Although the term “support vessel” engenders visions of repair ships and re-supply vessels, technically, support vessels include transport and cargo movement platforms. Many “support” vessels are in actuality civilian ships designed to conduct extremely specific missions, rarely military in nature. Support Vessels include cargo ships, passenger ships, repair vessels and other assorted short to long range ships of all types. Most support vessels can be bought or traded on the open market, and come in an extremely wide range of sizes and costs.
Nomenclature of a particular support vessel rarely gives an accurate description of the ships actual size, crew or defensive capabilities. Most Support Vessels can (and are) modified to some degree depending on the location of the specified cargo/operation area. Many support vessels operating in hostile areas will band together, often escorted by military authorities, on common cargo or transport runs.
Some Support Vessels are assigned specific patrol areas, while other wait at a star base or orbital platform until needed. Even robotic ships are common.