Star Trek: At The Edge of Empire
The Nova class platform features both planetary landing capability and a state-of-the-art dorsal subspace sensor assembly, making it particularly adept at scouting and scientific survey missions; especially system and planetary survey missions.
Novas participating in Starfleet operations in Sector 23 are frequently sent to monitor the neutral zone with their advanced sensors. Infractions into Federation space ranging from cloaked warships to contraband are reported to Operational Command who then arrange a proper reception.
Additionally, a Nova’s crew will occasionally find themselves deployed on small scale diplomatic and outreach efforts. Usually, these involve non-aligned border worlds (and even certain near-by Romulan colonies) who would be distrustful of (or threatened by) Starfleet’s more heavily armed vessels.
The platform’s size is a limiting factor when it comes to emergency and evacuation efforts. More likely, it would be used to deploy cargo, etc. directly to surfaces.
Akira class starships were designed to replace the Excelsior, Ambassador, and New Orleans class Starships as primary instrument of Federation deep-space defense.
The Akira is an obvious fit for patrolling the segment of Romulan Neutral Zone bordering Sector 23. In fact, Starfleet Command has recently re-deployed several more Akira class starships to Sector 23 recently due to growing strife within the Romulan Star Empire.
The mission profile for Nebula class starships ranges from performing various scientific and exploratory roles to conducting patrol and transport duties.
Nebula vessels achieve this Jack-of-All-Trades status by way of an exchangeable mission pod that can be swapped out every six months. The default mission pod loadout is an advanced sensor suite. Others pods include tactical and hospital loadouts.
Size-wise, the Nebula cruiser is shorter than a Galaxy class and slightly larger than an Akira-class. The average Nebula class vessel lacks the Akira’s raw offensive power (and third photo torpedo), but has a larger hull capable of weathering more damage (on average).
A handful of Nebula cruisers are assigned to Sector 23. Most of them comprise the core of a roving sensor net meant to catch any cloaked vessels on the wrong side of the neutral zone. Still, the Nebula’s physical similarity to the relatively popular Galaxy class makes it much more welcome than an Akira for colonies, crews and stations of a certain disposition.