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            UK, ROK try in vain to rock Asian-Pacific situation with joint maritime exercises

            英韓海上聯演欲攪局亞太但力不從心

            來源:China Military Online責任編輯:Xu Yi
            2021-09-07 16:46
            演習編隊
            The formation in the joint exercises.

            ?

            凌云志

            By Ling Yunzhi

            據外媒報道,韓國海軍和英國“伊麗莎白女王”號航空母艦編隊于8月31日在日本海附近進行了聯合演習。在當前亞太地區熱點頻發的背景下,英韓舉行聯合軍演不僅可能會加劇朝韓關系緊張,對朝鮮半島安全產生不利影響,也會使未來亞太地區局勢進一步復雜化。

            Foreign media reported that the ROK Navy and the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth formation carried out joint exercises near the Sea of Japan on August 31. Given the constant hotspot issues in the Asia Pacific, the joint exercises may not only aggravate the ROK-DPRK tension and negatively affect the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, but also make the future Asian-Pacific situation more complicated.

            韓國欲借軍演實現“航母夢”

            ROK intends to realize “aircraft carrier dream” through the exercises

            韓國作為亞太地區的重要國家,一直在走發展“獨立軍事力量”的道路,在對待大國競爭問題上表現得克制且謹慎。對于本次與英國航母艦隊進行的聯合軍事演習,韓國一度猶豫不決,但最終還是同意參加,除了意圖加強與英國等西方國家關系,將發展的動向轉向西方外,最大的誘惑還是希望通過演習,進一步了解英國航母的作戰能力,促使英國幫其研制輕型航母。

            As an important country in the Asia Pacific, ROK has been developing independent military forces and remained restrained and cautious on the major-country competition. In spite of a temporary hesitation, Seoul finally agreed to the joint military exercises with the British carrier fleet because it wished to take this opportunity to tighten the ties with Britain and other western countries and, more importantly, learn more about the carrier’s combat capabilities through the exercise and get Britain to help it develop its own light carriers.

            在此次演習中,韓國派出1.4萬噸級的準航母“獨島”號兩棲攻擊艦,并從釜山海軍基地起飛了UH-60黑鷹直升機在英國的“伊麗莎白女王”號航母上進行了起降,其最終目的就是希望利用這個機會,對“伊麗莎白女王”號航母有更直接的接觸和更深層次的了解,從而加快其航母研發進程,實現其長期追尋的“航母夢”。

            For the exercises, ROK dispatched its 14,000-ton Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, a quasi-aircraft carrier, and its Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk also took off from the Busan naval base and had landing and takeoff on Queen Elizabeth. What ROK want is to have direct contact and a deeper understanding of the carrier, and consequently accelerate the R&D of its own carriers and realize its long-harbored “carrier dream”.

            英國欲借亞太實現“影響力拓展”

            Britain wants to expand influence through Asia Pacific

            作為域外國家,英國布局亞太地區的意圖非常明顯,背后也頗有深意。當前,亞太地區正成為全球地緣政治焦點,英國也開始加大在亞太地區的軍力部署力度,意在提前布局,搶占先機。同時,英國還希望在“脫歐”后拓展更大國際活動空間,承擔起“真正的全球角色”。

            As a country out of the region, the UK makes no secret of its intention of making deployments in the Asia Pacific, for which it has some deep considerations. As the Asian-Pacific region is becoming a global geopolitical focus, the UK has ramped up its military deployments here in a bid to take a preemptive step and hold a favorable position, with the bigger goal of expanding the activity space on the international stage in the post-Brexit period and playing a truly global role.

            為此,2020年11月20日,英國首相約翰遜在下院發表演講,公布了英國數十年以來最大的軍事計劃,宣布英國海軍將在2021年重返亞太地區,其中就包括“伊麗莎白女王”號航母赴亞太地區展開軍事行動的舉措,將其作為落實“全球英國”戰略的具體抓手。此次英韓舉行聯合軍演,恰恰就是“伊麗莎白女王”號航母編隊巡航亞太行程的一項重要內容。

            For that purpose, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a speech at the House of Commons on November 20, 2020, in which he announced the country’s most ambitious military plan in decades and the return of the British navy to the Asia Pacific in 2021. Part of the plan was sending the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth to the region for military operations as a step to implement the “Global Britain” strategy. The recent joint exercises between London and Seoul were a key item on the itinerary of the British carrier task force in the region.

            此外,英國與韓國舉行聯合軍事演習也是當前美國在亞太地區開展和參與一系列演習的重要組成部分?!耙聋惿着酢碧柡侥妇庩犜诘诌_韓國水域之前,就已經和美國以及日本進行了聯合軍演。而在“伊麗莎白女王”號航母結束軍演北上行程中,美國、澳大利亞、荷蘭等都北約盟友也紛紛站隊支持,施以援手,派出艦船為英國航母護航,充實看上去有點單薄的英國航母編隊。

            Moreover, the UK-ROK joint exercises also made an important part of the series of regional exercises initiated or participated in by the US. Before the British carrier formation arrived in ROK waters, it had already joined military exercises with the US and Japan. When it sailed northward afterward, its NATO allies, including the US, Australia and the Netherlands, expressed support and sent vessels to escort and replenish the somewhat slim British carrier formation.

            此外,在演習中,英國海軍還使用搭載于英國航母的美國F-35B隱形戰斗機進行了升降演練,以檢驗和強化美英兩國的作戰配合,這些都使得這次英韓舉行的聯合演習不再是一次單獨事件,而是美國在亞太舉行系列軍演的有力補充和重要組成部分。

            During the exercises, the British navy also conducted takeoff and landing drills using the US F-35B stealth fighters fitted on the aircraft carrier to test and strengthen their combat cooperation. Therefore, the UK-ROK exercises are by no means an individual event, but an important supplement and component of America’s series of exercises in the Asian-Pacific region.

            實力不濟難以支撐“全球雄心”

            Limited strength cannot match global ambition

            作為曾經的“日不落帝國”,英國轉向亞太地區有充足的內部動力,但事實上,隨著英國的整體實力在第二次世界大戰后就逐步下滑,其綜合實力已經難以支撐英國的“全球化雄心”。

            The one-time global empire is sufficiently motivated to turn to the Asia Pacific, but as Britain’s overall strength has been on the decline after WWII, it is barely able to sustain its global ambition.

            以英國海軍為例,其本身力量已經嚴重不足,作為其海上力量象征的“伊麗莎白女王”號航母上可搭載的戰機非常少,只有一個艦載機隊配齊了12架F-35B,遠沒達到40-50架飛機的要求。而且,除了戰斗機數量不足外,“伊麗莎白女王”號航母還面臨著編隊力量不足的尷尬,在此次巡航過程中,航母打擊群還需要美國和荷蘭軍艦提供護航。同時,對于英國海軍來說,目前能提供彈藥等固體物資補給的補給艦已經嚴重老化,極大制約著英國海軍的遠洋巡航威懾能力。

            Take the British navy for example. The navy itself is seriously understaffed and under-equipped, and the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, the symbol of its maritime forces, is equipped with very few fighter jets, far less than the standard 40-50. As well as the small number of fighters, the carrier task force is so understrength that it needed escorts from American and Dutch vessels during its patrol this time. Besides, Britain’s supply ships that can provide ammunition and other dry good supplies are extremely aged, which greatly undermines the navy’s deterrence during the oceangoing patrol.

            總體上來說,受到英國綜合實力現狀和國際格局變化的影響,英國在亞太地區采取的軍事舉措成效有限。盡管美國、日本等國對英國轉向亞太地區均表示歡迎并極力拉攏,但其背后是基于自身利益的考量。而隨著世界各大國爭相角逐,重心東移,當前的亞太地區局勢可謂撲朔迷離。從這個意義上來說,英國跟風轉向亞太地區并非明智之舉。

            In sum, due to the UK’s current overall national strength and the changes in the international situation, the effects of its military operations in the Asian-Pacific region will be limited. Although countries like the US and Japan expressed a welcome to London’s shift toward the region and tried hard to rope it in, they all have their own calculations, not to mention that the regional situation has become ever more complex with the growing competition among major countries and their shift of focus to the east. In this connection, it is really not a wise move for Britain to swim with the tide to the Asia Pacific.

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