NITKA anyway, built to test the system that should have been installed in the Ulyanovsk.
AFAIK they have no aircraft able to use it... if it is even functional.
Wasnt Ulyanovsk scrapped while hull was 30% finished?
Yes, that is what I was trying to say... the Ks were design with ski jump launch only, while the U was supposed to add steam cats but was never finished and the Nitka base hasn't used steam cats even if there are some there because they don't have any aircraft that could use cat launch systems AFAIK.
EM cats have a lot of huge advantages, but also a lot of technical challenges... but these technical challenges like handling and transfering and storing large amounts of electrical energy... super magnets, plasmas, etc etc will be useful in a wide range of other areas of weapons and space and aircraft...
One of the best ways to redirect a large object in space from hitting the earth is not to blow it up... if you blow it up its gravity means most of the material would fall back and reform the same weight object that is still going to hit the earth... one solution would be to land a small mining robot with an EM cat system that digs up material from the object and launches it in the same direction as the object spins... gradually shifting it off course. Another purpose could be to put it into space orbit to capture material in orbit and accelerate things down to reenter and burn up instead of remaining in orbit as a collision risk...
Worst decision ever.
Everyone wanted money and there was very little money for anything let alone extravagances like an aircraft carrier... plus it would have been in the Ukraine so it wasn't a Russian decision to start with... what would the ukraine do with an aircraft carrier... Russia was in no condition to buy it.