This thread is getting silly.
Should fighters be able to engage ship classes? No.
If I was really trying to promote discussion and grow this idea then I'd say that possibly fighters could be used to, at best, 'suppress' a ship, reducing repair rate or accuracy or something, but not causing damage. You could probably adapt AAW as a sailor stat and actual mechanic as a way to counter fighter suppression. However, both ideas are worthless right now due to the limitation imposed by the programming aspect of any changes, because whatever the change might be would definitely be a complex change. Just as so many other people in this thread said, it's not a good idea to begin and is beyond the development scope of SDE right now.
And "I understand all the implications because I am a game QA/Designer" doesn't change the fact that the job would be complex due to the age of the game engine and probably many other reasons beyond my immediate knowledge related to how that engine was built, how versatile and adaptable it is, what it was designed to be capable of. If you had any idea of what would be involved in developing NF from the state it is in now with the resources it has you would know this. I would expect any game designer earning more than $40k to be able to present an idea properly, since that is our job. You've included no reasoning for even adding this feature and not considered any balance implications, possible issues, affect on the player experience, just a short initial paragraph which was unsurprisingly not well recieved. I would expect them to have personal experience with having ideas turn out to be too difficult to implement many times, whether they were pre-planned ideas or new ideas during development or new features post-development, especially if you were trying to work with a very old in-house game engine that was made to do everything it was needed for at the time and nothing more. Simply put, it should not be so difficult to grasp that SDE more than likely couldn't implement such a feature right now.
Fighters fit a purpose in NF right now, CVs have the tools to damage ships if they wish, I can think of no reason why fighters should be able to. Infact, you presented no reason WHY either. You've tried to justify the mere existence of such a feature but why should it be added? Would it be fun? Would it give CVs something to do that they can't already? Would it add another tactical aspect to the game? Even if you think the answer to any of those is yes, would that reason justify the time and effort needed to bring it into the game? Just how fun would it be to be able to slowly whittle down a CL with fighters.
TLDR; No. Why did you even bother with this thread? Go waste time in one of your other threads.