LACs towing counter-missile pods
[T]he idea that LACs might tow large -- and some of the proposals are for very large -- CM pods. The idea, as I understand it, is for the LACs to deploy between the wall of battle and the enemy and to basically act as CM tenders. I'm not quite clear on whether the notion is for the LACs to manage the fire control or for them simply to place the pods closer to the enemy, where they would then launch and be controlled in standard fashion by the wallers they are protecting.
Short answer: forget it. If the LACs are supposed to provide the fire control for these hordes of counter-missiles, you'll quickly run afoul of the fact that their fire control suites simply aren't sufficiently capable. If the idea is that they're simply hauling huge pods around and that the missiles will actually be controlled by other ships, you run into all of the attendant fire control problems which light-speed transmission rates impose. Even if the bandwidth of FTL communication becomes sufficient (can I have a tum-te-tum-te- tum, here?), it's unlikely that this approach would be preferred over the development of a ship-launched, long-ranged "capital counter-missile." The LAC itself would become a logical target, and probably the most common outcome would be a massive "dogfight" between the opposing LAC forces somewhere between the opposing walls of battle. Mind you, that may very well be what happens anyway, but unless you can achieve LAC superiority overwhelming enough that the "pod-tender" LACs are effectively secure against attack by their opposite numbers, they're going to be a little too busy for this. And even if there are no enemy LACs shooting at them, I think it can be taken for granted that the other side's wallers -- or screening elements -- will be shooting at the LACs and also attempting to achieve proximity kills against the counter-missile pods. And, of course, all of this overlooks the effect that [towing] the pods would have on the maneuverability of the LACs.
That's not to say that a "missile-defense LAC" is out of the question. In fact, I've been tinkering with a couple of designs to do just that, although the ones I'm looking at right now are basically Havenite, as a component of Shannon Foraker's "layered defense." There are some definite attractions to being able to push a stealthy, remote anti-missile capability out towards your opponent, especially if he doesn't know you've done it until after he's opened fire. There are, however, survivability issues which I'm still looking at, and I'm not certain how practical the entire concept is going to prove in the end. These vessels, however, would be the counter-missile platforms themselves, not pod-towers.