By carrier I mean people This is in the distant future so we can ignore the materials and the time it would take to make it. Lets just say the government have the required materials to make it.

The ship is designed with the survivability of the people in mind

It will hold 10k. Aside from the crew (5) all the others are held in cryostasis.

The reason a carrier has weapons in the first place is it's a solo ride, they can't refuel, and can't receive any help against danger. Even if they could get in touch with another carrier. Warp drive wasn't put on this ship. So unless they are right next to each other they are one their own.

I'll give an estimate on how I think the spacing would work: People 45% Defensive 25% Offensive 5% Life support and entertainment 15% Nav and comms 10%

The offensive system is mainly used to clear debris but can double as a weapon.

The reason I didn't specify fuel is because they have none. They used most of it during launch. They are free floating in space and can only use the fuel leftover to make minor adjustments to not crash. Their Nav systems are advanced enough to see obstructions from a good distance and change course.

To answer two questions at once interplanetary vs interstellar and time frame. All I can say is that it would take awhile to find a suitable planet. Especially one with Earth-like conditions. I'd say Interstellar And with 10K people being on board. Despite cannibalism being morally wrong they technically have an abundance of food. So they can spend a long time in space

The debris I mentioned before that would need to be cleared are mainly asteroids in the way since the don't have fuel to avoid them.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You have stated no warp. cool. Then please confirm interplanetary. vs intersteller. Also fuel!? I would expect 5% to 99.9% fuel. depending on distance time frame etc. $\endgroup$ May 18 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ "How much weaponry" is meaningless unless you give some idea of the size and mass of the weapons you plan to deploy and the size and mass of the ship and it's movement method and requirements. It could be anything. $\endgroup$
    – StephenG
    May 18 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ "Mainly used to clear debris" - what type of debris is expected to need clearing? This is essential info to help in forming answers. $\endgroup$ May 18 at 0:44


Depending of course on the scenario of your world, it is not worth putting any weapons at all on your ship. This is because:

  • A typical journey without any FTL (I applaud your consideration that this is the case) will be hundreds if not thousands of years. Due to any advances in weapons technology over these timeframes on rival systems, any technology would be outdated shortly after launch
  • Velocities will be extreme, unless you would like travel time to be hundreds of thousands or millions of years - depending on your world, current or likely weapon systems may not really be effective at such high velocities, let alone detection systems.
  • You are speaking either of a multigenerational or sleeper ship. You need to devote as much mass to sustain life over a very long period of time during which failure is likely along the way, and it makes little sense to sacrifice this in support of a scenario that may or may not happen.

Perhaps consider alternatives:

  • Stealth - if your world is really dangerous, it is far better to be hidden. Perhaps hide in a natural asteroid, or mask your ship somehow.
  • Multi-ships - instead of just one 10k ship, you can send 10 1k ships, or even 1000 10p ships. This would make it a lot harder to intercept.
  • Sending asteroids - sending a cloud of asteroids in front with your ship may make it difficult to intercept.

Dual-Use asteroid defense only.

For smallish rocks on a collision course, it might make sense to deflect them rather than maneuver the ship, especially if fuel is tight. So some weapons (lasers?) and sensors capable of fire control would be plausible. Perhaps even fully automatic. It would be a minor software tweak to allow aimed fire at maneuvering targets.

Other than that, if it has no significant maneuvering capability it has no place in combat, so it makes no sense to arm it.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.