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Did An American Mine Sink South Korean Ship? (2)

30 May 2010
 

The Cheonan sinking occurred in the aftermath of the March 11-18 Foal Eagle Exercise, which included anti-submarine maneuvers by a joint U.S.-South Korean squadron of five missile ships. A mystery surrounds the continued presence of the U.S. missile cruisers for more than eight days after the ASW exercise ended.

Only one reporter, Joohee Cho of ABC News, picked up the key fact that the Foal Eagle flotilla curiously included the USNS Salvor, a diving-support ship with a crew of 12 Navy divers. The lack of any minesweepers during the exercise leaves only one possibility: the Salvor was laying bottom mines.

三月11至18日,美韩举行了小骡子大老鹰联合军演,内容包括由五支美韩联合导弹舰队参与的反潜演习。军演结束后,美国的导弹巡洋舰继续出没在该水域达八天之久,而在第八天便发生了诡异的的天安号沉没事件。

但只有一位名叫荣黑重的美联社记者披露了联合军演有美海军打捞船参加的细节,并指出该船上有12名美海军潜水员。而与此同时,扫雷舰在军演中从头至尾不见踪影。由此推理,只能得出一种解释:美潜水员在布置沉底水雷。

Ever since an American cruiser was damaged by one of Saddam Hussein's rising mines, also known as bottom mines, in the Iraq War, the U.S. Navy has pushed a crash program to develop a new generation of mines. The U.S. Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command has also been focused on developing counterparts to the fearsome Chinese naval "assassin's mace," which is propelled by a rocket engine.

A rising mine, which is effective only in shallow waters, rests atop a small platform on the sea floor under a camouflage of sand and gravel. Its detection system uses acoustics and magnetic readings to pick up enemy ships and submarines. When activated, jets of compressed air or solid-fuel rockets lift the bomb, which self-guides toward the magnetic center of the target. The blast rips the keel, splitting the ship or submarine into two neat pieces, just as was done to the RKOS Cheonan.

A lateral-fired torpedo, in contrast, "holes" the target's hull, tilting the vessel in the classic war movie manner. The South Korean government displayed to the press the intact propeller shaft of a torpedo that supposedly struck the Cheonan. Since torpedoes travel between 40-50 knots per hour (which is faster than collision tests for cars), a drive shaft would crumble upon impacting the hull and its bearing and struts would be shattered or bent by the high-powered blast.

自从一艘美国巡洋舰在伊拉克战争中被萨达姆的上浮水雷(又称沉底水雷)击中后,美国海军当局紧急制订了发展新一代水雷的计划。美海军水雷与反潜指挥部并着重于研发一种武器专用来对付中国海军的火箭驱动无敌“杀手锏”。

上浮水雷只适用于浅水。布雷时将其放置于一种专门的平台上,再用沙子和碎石覆盖伪装。此种水雷通过声波和磁性探测仪发现敌方的兵舰及潜艇。一旦激活,水雷会被底部的压缩空气或液体顶向水面,并通过自我导向装置寻找目标物的磁力中心。其爆炸的威力能将船只的龙骨扯碎,使战舰或潜艇被均匀地炸成两段,就像被炸沉后的天安号的情况一样。

鱼雷则不同。它是侧向发射的,爆炸时将船体炸出大洞来,使船只侧翻沉没,就和我们通常在战争片里看到的一样。南朝鲜当局向媒体展示了据称是炸沉天安号的鱼雷上的传动轴。要知道鱼雷的航行速度为每小时40-50海里(比作迎面相撞试验时的车速还快),其撞击船体的冲击力必使传动轴变形破碎,轴承和支杆必定断裂或弯曲。

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