If you refer to first comm node, it's been weakned especially for players who hate shoothing at single target for minute or two. For the rest, you have two wings of fighters to help you destroy all tougher targets without shooting everything for too long time. Besides, all shivan utility ships are optional targets. You are not required to do everything you have on your directive list, but... Well, you can.
Also you have bomber wing to deal with targets you weren't able to take down with firepower you had. Protecting them is essential for faster, and more effective progress... And there is artillery frigate. Keep her safe and she will deal with everything, including comm nodes. You are not ill-equipped for this mission. You are just not supposed to blow up whole shivan depot alone. This mission is tacical. You have to manage your wingman to achieve your goals and destroying all targets in depot is supposed to be harder.
Official advice: Leave comm nodes. Focus on destroying other targets. Akka or bombers will deal with them.
In fact Comm Nodes are supposed to be something like "this crap is too hard!"... And suddently reinfocements become available :].
Majority of missions in Exile are intuitive, linear and with simple goals. But this one is not. We are aware that this kind of mission may be difficult for players, so this is basicly the only tactical one we decided to include.