Yeah, fighters are very problematic and I'd imagine many solutions at once to make them more usable again.
Fighter costs: Honestly imo since poi is so efficient and prevalent in enemy compos, fighters are currently "throwable" (as, inverse of durable). Both fighter production effort and resource cost are linked to fighter cost, which is as big as the weapon it is based of.
I'd honestly use 10 times that value then square root it: it's make better and better fighters cost less and less more resources because at the end of the day the better fighter will almost be destroyed at the same speed than a worse fighter, hence cutting the force multiplier they represent. So 10 000 cost earlygame fighters would cost 100 (a pittance), while 1 000 000 cost ones would cost 1 000, and godroll 100 000 000 cost would cost "only" 10 000.
Eventually, use rarity level as goods level (currently Fighters are produced as fast as (GL 1 ?) Energy Cells) so rarer fighters (which may have more dodges because more points to put into Maneuvrability) take longer to build and more common fighters may be used as fast-buildable spares.
Carrier and Fighter interaction: Currently, nothing happens UI-wise when a fighter is attacked before getting destroyed, and even then, it only notifies that bleep one of your fighters (in the sector) has been destroyed, which is not helpful, especially if you're driving another ship than the carrier in which case you are helpless to save the others.
It'd be cool to have fighters chat to their carrier, relaying that one of their squadmates (by squadron name) is attacked by point defense from a (named) ship, while red blinking would be visible on the attacked squadron's icon: it'll allow the player to distinguish which squadron is under attack if they're driving the carrier.
Also, make carriers prone to returning damaged fighter squads (depending on Captain skill level... and carrier hull/shield status: critical carriers would just send all fighters fighting instead of hiding in a ship that will explode, making the player lose more resources than necessary).
Fighter AI: Currently fighter AI is kind of crude.
It would be cool that attacked fighters would give up on their attack runs for a moment if they run low on dodges instead of "tanking" enemy poi until out of dodges and destroyed.
Carrierless fighters would become desperate and do nonstop vanilla attack runs so carrier fights wouldn't drag on forever though 😅.
Fighters would also have different "classes" and behaviors depending on weapon range (long range = bomber that fires from far away, poi = interceptor), because those kinds of changes would even affect AI-driven carriers.