Unusually large for a frigate, let alone a light one, its size and shape almost make it seem like a predecessor to the Sovereign class heavy cruisers. It incorporated, many for the first time, features which were later standard for larger cruiser types such as Captain's Yachts, phaser array strips, and shorter connecting hulls.
They were designed for missions where speed and power were essential, though it normally patrolled relatively calm frontier regions, escorted less armed vessels, performed search and rescue operations and supported larger vessels.
The prototype was commissioned in 2342.
Eleven decks and 480 living compartments housed a normal crew of 430, with plenty of room for 112 passengers. There was additional space for 4900 in case of an emergency.
Warp 9.2 could be maintained for 24 hours, though the ships normally cruised at 8, via its type 6A2 nacelles and clas 7/M warp core.
The vessels were armed with six type VII phaser arrays, as well a pair of photon torpedo launchers both fore and aft, each capable of a six torpedo spread.
In addition to normally carrying nine shuttlecraft and seven shuttlepods in its shuttlebay, it also boasted a Captain's Yacht.