As of right now, the system works… weird.
You buy a fighter bay. It has some arbitrary SLF "slots", which you fill from a list of equally-prices outfitting menus as if you're picking between cruise missiles. Only one NPC pilot can fly only one SLF, and despite the game seeming to hint at the ability to have two NPCs aboard your ship flying two fighters, you can't.
Fighters and the SRV only come as-they-are. No customization aside for livery. The weapon options on three of the fighters can be changed between 5-6 variants, but that's it.
This whole system screams of wasted potential
So here's what I say should be changed:
Fighters should have full customizability, with hardpoints (C1, C2, 1x utility), and small internals (C2, C2, C1, C1). For balance, core modules cannot be changed (which puts a very limiting hard cap on their max powerplant power).
Fighters should be able to land & take off, carry cargo & limpets, deploy SRVs, and Odyssey players should be able to disembark from a landed SLF. (They have landing gear; you can see this in the livery menu). For compatibility, landing an SLF at a station will mean you can't purchase a new ship; you have to land your mothership.
Remove the 26 km SLF range and the only-one-SLF-deployed limit.
You can store the SLF in its entirety from the outfitting menu, allowing you to transfer your favorite engineered SLF builds between ships.
With changes like these, SLFs will become less of a "disposable combat drone" and really more like a mini-ship. It's like packing your own Sidewinder with you.
Going deep core mining? Send a Taipan with an abrasion blaster and collector limpets in there instead, so you don't have to worry about scraping your unshielded T9 on a blind rock.
Going exploring? Now you have a fun fighter to do canyon runs in without worrying about a range limit. With its own SRV too! And if you crash, you're right back safely in the mothership, with another fighter under construction.
Got a ship too big to land? Hop in your fighter and land that instead; you can even shuttle cargo from your main ship to an outpost using your Condor if you have to.
And of course, combat. Railguns, PAs, torpedos, mines, and so much more are available for those little shits with this system. I fear what you buttheads will come up with in terms of PvP SLF builds.