Escort is classification of Starfleet Starship in the 24th century.

An Escort is any small ship with a primarily military role. The term Escort replaces Frigates , Corvettes , Perimeter Action Ships and Destroyers.

The mission of the escort is to provide fire support for larger ships and to operate in groups to counter military threats. Escorts sacrifice much of the multi-role mission for combat effectiveness.  They range from very small ships dedicated to securing a world far away from any hostile forces, to all the engine and gun that can be crammed into a hull (The USS Defiant )

Escorts are not popular at Starfleet Command or among most Starfleet Officers, but their crews can for strong bonds with each other.  Escort duty is not glamoous and usually dull.  But when things stop being dull,  civilian ships and worlds appreciate the presence of the Escort ships. 

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