Let's say you want to build a weaponized Spaceship with near future technology.
It's goal would be to be able to destroy satellites, other weaponized spaceships and projectiles/missiles shot at it from Earth.
By near future I mean that all those parameters can be at most an order of magnitude (10x) better than what we have now:
- Size of the spaceship (including weapons)
- Energy that can be carried/produced by the spaceship
- Efficiency of said weapons
In that context, what would be the most efficient weapons that you would want to carry on such a spaceship?
I broadly categorize weapons in 3 categories
- Projectile-based: canons firing some projectile that can potentially explode on contact with the target
Would have limited ammunition but doesn't require any energy source. However, any kinetic-based weapon would push the spaceship in the opposite direction after each shot; I'm not sure if it s doable. I also think it couldn't be used to intercept projectiles shot at it since it wouldn't be precise enough.
- Lasers: high energy beam capable of burning materials
I'm not sure we would be able to generate enough energy on a spaceship to fire a laser capable of some decent damage. If it was possible, it would seem like the best solution since it could also be used to intercept projectiles.
- Missiles: thermonuclear missile
Since spaceships would be incredibly fragile, I think #3 would be overkill. However, it could be useful for intercepting/deflecting projectiles/missiles shot at the spaceship from another spaceship or from the ground since it has a large area of effect. The missile would ignite after being detached from the spaceship to prevent the action-reaction effect from pushing the spaceship in the opposite direction.
What would be the weapon of choice for a near-future weaponized spaceship?