One of the weaknesses found during a review a period review of Starfleet ships and doctrine was combat ships capable of carrying combat boarding parties for use in capturing enemy vessels for later research and intelligence purposes. Typical Federation warships did not carry enough boarding teams to carry out this mission in the field, especially in small fleet engagement. In some cases assault ships were used to fill this gap, but they were inadequate for the realities of battle and had an especially high attrition rate for minimal gains.
The Chandley Assault Frigate filled this hold in Starfleet's order of battle. Equipped with advanced combat transporters to transport its marines faster than normal while maintaining a cruiser's armament and shielding made it a durable assault craft that could join the fray alongside other warships. The Chandley also found success in covert applications, being able to slip in and deliver its troops behind enemy lines and retreat before being discovered.