They were eventually used extensively by both sides in the Galactic Civil War, as the Rebel Alliance also acquired a number of these ships through defection, capturing them in battle, or by outright theft.
Escort frigates were often used to support larger capital ships, such as Imperator-class Star Destroyers and rebel Mon Calamari Star Cruisers. Standard Nebulon-B frigates were armed with twelve turbolaser batteries, twelve laser cannons, and two tractor beam projectors. Varying configurations could carry starfighters, albeit small quantities.
The Nebulon-B was originally designed to protect Imperial convoys against Rebel starfighters. However, the Rebels were able to find other uses for the ships which took advantage of their sophisticated sensors and deep-space multifrequency antennas. Escort frigates were used as long-range scouts, search and rescue ships, or to relay information to command ships during battle. In small, shorthanded Rebel task forces, Nebulon-B frigates often served as the command ship. The Rebels were not the only ones beyond the Empire to acquire Nebulon-B frigates. It was rumored that Kuat Drive Yards would sell the frigates to interested third parties through secret fronts so as to not upset the Imperial Starfleet. The sale price was 194,000,000 credits, cited as a twentieth the cost of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer.
The Rebels also converted some of its Nebulon-B frigates into medical vessels, which served as mobile hospitals. Weaponry and hangar space was sacrificed to make room for treatment facilities, bacta tanks, and hospital suites. These ships could not carry any fighters, and they were only armed with 6 turbolasers and 8 laser cannons. The most famous medical frigate was Redemption, the ship on which Luke Skywalker was treated following his duel with Darth Vader on Cloud City.
Kuat Drive Yards eventually produced an improved version of the Nebulon-B, the Nebulon-B2. It was similar in performance, but had higher sublight speed and improved shields and hull armor.
|EF76 Nebulon-B Frigate|
|Acclaim of Order | Redemption | Night Fall | Roj's Redemption | Ascension|
HIMS Emperor's Destiny | HIMS Intimidate