The EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, also known as the Nebulon-B frigate, was a class of frigate manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards. Despite being intended for Imperial Navy service, it gained more fame as a Rebel Cruiser used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic and its successor, the New Republic, throughout the Galactic Civil War.
- "Anti-starfighter? You're not kidding! These things are a couple of generations from new, but it's pretty common for one to be packing a dozen laser cannons, a dozen turbolasers, AND a couple of missile launchers. No thanks."
- ―Poe Dameron
The EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate was an escort frigate manufactured with a highly versatile design platform that allowed it to function in several different capacities as part of a fleet. The vessels featured a propulsion module that housed 7 aft-mounted ion engines connected to the forward blade-like body by a thin, cylindrical hull section. The propulsion module also contained the ship's deflector shield generator situated at the top of the craft. A primary long-range communications array protruded from the top of the craft, while the bridge was located halfway down the ship's fore. The bridge contained a holoprojector, at least four crew stations, and a primary command station. These vessels also contained a command center and hangar bays capable of housing light freighters, several shuttles, and a squadron of starfighters. Heavily armed, a Nebulon-B carried twelve turbolaser and twelve laser cannons, with the main weapons of each installed on the bottom edge of the ship's forward hull. It also carried powerful dual tractor beams.
Many Nebulon-B frigates were utilized as medical frigates by the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and were equipped with bacta tanks, medical droids, and full-service hospital facilities. The main medical bay on a Nebulon-B could hold up to 700 patients, and was located at the highest module at the bow of the starship. Docking tubes were located on the connecting neck between both sections of the frigate.
Though the frigate itself proved hardy in combat, the long spar that connected the two hull sections of the ship was a weakness and vulnerable to concentrated fire. Should this occur the frigate would be split in two, venting atmosphere from both sections.
- "They're heading for the medical frigate!"
- ―Wedge Antilles during the Battle of Endor
Boasting a highly versatile design platform, the Nebulon-B frigate served in a range of capacities, although was typically utilized as an escort frigate. The Rebel Alliance deployed these frigates to protect transport convoys from Imperial attacks or pirate raids, although some were modified for long-range scouting or search-and-rescue operations. However, the Nebulon-B became most famous for its use as Rebel medical frigates, and many were equipped with full-service hospital facilities. In addition to its medical roles, the frigates could be used for search and rescue tasks, scouting operations, combat missions, anti-starfighter roles, bombardment, serving as a carrier, and as an escort.
The EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate was created by Kuat Drive Yards, for the Imperial Navy, although they were more commonly used by rebel cells of the formative Alliance to Restore the Republic against the Galactic Empire. Nebulon-B frigates were often used as convoy escorts. Berch Teller and his cell utilized a Nebulon-B to attack a convoy containing the hyperdrive of the Death Star around five years after the end of the Clone Wars. Several of the frigates were part of the fleet which assembled over Dantooine in response to Mon Mothma's declaration of rebellion in 2 BBY, and three were fielded by General Jan Dodonna's Massassi Group during the Battle of Atollon. All of them, including Dodonna's flagship the Vanguard, were destroyed by Grand Admiral Thrawn and his Seventh Fleet.
Admiral Raddus had at least three Nebulon-B escort frigates in his fleet when Rogue One went to Scarif to steal the Death Star plans, and participated in the subsequent battle. At its conclusion, at least one frigate successfully managed to escape into hyperspace, but another was destroyed and split in half under heavy fire from Darth Vader's Star Destroyer, Devastator.
Following the Battle of Yavin and the evacuation of Yavin 4, the Rebel leadership maintained a constantly-moving fleet, keeping on the run while seeking a new base of operations, and utilized a Nebulon-B as their temporary headquarters ship during this period. From here, Mothma, Dodonna, Admiral Gial Ackbar, and others planned operations against the Empire after the Assault on Cymoon. Han Solo recuperated aboard while repairing the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker briefly trained in one of the frigate's chambers before departing for Tatooine. Solo and Leia Organa later departed on a scouting mission to secure a new base, leaving the Rebel leaders to discuss Skywalker's troubling activities in the ship's command center. Although Mothma was unable to commit any forces to assist Skywalker on Nar Shaddaa, Chewbacca and C-3PO volunteered to help their friend. Sometime later, the Rebel leadership met with Organa and Skywalker in the command center, and tasked them with a mission to Tureen VII, leading the pair to embark on a mission to steal a Star Destroyer. As of the time of the mission to rescue C-3PO, the Nebulon-B was part of a much larger contingent of the Rebel fleet.
As of 3 ABY, the Nebulon-B frigate Redemption served as a medical ship for the Rebel Alliance. Following the Battle of Hoth, the Redemption, the Tyvarex, and another Nebulon-B were assigned to the fleet's Fourth Division in accordance with the Alliance's scatter protocol. The Fourth Division retreated to Rendezvous Point Delta-Three, only to be ambushed by an Imperial fleet and blockaded against a star. The Tyvarex was destroyed under heavy fire, but the Redemption and the other Nebulon-B were able to escape thanks to the timely arrival of the Millennium Falcon. Luke Skywalker was then treated aboard the medical frigate for injuries received during his confrontation with Darth Vader on Cloud City. During Operation Yellow Moon, the Nebulon-B frigate Remembrance, commanded by Captain Volk Aymeric, served as the lead vessel in a convoy of ships that protected Princess Leia Organa, one of the leaders of the Alliance.
At least two Nebulon-B frigates were part of the Rebel fleet at the Battle of Endor, with the Redemption fighting alongside other rebel warships and drawing heavy enemy fire. At least one frigate survived to join Rebel Fleet Command at Muster Point: Vergence, twenty days after Endor, and later at Muster Point: Stalwart.
Numerous Nebulon-B frigates went on to serve in the New Republic. At the Battle of Jakku, Commodore Kyrsta Agate witnessed a Nebulon-B break in half under heavy fire but continuing to unleash its full complement of weapons at a Star Destroyer nonetheless. Another Nebulon-B later crashed into the flagship of Admiral Garrick Versio, the Eviscerator, further compromising the already crumbling ship's integrity.
At least one Nebulon-B, going by the name of Opportunity, served under the banner of Jinata Security, a law enforcement agency based on the planet Vardos in the Jinata system. Captained by Leema Kai and painted in the colors of Jinata Security, the ship assisted the First Order in implementing Project Resurrection across the Jinata system by kidnapping children and conscripting them to become First Order stormtroopers. Whilst preparing to resume this operation on Athulla, the Opportunity, and its modified GR-75 escorts were accosted by Iden Versio and her daughter Zay Versio who had been led there after finding that Del Meeko's ship Corvus had been investigating the kidnappings on behalf of the Resistance. The frigate deployed fighters and fled deeper into Athulla's asteroid field in an attempt to lose them, but the two women took out its escorts and crippled the ship by destroying the engines. Whilst Iden battled with Kai, Zay contacted the Opportunity and tricked them into surrendering by threatening to unleash a barrage of non-existent concussion missiles on it. The ship's crew, believing them, not only surrendered the Opportunity but gave up all the information they had on Project Resurrection.
Behind the scenes
The EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate first appeared in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980. It was designed by Nilo Rodis-Jamero.[source?] Its full name was identified in the reference book Ultimate Star Wars in 2015.