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中英快譯

美空軍A-10延役至2021 增購F-35A

即便A-10攻擊機功勳卓著,在國會中也有許多支持者,但美國空軍似乎已下定決心將其除役。(取自美國空軍網站)
即便A-10攻擊機功勳卓著,在國會中也有許多支持者,但美國空軍似乎已下定決心將其除役。(取自美國空軍網站)

◎王柏文

 Congressional supporters can heave a sigh of relief with word from Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein that the ugly and effective A-10 will keep flying through 2021. But Goldfein seemed to make pretty clear that the plane will probably be retired after that because Close Air Support missions can be carried out by a mix of weapons, including the Army’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)and Air Force F-16s, B-1s, B-2s and F-35s.

 在空軍參謀長高德芬宣布其貌不揚但極具威力的A-10攻擊機,將延役至2021年的消息後,國會裡的支持人士終於能夠鬆一口氣。然而高德芬似乎也明確傳達出,在密接支援任務能由包括陸軍的「高機動砲兵火箭系統」(HIMARS),以及空軍的F-16、B-1、B-2與F-35戰機等多種裝備聯合執行後,A-10就可能除役的立場。

When 2021 rolls around, "we'll have a dialogue within the department about what we do then," Goldfein said. "We'll get this right if we can move from a platform discussion to a family of systems discussion that says, we have everything from B-1s to Apaches and HIMARS in the Army, and the job of the air component commander is to knit these together so one plus one equals three."

 高德芬表示,隨著2021年的到來,「我們將進行單位間的對話,研擬未來的方向」,「如果能從平台式的討論轉化為系統間的交流,我們就能把事情做好,也就是說我們從B-1到阿帕契以及HIMARS一應俱全,而空中單位指揮官的職責就是將這些元素組合,讓一加一能夠等於三」。

 Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who spearheaded the effort to save the A-10, is now gone from Capitol Hill. She basically argued that the A-10 could provide more accurate and more reassuring fire in close-in fights. However, Goldfein, who led Central Command's air forces, told reporters that when he divvied up the Close Air Support mission he sent Predators to regions where he needed persistence, B-1s where he needed speed of response, range and the ability to strike repeatedly, and F-16s and F-15s to the rest. Terrain and distance from air bases dictated his assignments, he said. A-10s were limited by range, speed and persistence, he noted.

 已卸任離開國會山莊的前參議員凱莉‧艾約特,向來對維護A-10機隊不遺餘力,她始終堅持A-10在密接支援任務中,能夠提供更精確以及更具威力的火力。然而指揮中央司令部空軍的高德芬向記者表示,當他進行任務派遣時,會將持久性的任務交給「掠奪者」無人機、B-1轟炸機就負責需要快速反應、遠距以及重複攻擊的任務,F-16與F-15戰機則包下其餘的工作。他指出,地形以及距離是決定機種的因素,並強調A-10攻擊機因作戰半徑、速度以及續航力等問題而大大受限。

 The Air Force's top uniformed leader also indicated that the F-35 review ordered by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was unlikely to result in a smaller number of Lockheed Martin's F-35As being bought by the Air Force. The service, far and away the largest buyer of the F-35, plans to buy 1,763 A models and Goldfein gave no indication that would change. Instead, he said the more F-35As the service can buy, the more quickly it can replace fourth generation aircraft like the F-16, and the F-15-let alone the A-10.

 位列空軍最高層的高德芬也指出,就算國防部長馬提斯下令對F-35計畫重新進行檢視,減少向洛克希德‧馬丁公司訂購F-35A的可能性也是微乎其微。身為F-35最大買家的美國空軍,計畫採購1763架F-35A,而高德芬對這個數字除了並未透露任何改變的可能性,更指出如果能夠訂購更多的F-35A,像是F-16與F-15在內的第四代戰機就能更快進行汰換,更別說A-10了。

 "What we don't need is a lot of turbulence in the program right now," Goldfein said, to either the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines, or the program’s foreign partners. He also said that the Air Force would recommend it buy additional F-35As in the 2017 supplemental spending bill, although he said it might not be the top priority.

 因此,高德芬表示無論對於空軍、海軍或陸戰隊,抑或是F-35的海外買家而言,「現在最不需要的,就是對於此計畫的任何干擾」。同時,他指出美國空軍有可能在2017年的輔助支出預算案中,就提出增購F-35A的計畫,但也表示這並非眼下的首要之務。

(譯自Breaking Defense網站)

友善列印

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