First of all, the fighters in even a destroyer _are_ stacked. Just look at the main hall.
But before that.
Even if a carrier carried exactly the same number of fighters and bombers as a destroyer, the carrier would have a sizeable advantage.
The reason is because it can launch much faster (it scales almost linearly with each additional launchbay), especially when first launching (when it takes less time for fighters to be moved into position).
But let's take on 152 fighters and bombers.
Even if the destroyer's guards manage to take out 1 fighter for each fighter they have, that still leave 50 to destroy the destroyer. And the attack has the advantage since being able to launch faster means that at a given point of time, there would be more carrier fighters flying. But let's ignore that part for now.
Your example there of the Ursas taking up a huge space is indeed valid point. But how many Ursas are there in a fleet? Considerng how many ships there are, even in a fleet of 100 (25 wings), you can't have more than 4 wings of Ursas considering that there's a least 8 type of fighters and bombers. But let's pretend every bomber is as big as it possible could be. So let's say that there's 6 wings of bombers that are Ursas. A tad less than 50.
How big are Ursa's? According to modelview it's 36x22x54. That's huge. How big are normal fighters? The widest fighter is 23x6x26 (Pegasus). The tallest fighter is 10x14x26. The typical Myrmidon is 21x11x22.
Seems most fighters are also pretty big. There's 104 of them (26 wings).
Now, let's look at the Orion and Ursas again. Let's give each of the 4 sets of 25 Ursas more than 4 times the volume required to be simply stored (because they obviously can't be stacked edge to edge).Rename this to .jpg
And see the large volume above the bombers? That's still a lot of room (volume equal to the Bombers and its 4x total storage space) for prepping. In fact, it's probably more than the Orion uses since it doesn't specialize in fighters. Of course, you also need space for munitions. I don't suppose that the munitions take up 50% of the Orion. And there's more than 50% of the ship left. Either way, this supports destroyers with more firepower and armor, or that carriers don't need to be bigger than a destroyer. So about 100 wings take up a little less than 50% of an orion.
Therefore a smaller carrier (I will stand corrected that 50% is too small, but 75%) is capable of carrying at the very least the same number of fighters as an Orion, but with a launch advantage. A carrier the same size as a destroyer can carry more. With the exception of a node blockade attack, the carrier retains its special advantages in battle (primarily, not being there). So even without a single cruiser to help guard it, it would still have an advantage. If a destroyer jumps in, it jumps out, the destroyer can't jump in again. Carrier launches fighters back to kill the destroyer.
Also, it's fairly obvious that even the hangar in an Orion is compartmentalized from the title screens. And if you read what I've been saying so far, I've suggested multiple _launchbays_ not multiple hangars. There's no reason why a single hangar must be associated with a single launchbay.
And so far, for my arguments, I've been using a single carrier that protected by a cruiser or a corvette. That is, not an entire fleet.
My point isn't how much we produce either. But to show the degree of complexity it requires to cause antimatter to actually explode with more force than a nuclear bomb. My point (which you've agreed to) was that an anti-matter bomb, while volatile, wouldn't explode even nearly as powerfully (or even at all) without a precise sequence of procedures. Just like modern nuclear bombs.
Did you read my revised statements yet?
I say, that destroyers should give up the room used for fighters (which is considerable) and replace it with heatsinks, armor and more beam weaponry. This means that a destroyer of the same size as an Orion of this focused type would not only have firepower to wither the Orion, it'd be able to take a much bigger beating too.
We also wouldn't need as many of them, since they would be most useful as blockade busters (in other situations, they could jump in to mop up).
I didn't say get rid of cruisers and corvettes. In fact, I called for a balanced fleet. But corvettes would focus on anti-cap weaponry while cruisers would focus on anti-fighter weaponry.
Because cruisers can't stand again capitals anyways, so why bother? Make them more useful for killing bombs and fighters and set them to guard the carriers and destroyers which would kill the capitals.
The corvettes, they can kill fighters too, but that just drains power from the engines and the beams and underminds their primary purpose of standing up to ships larger than themselves and bloodying the enemy's nose in spite of it.
Carriers. These ships would be giant hangars floating in space for the express purpose of servicing and launching fighters. With multiple launchbays, fighters from its hangar(s) in its interior are quickly launched to establish space superiority. When an enemy capital is discovered, it shortjumps nearer and send it's fighter and bombers to shortjump again within striking distance.
AWACS. With the extended sensor range this provides, it becomes much more difficult to ambush capitals since scout wings would be seen.
The reason I suggested this, is because it was becoming clear, by the end of FS2, that the versatileness of the destroyer class was starting to hurt the GTVA. The biggest example is the Colossus (which should've traded some of the hangar space for 60 wings with heatsinks instead) of course, but there's still many smaller examples like the success of the Corvettes and the rather useful (IMO) Aeolus cruiser. That and the fact that the GTVA destroyers get killed by the Shivan destroyers very quickly. They obviously need something that can take more and dish out more. Something like a destroyer without hangars. But they'll still take a lot of damage. So you need a carrier to launch a huge wave of fighters to help. This way a destroyer and a carrier can accomplish something that two destroyers previously weren't able to achieve.