Stealth combat in elite is very . . . limited, to say the least, and I feel that is a missed opportunity by frontier to make combat in elite more interesting and engaging. I have come up with a few ideas to try and expand stealth combat and stealth in general to make it more viable. Especially since stealth may be a large part of odyssey and many people could expect to see more stealth combat for space battles. Stealth also offers a good way for smaller ships to be viable as combat vessels, making them able to act as silent and deadly killers, but also be useful as anti-stealth fighters.
To make stealth combat viable, the first thing that needs to be done is to add in modules. I have three ideas in mind; a heat bank , a heat radiator, and a enhanced scanner. A heat bank would raise the level of heat needed to damage your ship, or increasing time needed to burn yourself in silent running (this is a passive optional internals that will cool given time). A heat radiator would increase heat loss if used by itself; or if used with a heat bank, it could reduce the heat generated at the cost of using the heat banks. The reason for the latter will be clear latter. The third module is a utility that acts as a counter, allowing ships to be able to target ships at a lower heat level within a small cone in front of the ship (mainly to be used as an assist for gimbal mount weapons).
In order to balance these modules the enhanced scanner would have higher energy demands and multiple levels. The next balance is to the effect heat has on targeting, as although it is cool now, it could be better. For example a ship should be able to not be targeted at higher heat level, but using high heat generating weapons and modules immediately reveals its position until they stop firing. This makes stealth ships need to use burst damage to be effective, so missiles and torpedoes should get buffs to damage as they are the best stealth weapons. Missiles and torpedoes work well for this as they can be countered, have good range, and have low ammo (hit and run dps). Due to the need for stealth ships to be hull tanks, heat banks and heat radiators could give bonuses in either hull integrity or module protection.
Missiles and torpedoes really should get a damage boost anyways (my thoughts are 3x for missiles and at least 3x if not 4x for torpedoes), and changing stealth combat adds further reason to do so. These changes are not supposed to reduce the difficulty of stealth combat, but to make it a viable strategy that needs to be and can be countered. These are just my ideas and I would like other opinions, these in of themselves might not fix stealth combat, but they can help).
(also I admit I have not done much stealth combat so if any of these seem to be stupid please respond below, if these were implemented I would do more stealth combat, especially with missiles and torpedoes).