What about creating new class of support modules for frigates, that would help other ships?
In general i can see three different types, that could be useful.
First could be general repair module, mounted of frigate hull as weapon, could be better than autorepair system on cruiser, that it could have more supplies.
Second could be shield repair system, it could work that is slowly repair shield modules of other ships, and when fully repaired, it could restart the shield generator.also mounted as weapon on frigate.
Third that came to mind was tug system, which would be in essence tractor beam used to move larger friendly ships, which would give the larger ship some speed bonus.
In essence why to create such modules? The repair modules could give new dimension to cautious order as ships retreating from fight could retreat to friendly repair ships, and after damage is repaired return to fight. Also the modules could be more powerful, than the current used, as the supporting ship is more vulnerable (as being the frigate). Also the modules should be heavy, and very demanding on power and crew.