To: New SRI director
From: Andrelious J. Mimosa-Inahj, Archanis Quaestor
So my time as part of the SRI was supposed to have come to and end but Drake insisted I help with ideas for creating a fleet. Quite why he thinks I'd be any use for that when he's constantly bemoaned my methods during field work is beyond me, but it did give me something to do when Mostynn wouldn't sleep!
For your main ship, you should probably go for some kind of Corvette-class vessel. As much as I hate Rebel technology, the CR90 Corvette is actually an excellent ship - you'd probably know it as a 'Blockade Runner'. It's fairly fast, carries a good amount of cargo and is actually quite nicely armed for a ship of its type. The age of the ship gives it the extra cover of belonging to a smaller group, as well.
You're also going to want some personnel transports. I'd recommend a flight of T-4a Lambda Shuttles. They're pretty much designed for only personnel transport, but again, they're quite nicely armed!
As for fighter cover, you won't have any hangar space on the Corvette, so perhaps a squadron of modified RZ-1 A-Wings? They're Rebel tech, but they're quite fast and I can tell you from my own experience that they're an absolute pain to hit.
Finally, get some freighters. The Baleen class is ideal; it's cheap for the amount it can carry.
None of these ships are state of the art, but that's not what the SRI needs. Or at least so Drake tells me.
Now with these recommendations, I hope that you can start doing some actual science. And not just because Kooki and I have gone!