The second of the Perimeter Defense Directive vessels to be designed, the class shared many design elements of the Akira class heavy cruisers, including the aft roll bar though it housed the ship's main deflector instead of weaponry.
It was designed with a very specific set of mission profiles in mind, such as perimeter patrol, long-range threat response, covert operations and combat support. It features a large, through the saucer shuttle bay deck used to carry attack fighters and other auxiliary craft.
Sixteen decks and 515 living compartments housed a normal crew of 437, with room for 93 passengers. There was additional space for 5,750 in case of an emergency. 140 eight-person escape pods were carried.
Warp 9.7 could be maintained for 12 hours, though the ships normally cruised at 9.2, via its type 6D7 nacelles and class 9/0 warp core.
The vessels were armed with six type X phaser arrays, as well a forward photon torpedo launcher and two aft, each capable of a ten torpedo spreads, and normally carried 200 photon torpedoes in its magazine. During the build-up to the Dominion War, several vessels' forward launchers were upgraded to handle quantum and trilithium torpedoes.
They were succeeded by a similar looking Zephyr class heavy frigate in the early 25th century.