at level 1: TEC Sova with Missile Batteries.
Thats right. (Maybe thats no big surprise). I tested it, a couple ways.
No other level 1 Cap ship can beat it (none that I tested) in a 1 on 1 fight, unless you micro your Carrier caps away from the spawned batteries. The AI won't, so it also clears militia faster than any other Cap.
I've tested it in 1 on 1 fights. And, also compared the speed at which Cap ships alone clear militia. Tried various combos at clearing the adjoining asteroid, and watched the replays to see which is quickest. Missile Batteries on the Sova is significantly quicker at clearing asteroids than any other single cap ship.
What about at level 3? Which is the strongest?
The Skirantra & Sova appear to be almost tied. Skirantra with 2 Scramble Bombers and Repair Cloud, versus the Sova with 2 Miss Batt & Heavy Strikecraft kill each other at the same time in a 1 on 1 battle.
The level 5 Skirantra appears to have a significant advantage over a level 5 Sova. About 800 hull remaining upon the Sova's death, but the Skirantra still dies to the remaining turrets and bombers.
The following table of Victor's remaining hull summarizes my tests of 1 on 1 battles:
Level 1 Sova........Missile Batt..3 Bombers.....500 W L Skirantra...Scram Bomb.....3 Bombers
Level 1 Sova........Missile Batt..3 Bombers.....900 W L Halcyon.....Adept Drone A...4 Bombers
Level 1 Skirantra..Scram Bomb.3 Bombers....600 W L Halcyon.....Adept Drone A...4 Bombers
Level 1 Halcyon....ADA 2fighters 2Bombers....600 W L Skirantra...Scram Bomb.....3 Bombers
Level 3 Skirantra..2SB 1RepairC 4Bombers.0-175 W tie L Sova..2Miss Batt 1 HeavyS.4 Bombers
Level 3 Skirantra..2SB 1RepairC 4Bombers.0-400 W L Halcyon.....Adept Drone A...6 Bombers
Level 5 Skirantra..3SB 2RepairC 5Bombers.0-800 W L Sova..3Miss Batt 2 HeavyS. 5 Bombers
The Skirantra is obviously getting stronger as it levels up (not to mention potential micro: kiting, hold position, pre-scramble or other fleet enhancing abilities). It took too long to get level 5 Cap ships to bother tesing any others.
SOOOO.... I think Scramble Bombers could use a bigger NERF! But only for its second & third levels.
See my other post about conditions in these 1 on 1 battles. W=Win L=Lose
Edit: P.S. I knew that a level 3 Kortul would beat a level 3 Skirantra (by 2900hull!) before Nerull's rant in #25. But I chose not to mention it. While a high level Kortul is the hardest to kill, it has limited usefulness. I believe a high level Skirantra is the 'strongest', bringing the most offensive fire power, militia clearing and fleet enhancing abilities. And ofcourse, a level 6 Marza's ultimate, is the "ultimate".