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Being a super power, it’s not possession of nuclear weapons, it’s not having a large armed forces, it’s not having higher tech equipment than anyone else, if there’s one thing that defines being a superpower – it’s force 1)projection, and basically if you don’t have aircraft carriers you don’t have force projection. 

These giants of the ocean have been around since the twenties, giving potential air superiority across the globe. If you bear in mind that the 2)overwhelming majority of the world population live within 200 miles of the sea, if you’ve got a carrier, that means you can project that air power which can protect land forces and 3)maritime forces to most of the areas of the world that you are likely to fight. Aircraft carrier is power, 4)flexibility and range. Carriers are the pride of any fleet. They’re vital command and control 5)facilities in any modern conflict. 

You can hold your force offshore in international waters where no one can basically say you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. And then if a crisis develops, you can push them forward into the direct battle zone. It allows you to be both over the horizon and in someone’s face. There’s nothing more in your face than the American nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Four and a half billion dollars and five years to build they’re the ultimate show of state sized military might. You have there examples of people starting off with a blank sheet of paper and basically a blank cheque book and said build it for the operational task and mission and you’ve got that big box of a hanger that a big flat top and you’ve got all the space that you need.

The new French nuclear aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, is almost a case study in how not to do it. 6)Compromised on the reactor, compromised on the hanger space, compromised on the size of the deck. The 7)Brits couldn’t or wouldn’t spend the cash on the Invincible class carriers in the 80s. The three ships are small short 8)takeoff and 9)vertical landing rather than 10)conventional or sea carriers, but they work. But they can operate in much worse weather. The cycle rate of aircraft you get with a 11)stol carrier is about twice that of a conventional take-off and landing one. And they’ve done the business when the call came. 

Aircraft carriers are usually at the center of a task group, destroyers and 12)frigates protect their major asset from 13)submarine, aircraft and missile threats and that is 14)crucial. Any platform that’s carrying about six billion dollars worth of aircraft, six to eight thousand men is tempting for anyone with good anti-ship missiles.  If you wanted to make a huge political, military point, well, sinking an aircraft carrier is a very, very good way to do it. CE

 

 

10、航空母舰

 

要成为超级强国不在于拥有核武器,不在于拥有庞大的军队,不在于拥有比他国先进的高科技装备,要问拥有何种装备才可以被定义为超级强国——那就是发射武器,而从根本上说,没有航空母舰就没有发射武器。

自二十年代以来,这些海上的庞然大物便赋予全球潜在的空域优势。如果你想到全球大多数人都生活在距海洋两百英里的地区内,而你拥有一架航空母舰,那就意味着你能派遣空军,保护海陆两军,前往各地作战。航空母舰强劲、灵活、耐航,是舰队的骄傲。

你可以在国际海域内驻军,远离海岸。这样,没人会指责你在错误的时间出现在错误的地方,如果危机加剧,你可以迅速将军事力量推进战区。它能使你呈立体状向敌人直接推进。美国核动力航空母舰是最先进的航空母舰,历时五年,造价四十五亿美元,它是美军力量的见证。在现代战争中,它们是最重要的指挥和控制中心。有人拿着空白支票簿说,为军事任务建造吧,建造巨大的机库和平顶,就能得到所需的空间。

法国新型核动力航空母舰夏尔·戴高乐号几乎就是一个反面例子,它既要考虑核反应堆的安全,又要考虑机库和甲板的面积。八十年代,英国人不想也不愿在无敌航空母舰上花钱,而造了三架小的stol飞机,只能短程起飞和垂直降落。虽然不是传统的常规起降航空母舰,但很有用,能在恶劣的天气下运行。stol飞机的循回率是传统升降的两倍,它们能很快完成任务。

航空母舰通常是任务组的中心,起着驱逐舰和保护主要资产不受鱼雷、战机和导弹侵袭的护卫舰的作用,这是至关紧要的。任何能运送价值六十亿的飞机和六千至八千人的平台都能成为反舰导弹的目标。如果你想清楚表明你的重大政治或军事立场,击沉一艘航空母舰是最好的一个办法。CE

 

 

1) projection [prE5dVekFEn] n. 发射

2) overwhelming [EuvE5welmiN] a. 压倒性的,无法抵抗的

3) maritime[5mAritaim] a. 海上的,海事的

4) flexibility [fleksE5biliti] n. 适应性

5) facility [fE5siliti] n. 简易,敏捷

6) compromise [[5kCmprEmaiz]] n. 妥协

7) Brit[brit] n. British,英国人

8) takeoff[5teikCf] n. 起飞

9) vertical [5vE:tikEl] a. 垂直的,直立的

10) conventional [kEn5venFEnEl] a. 惯例的,常规的

11) stol[stCl]n. 短距起落飞机

12) frigate [5frigit] n. 护卫舰

13) submarine [sQbmE5ri:n] n. 潜水艇

14) crucial [5kru:FEl] a. 至关紧要的