Its ugly, and messy, and its one of our favorite ships. The Nebulon-B is probably the only “medical frigate” to face the Death Star.
The EF7 Nebulon-B escort frigate, more commonly known as the Nebulon-B, is one of the most recognizable ships of the Rebel Alliance. Initially commissioned as a multi-role frigate for the Imperial Navy, the Nebulon-B found new life and purpose in the hands of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
And it’s not hard to see why. For the nascent Rebellion, the Nebulon-B represented the versatility they sorely needed. For a chassis that was “several generations from new,” the Nebulon-B was capable of filling any role. From anti-starfighter escort, to bombardment, to long-range scouting, even search-and-rescue ops, the Nebulon-B could do it all.
And though the most prominent role that they’ve played in the Alliance was as medical frigates, even the most backline frigates were capable of mounting a surprising offense.
A Nebulon-B frigate carried a surprising amount of firepower for their relatively small frame. The EF76 Nebulon-B frigate had a baseline firepower that would shame other Rebellion cruisers. 12 Taim & Bak XI7 Turbolasers coupled with 12 Borstel RH8 laser cannons were its main armament.
Missile launcher options were a common secondary armament. The Nebulon-B hull was capable of mounting several torpedo/missile launchers. Additionally each frigate had dual Phylon Q7 tractor beam projectors to help with docking and the occasional capture.
You can see the Imperial design principle of ‘overwhelming firepower’ at work here. The Kuat Drive Yards really flexed their weaponry muscles with this craft.
The versatile platform of the Nebulon-B made it perfect to retrofit for any mission. It wasn’t as terrifying as typical Imperial vessels. And with the advent of the Star Destroyer, the Nebulon-B took a backseat role in the Imperial Navy.
But the ship came standard with 7 aft-mounted ion engines, as well as a powerful deflector shield generator. A long-range communications and sensor array meant these could serve as remote command centers in isolated regions of the galaxy.
The hull measured 300 meters in length, and frigates were often outfitted with multiple docking bays to allow fighters to dock.
The Nebulon-B shone as a medical frigate in the Alliance’s hands. Equipped with bacta tanks, medical droids, and even full-service hospital facilities, a Nebulon-B could keep the Rebellion’s personnel in the fight longer. Which was needed. The Rebellion lacked numbers and every person was crucial to their efforts.
A single Nebulon-B could hold up to 700 patients in its ain medical bay.
Galactic Civil War
The EF76 was initially created for the Empire, but Rebel commanders quickly took command of these when they could. When Mon Mothma made her official declaration of rebellion, a fleet of frigates was assembled over Dantooine.
The ship was so popular to the Rebellion that General Jan Dodonna led three, including his flagship, the Vanguard at the battle of Atollon. Grand Admiral Thrawn and his seventh fleet destroyed them all though.
When Rogue One had their mission to Scarif, Nebulon-B escort frigates were present. Their firepower helped earn the team enough time to steal the plans and made way for the Tantive IV to escape into hyperspace.
During the Battle of Yavin and immediately afterwards, every ship in the Rebel Fleet was kept on the move. A Nebulon-B served as the main HQ of the Rebellion. Mon Mothma, General Dodonna, and Admiral Gial Ackbar planed operations against the Empire from aboard one.
Notorious smuggler-turned-general, Han Solo and his unlikely passenger, Luke Skywalker, recuperated aboard one. And during the Battle of Endor, the Redemption, a Nebulon-B medical frigate helped attack the second Death Star, making way for Lando Calrissian and Nien Nunb to pilot the Millennium Falcon into the station’s core to destroy it.
Truly the Nebulon-B is a workhorse of Galactic importance.
May the Force be with you