DGenerateKane posted... "One mission will require one. Other than that, novelty sake I guess?"
I can't confirm it but I've heard there will be another shuttle mission in the new Featured Series. And there was talk of shuttle-based PvP, and possibly some dailies for awhile there (there was actually a shuttle daily that yielded a schematic to craft the Delta Flyer for a while there, but it was removed when the game went F2P).
Damaged67 posted... "Is the shuttle deployable in battle? Or do you just switch to it? How does that work."
You switch to it. It's another ship. They're small, fast and incredibly weak. You have to fly one for "The Vault" however, and more shuttle-based missions are supposed to be in the works.
Some of their stats (and shuttle-specific equipment) scale up as you level, in order to keep them useful versus the levelled enemies, but they're always going to be incredibly weak, and trying to take out anything more than a single frigate in one, even on the easier levels, is going to be a challenge.
It's probably worth noting that despite the fact that there's shuttle-specific equipment they can also use standard equipment.