A frigate is a type of warship in both the United Nations Space Command and Covenant fleets. Like their seaborne counterparts, frigates are defined as medium-tonnage vessels, larger than corvettes, more versatile than destroyers and smaller than cruisers.
In the UNSC Navy, frigates form the backbone of any fleet or battle group, while cruisers appear to fill a similar role within the Covenant. As their most ubiquitous warship, the UNSC uses frigates in a broad range of roles, ranging from heavy air support to fighter escort and fleet engagements. Some UNSC frigates are equipped with a sizable cargo bay for larger dropships and armor complements. The UNSC has also employed light frigates equipped with stealth systems in a specialized reconnaissance role. Covenant frigates are not as commonly seen as their UNSC counterparts, but one of their roles appears to be escorting larger ships such as destroyers or carriers.