Following the end of the Dominion War, Starfleet was ready to once again return to its primary mission of peaceful exploration and diplomatic outreach. To that end, new classes of long-range exploratory cruisers were being developed by shipyards all over the Federation. One such design was the Ross class, which built on the success of the Galaxy class, but incorporated a variety of technological advancements made during the last decade.
Named after Earth engineering pioneer Mary G. Ross, the class featured a secondary warp core and engine coils inside its saucer section. This arrangement could propel the Ross primary hull to speeds of up to warp 6. During standard flight this core also supplements the ship’s power grid, providing energy to the saucer’s impulse engines and phaser arrays. In emergency situations the main warp nacelles could be powered by this secondary core, but this added significant stress to the spaceframe.