Carriers were some of the earliest Bendix-drive military vessels. Due to the mass-intensive nature of the Bendix wormhole stardrive, the large interstellar jump-capable ships that both held Humanity together and made interstellar combat a possibility were massive, ungainly vessels with the manoeuvring ability of lead-armoured sloths.
By contrast, a relatively powerful laser or particle pulse cannon could be installed fairly easily on a small single- or dual-seat space fighter, which by virtue of its small size was far more agile and less apt to be hit with gigawatt energy beams. Ergo the development and deployment of the space carrier in the Federation and its offshoot political entities.
The Ophiuchi-class was one of the most successful Federation star carriers of the pre-gravitic drive era. Coupled with its squadrons of Rattlesnake– and Constrictor-class fighters, it provided the Federation with a way to take the fight to its enemies and strike at targets light-years away from any Fedearation system.
As defensive weapons, the Ophiuchis featured nine defensive weapons turrets, each incorporating a pair of eight-barreled multi-megawatt antimissile/antifighter lasers. Rapid-firing and striking at lightspeed, these guns and others like them were one of the standard defensive weapons systems of the era.
This is not really anything special as far as building or technique goes, but I find it a pleasing construction. I hope you find it so, too.
This is about my idea of what a space carrier ought to look like, rather than the boxy HALO types that always look weird to me. You don’t like it, go make your own.