In some ways I like the idea of a so-called light carrier… however the way I’d envision it is as being somewhere between a Porpoise and an Orca in size- unlike ‘proper’ capitals (and the Orca) it would be subject to the CD MJFG, but unlike a proper carrier it would have a very limited high slot rack, and probably at best have a mid/low slot count equal to the gun/missile laying T1 CBCs (IE, a total of up to 10 mid/low, probably divided as something like 3/7 Amarr, 4/6 Gallente, 5/5 Min, and 6/4 Caldari).
On top of that I’d say a Light Carrier should only really be able to launch a single squadron of Fighters… but, an interesting allowable option would be to also allow them to also launch a (limited-strength compared to a supercarrier) squadron of heavy fighters as an alternative.
Which is to say you have only one “deck” (not sure of the terminology/mechanics in reference to in-game functionality) for a squadron of fighters, but you can load either light or (understrength) heavy fighters into it.
However this may involve some different coding to what we currently have and if being able to pick between launching one squadron of either light or heavy fighters is impractical then I’d recommend just one squadron of lights and no option to launch support fighters or equip the NSA (since the NSA is also straight up stupid).
This would, IMO, be a somewhat interesting system and could provide another alternative to a quote-unquote miniaturized capital ship, a la bastion’d Marauders and sieged Dreads being close relatives.
As far as long vs short ranged light fighters I personally think that if SSFs were useful for more than just defanging other carriers and not totally worthless against everything else (and also if regular LF were not so massively useful against everything else…) then that would be a much simpler solution within the existing mechanics, and probably a more elegant one that meshes better with existing gameplay.
Also it’s my understanding that carrier micromanagement is already bonkers enough as is and adding yet another set of things to manage when you basically have to keep track of the equivalent of 3 different ships that must all be independently ordered around by the player is probably not a great idea.