A frigate in Starfleet nomenclature refers to a short-range patrol craft which is smaller than a destroyer and larger than a corvette. It is not a fleet combat unit and is used for patrol and light escort duties. It is very effective against unsophisticated and lightly-armed pirates.
With its smaller crew, shorter mission endurance, and lesser capabilities, a frigate's commanding officer is usually a Lieutenant Commander or Commander, though as the C.O. of a naval vessel they are entitled to the honorific of "Captain" regardless of actual rank.
- Interstellar patrol and escort.
- Space lane patrol and convoy escort in regions with known but light pirate activity.
- Anti-piracy patrol of unclaimed star systems within U.F.P. space.
- Performs sweeps of star systems in regions with light pirate activity and no major belligerent interests.
- Performs preliminary surveys and investigations of all objects of interest discovered.