[ti:US Navy Seeks Smaller, More Powerful Ships] [by:www.51voa.com] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:00.04]The US Navy is answering criticisms that its combat ships are fast [00:06.28]but lack the firepower and armor to survive a battle at sea. [00:11.80]It says it wants new ships that are slower and smaller [00:17.76]– but more powerful – than its existing ships. [00:22.44]The Navy has asked designers for drawings of such warships. [00:27.60]It wants them to be able to shoot down airplanes, [00:31.08]attack other ships and counter submarines. [00:36.24]Loren Thompson is a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute in Virginia. [00:42.48]He says the "Navy has decided that speed is less important [00:48.28]than having a warship with sufficient weapons to defend itself." [00:54.24]The Navy wants 20 of the new ships. [00:58.20]It does not want them to be costly. [01:01.24]It has directed shipbuilders to use an existing design [01:05.88]to speed up the process of designing and building the ships. [01:11.24]It also wants the shipbuilders to provide [01:14.64]drawings for the new ships next month and build them by 2020 or 2021. [01:22.88]Large Navy shipbuilders like Bath Iron Works in the northeastern state of Maine [01:29.72]and Ingalls Shipbuilding in the southern state of Mississippi [01:34.04]are among the companies expected to seek Navy contracts. [01:39.60]Smaller shipyards in Wisconsin and Alabama [01:43.88]are also expected to compete for the contract to build the ships. [01:50.00]The Trump administration has announced a plan [01:54.00]to increase the number of ships in the Navy. [01:57.64]The Navy has a goal of 355 ships. [02:02.68]The plan to build the small but powerful new ships is a change for the Navy, [02:09.92]which is learning lessons from earlier ship designs. [02:14.76]Those ships were supposed to be a cost-effective way [02:18.84]to deal with post-Cold War threats. [02:22.64]The fast ships were supposed to be easily altered to serve changing missions. [02:30.56]But the alteration plans have been delayed, [02:34.28]and the cost of the ships has risen. [02:37.48]The Government Accountability Office, [02:40.68]which examines government spending, [02:43.52]also questioned the ships' ability to survive in battle. [02:48.68]The Congressional Research Service said [02:52.00]the Navy wants to spend no more than $950 million for each ship. [02:59.32]But the Navy says the cost per ship could be closer to $800 million, [03:06.20]as no new technology needs to be created for the new ships. [03:11.56]New designs and new technologies in earlier ships [03:16.88]caused the final costs to be much higher than original estimates. [03:22.88]Dirk Lesko is the president of Bath Iron Works in Maine. [03:28.96]He says his designers examined both American and foreign ships [03:34.96]to meet the Navy's demands for the new ships. [03:38.80]The shipyard worked with a Spanish company [03:42.16]and used an existing design from a Spanish navy ship. [03:47.40]Mike Keenan is the president of the Machinists Union Local S6, [03:53.52]the shipyard's largest union. [03:56.68]He says the shipyard's 5,700 workers [04:02.00]are eager for the chance to build the new ships. [04:06.40]"We know how to build them. [04:08.00]We're ready to build more," he says. [04:11.48]I'm Kelly Jean Kelly. [04:13.32]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM