It might be possible to script in some wingman coverage (as in LUA), by having orders for, when in a 2-fighter formation, 2 automatically stays near 1 and only engages targets nearby. If 1 is directly threatened by an enemy fighter, it will break off any engagements and assist. 1 would engage any enemy unless 2 gets into trouble. In FS AI commands, assuming that Fighter 1 isn't the player, that would be:
Fighter 1: AI-Chase-Any 89
Fighter 2: AI-Stay-Near-Ship 89
That should prevent Fighter 2 from straying too far from Fighter 1, while still engaging enemies. The problem is finding the trigger for ordering one ship to break off from its current target, and protect its wingman. Perhaps the same code trigger that orders the "cover me" message, or a check to register a certain number of shield impacts within a certain period of time, or combine that with a check to register the amount of registered damage to its shields. Whatever the check the result would be (assuming that Fighter 1 got into trouble):
-<Fighter 1 is attacked chriteria>
Now if there is a way within LUA to order Figther 2 to attack the ship that is actually causing the damage to Fighter 1, that would allow Fighter 2 to be returned to its default status if the attacker is destroyed. There would probably need to be a check to make sure that the attacker is not a cap-ship, and perhaps to make sure that the attacker is within a certain distance to avoid having Fighter 2 drawn away to engage an enemy attacking Fighter 1 with long-range weaponry. That would leave Fighter 1 exposed to additional attacks. The chriteria to return to default orders, could instead of the above-mentioned is-attacker-destroyed check, could either be tempered by a don't-stray-from-fighter-1 check, or by a continuous check to see if Fighter 1 is still under attack. If Fighter 1 is no longer in danger, then Fighter 2's default orders are reinstated.
There would also need to be an order sequence, so if say in a 4 fighter formation, where 1 and 2 are wingmen, and 3 and 4 are wingmen, and if Fighter 3 is lost, then 4 would join in to assist Fighter 2 to provide cover for Fighter 1. If then Fighter 1 is lost, Fighter 2 becomes then new lead, while Fighter 4 becomes his cover... that sort of thing
Not even sure if that can be done, but its a start.