^But the thread title says "realism in space." I'm not talking about Star Trek, I'm talking about approaching the matter realistically.
I must have taken the fact that the thread's in Trek
lit a bit too far then I suppose.
Also, you're missing my point about horizons. It's not about hiding from detection. What I'm saying is that the reason aircraft carriers were invented was as a means of projecting force beyond the limits of where the carrier itself could travel. Maybe I should've said there are no coastlines in space.
"Over the horizon" is about what can't be seen, or more precisely sighted,
so yeah, perhaps your choice of words did obscure your point. But if you are going to rephrase your point that way, I don't agree with it either.
The basic advantage of a carrier over other capital ships is that it deploys relatively cheap, expendable, effective, and rapidly responsive craft to seek out and attack or intercept threats while they're too far out to harm the capital ship. That type of deployment sounds like it might be a really good idea in a space battle, just as it is in naval warfare today.
It's not about where the capital ship can travel; it's about keeping it out of the actual fighting. Because its attack radius is greater, an aircraft carrier can stay even further away from from the fighting than a battleship can. The fact that an aircraft carrier can attack targets even further inland than a battleship can is a byproduct of its attack radius being that much greater in the first palace. I mean, I'm assuming you're trying to bring coastlines into this now to differentiate land and sea. Since aircraft carriers were originally used to attack battleships and other aircraft carriers, coastlines have little to do with it.