Scouting in the game is divided into combat, staff and special.
Combat scouting means a pilot who conducts reconnaissance of the enemy before combat and in some cases, during combat, and creates of safe-spots in solar systems for tactical and strategic objectives.
In addition, a combat scout can simultaneously fly an interceptor or play the role of lure the enemy out for his or her fleet, also he or she can do electronic warfare.
In special operations, including sabotage and terrorism, an intelligence pilot can do any role, up to DPS-ing.
A Staff scout collects and analyzes information about the enemy or a potential enemy, and also plans to reconnaissance, sabotage and subversion operations.
A Special intelligence agent
executes the operations prepared by the staff, has the possibilities of a combat scout pilot, yet can be a spy, subversive and saboteur.
Let's examine all the 3 types in more detail.
Combat scouts who fly fast ships, such as frigates, interceptors (also known as ceptors), also play the role of interceptors, or (even more often) of a tackler. At the same time, they can perform other functions, such as an open observation, marking systems and so on.
Combat scouts who fly stealth-frigates such as covert-ops, perform the tasks of covert surveillance and tracking, as well as searching for enemy ships on safe-spots with a special scanner. Combat scouts on covert-ops ships can also be used in peaceful areas and for peaceful purposes, such as finding and clearing out hidden complexes and wormholes.
However, in many cases, intereceptor scouts are better preferred than covert-ops scouts.
In fact, training for covert-ops is an intermediate step in the training for recons, which perform the same tasks, but are an additional combat unit, in contrast to kavert-ops.
Combat scouts, flying recons, both can be either heavy taclers, or an EW pilots or even combine both roles, depending on the class of their recon ships. Of all the ships for combat scouting stealth-recons are the most useful and convenient type.
A gang, flying without scouting, at best, will have no booty, at worst - will become a prey itself. A large fleet is impossible without scouting in general.