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经济学人:谁主浮沉--航空母舰的发展方向(2)

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Though guiding such missiles onto a distant moving target is tricky, no navy will be keen on putting several billion dollars and thousands of sailors in peril. Carriers have become too big to fail. As a result, they will probably have to remain at least 1,000km away from shore, a distance that their warplanes cannot cross without refuelling. That could have grave implications for America’s ability to project power across the Pacific—and so for all its allies. Carriers will also have to be cocooned with destroyers and frigates, which will absorb most of the resources of smaller navies, like those of Britain and France.

虽然将这种导弹引导到一个遥远的移动目标是棘手的,没有海军会热衷于把数十亿美元和数以千计的水手置于危险之中。航空母舰太大,禁不起失败。因此,他们可能不得不在离岸至少1000公里的地方停留,这是他们的战机不加燃料就无法跨越的距离。这可能会严重影响美国在整个太平洋地区投射力量的能力——对其所有盟友也是如此。航空母舰还将被驱逐舰和护卫舰包围,这将吸收英国和法国等小型海军的大部分资源。
Carriers are not entirely obsolete. Most wars will not be greatpower clashes. They will remain useful against foes which lack modern missile systems. Even in intense conflicts, warships will require air power to protect them from the predations of enemy ships and aircraft. As long as navies have surface ships, they will want to be able to fly planes above them.
航空母舰并不是完全过时。大多数战争不会是大国之间的冲突。他们将继续对缺乏现代导弹系统的敌人有用。即使在激烈的冲突中,军舰也需要空中力量来保护它们免受敌人船只和飞机的掠夺。只要海军有水面舰艇,他们就想让飞机飞到其上空。

Aircraft-carrier2.jpg

But what sort of planes? Even as missiles force carriers farther offshore, the average combat range of their air wings has shrunk, from 2,240km in 1956 to around 1,000km today. (Modern munitions travel farther, but do not make up the difference.) The obvious remedy is to use drones that can fly longer, riskier missions than human pilots, allowing their host carriers to keep a safe distance away. But the Pentagon unwisely scrapped its programme for such a drone in 2016, replacing it with one that would merely refuel inhabited planes.

但是什么样的飞机呢?即使导弹迫使航空母舰远离海岸,它们的平均战斗距离也从1956年的2240公里缩小到今天的1000公里左右。(现代的弹药可以飞得更远,但无法弥补差距。)显而易见的解决办法是使用比人类飞行员飞行时间更长、执行风险更大任务的无人机,让它们的主航母保持安全距离。但美国政府在2016年不明智地取消了这种无人机的计划,代之以一种只会给有人驾驶的飞机加油的无人机。
Aircraft-carriers, like the warplanes on them, belong to a class of large, vastly expensive weapons that military types call “exquisite”. A more homely approach to military technology is warranted. Smaller, cheaper and, where possible, unmanned systems could be procured in larger numbers, dispersed more widely and used more daringly. Such forces may lack the prestige of massive warships. But they are better adapted to a world in which the projection of military power is growing ever harder.
航空母舰,就像它们上面的战机一样,属于一种被军方称为“精致”的巨大而昂贵的武器。有必要对军事技术采取一种更平常的方式。更小、成本更低,而且在可能的情况下,无人驾驶系统可以被大量采购、更广泛地分散和更大胆地使用。这些部队可能缺乏大型战舰的威望。但它们更能适应一个军事力量投射越来越困难的世界。

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
protect [prə'tekt]

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vt. 保护,投保

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massive ['mæsiv]

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adj. 巨大的,大规模的,大量的,大范围的

 
combat ['kɔmbət]

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n. 争斗,战斗
vt. 打斗
vi

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pacific [pə'sifik]

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n. 太平洋
adj. 太平洋的
p

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range [reindʒ]

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n. 范围,行列,射程,山脉,一系列
v. 排

 
grave [greiv]

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n. 坟墓,墓穴
adj. 严肃的,严重的,庄

 
warranted ['wɔrəntid]

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adj. 担保的,保证的 动词warrant的过去分词和

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munitions [mju:'niʃənz]

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n. 军火,弹药 名词munition的复数

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exquisite ['ekskwizit]

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adj. 精挑细选的,精致的,细腻的,强烈的

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intense [in'tens]

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adj. 强烈的,剧烈的,热烈的

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