Photonic Fleet is a sci captain skill that will call 3 ships... they are not often very strong. There are skills that buff the skill, however even buffed they are not "real" ships.
There is also a Fleet Support power... you need to be under 50% hull to use it it has a 15 min timer. This ship will be much more powerful. Everyone in the game gets access to this skill at RA level I believe it is.
Not sure how he got two extra ships? Unless he was a Klink and got lucky and his Fleet support called in a carrier which started spawning bops.... extremely rare but possible.