For me, I've messed about with the concept of a raider carrier for a long time, something capable of carrying and supporting a small number of fighters for a couple of weeks. I have a corvette design that can carry a reinforced squadron but cannot really support them that long, and I have cruiser capable of long-term supporting a single wing; but neither is a purpose-built design, just part of the modular ship design thing I've been working on.
That would be interesting given the proportions of bulk versus fighter complements you see in the game.
The Orion has an incredibly greater volume than an American aircraft carrier yet carries the same amount of fighters. The Colossus is absolutely huge yet carries only 200 craft. You never see more than a few GTVA wings at a time in action in any case- and never anything launching from the Colly- so the majority of those craft may be for casualty replacement or simply aren't stored on board.
The Shivans appear to be the only people able to put up a decent swarm, as evidenced by the Dragons in the FS2 intro. Plus, they have the smallest fighter-launching ship in the game, the Moloch, as already mentioned. So the Shivans seem to know more than "we" do about cramming a lot of fighters into a small space.
Realisitically, a ship traveling at bottle rocket speeds and equipped with a generator that gives it unlimited laser fire wouldn't be that hard to support. The Deimos is way bigger than a Nimitz class and should be able to carry fighters, yet GTVA ships of its size do not (although the Plato seemed to carry an escape pod...). So either the FreeSpace "reality" or GTVA doctrine militates against stationing fighters on smaller ships.
Isn't their somewhere were a moloch fires an lred? I remeber someone saying something. either the cover of the fs2 box had it or you could hear it somewhere.
I dunno. It has an Sred by default and doesn't do much harm to your friendlies in Exodus, when an Lred would be able to take down your escorted ships in one pulse. You never see a Moloch really kicking ass in the main campaign, so I'd say it uses puny Sreds all the way through.