USS Leander - Starfleet registry NCC 11109- was one of the first production model Apollo class frigates to enter service. Recently assigned to the Nirophian Corridor to allow the Hermione time for a refit after her three years in the sector, Commander Rachel Crosby has taken this as her first command after a career on frigates so far. Her orders are to join up with frigate squadrom 2.44, operating from Starbase 77 at the mouth of the Nirophian Coridor. Ever since the Interstellar Concordium came this way into Federation space, Starfleet wanted a stronger presence in the region.
The re-prioritising of Starfleet Intelligence assets to address the operations of the Orion Syndicate also brought the Leander into the region along with the Fearless. The speed and stealth of the Apollo class has made her an ideal anti-piracy design. In addition the ability to re-role the ship has enabled her to have specialist Starfleet commando forces aboard to perform boardings and take back ships from hostile forces. These tactical assets are trained to deal with threats both humanoid and xenomorph.
USS Leander regularly performs stop-and-search on ships to ensure cargo manifests match up to the declared ones. Even in the 24th Century, smuggling is very much alive and kicking. Operations in squadron formation with one or more other Apollo class mean that this ship can take on larger threat vessels. After the loss of the Hood to Klingon K'teremny class destroyers, Starfleet wanted small ships that could match and beat this threat.
Leander underwent a refit recently to upgrade her systems, being replaced in the region by Cerberus. Now that the refit has been done, Hermione is to be upgraded in a staggered refit of all Apollo class ships. Additional Apollo class ships in the form of Arethusa, Charybdis and Scylla are due to join the Nirophian Corridor taskforce.