The Starfleet Corps of Engineers with the help of the Advanced Starship Design Bureau can do some amazing things when it comes to the construction of Starships. Many of their designs have outlived their expectations by years, and sometimes, decades.
In that time, the Defiant has proven itself but the SCE and ASDB were sanctioned to replace it after over a century of service in Starfleet.
There would be a new vessel built to gradually phase out the Defiant Classes as the primary ship of the line in Escort and Extended Study missions. This ship would have to be larger, and not display the same limitations in speed and longevity that the Defiant was famous, if not infamous, for. And like all of the new breed of ships, it would be equipped to defend itself, unlike the Defiant.
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The Defiant-Pathfinder had been originally designed as a weapon with nacelles, but had been rejected in favor of a more groundbreaking approach to tactical design. Un-built, the ASDB team resurrected the files and preliminary stress sketches and set to work modifying the Defiant-Pathfinder and shrinking it toward a more usable size. Six torpedo launchers were removed from the design, and replaced with a more appropriate sensor package. It lost over fifty meters in length and its proportions were reduced by the same percentage.
Slowly, the ship was coming to shape and final approval was given to begin assembly on a test frame. This new hull was small and smooth, easily designed and came together quickly. Soon she was dubbed NX-90069 and began her internal construction.
One of the engineers salvaged more than just the designs, taking a name intended for another class of ships but never used. Name in hand, the new Aggressor Class Escort Frigate came into slow creation. Its initial tests came off without a hitch, but it was discovered that the ship could only carry a small warp core, and in conjunction with its small nacelles would only be able to achieve a maximum speed of around Warp 8. The administration approved the ship anyway and field tests began.