The Peregrine Class Light Attack Craft (also known the Federation Attack Fighter) is a small, 2-place warp capable shuttle optimised for combat operations. It is generally used in support of fleet actions, and may be carried aboard any starship with sufficient hangar space. Although Starfleet fields no dedicated carrier vessels, Akira Class Cruisers, with their large hangar bays, are often the platform of choice for long range transport of Peregrines.
The Light Attack Craft is adapted from the Peregrine Class Courier, a concept adopted from the Maquis at the beginning of the Dominion War. The Maquis originally adapted the readily available courier craft to carry a single Type VIII phaser emitter, but Starfleet expanded the concept by mounting photon torpedoes in addition to the phaser, and increasing deflector shield, SIF and IDF power.
Peregrines proved their worth in the Dominion War, flying escort missions in fleet actions, defending the fleet from Cardassian Hidecki Class vessels and Jem'Hadar fighters. Previous to the Dominion War where Starfleet was faced with large numbers of small expendable enemy vessels, the Federation had never really pursued the fighter concept. In the wake of the success of the modified Peregrines, Starfleet is currently considering designs for a dedicated fighter-type spacecraft.
The Peregrine Class is manufactured by the same shipbuilding consortium as the larger Ju'Day Class, for which it is sometimes mistaken at visual ranges.
The Peregrine Class Light Attack Craft has a crew of two, Flight Control and Operations Manager. The small cockpit is similar to that of the Type 15 Shuttlepod, and a sleeping cabin behind the cockpit allows the crew to "hot-bunk" on long-range missions. Unlike naval fighter aircraft in the 20th century, Peregrines are not carrier based, but accompany the fleet as independant vessels organised in attack squadrons. They are, however, capable of landing on a planetary surface or in a hangar bay by folding its wings, thus allowing the belly pads to contact the deck, and are generally ferried to fleet staging areas aboard larger starships to prevent crew fatigue and minimise wear and tear on their drive systems.