Its overall design was compact, featuring only a saucer section connected directly to a small secondary weapons pod, which housed four photon torpedo tubes. The ships's nacelles were connected directly to the pod. The weapons pod was of the same configuration as the pod on the Miranda-class line of vessels. This class appeared very similar to the much older Walker-class.
A vessel of this class saw action during the Dominion War, and was represented in Starfleet's Operation Return, assisting in the retaking of Deep Space 9 from Dominion forces. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")
- USS Centaur (NCC-42043)
The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual describes this vessel as an Excelsior-class starship variant, describing it as being among the ships "constructed from salvaged components, components in work, and custom assemblies fabricated by the individual fleet yards."
The Centaur was a "kitbashed" scale model created from the saucer section and warp nacelles of two AMT/Ertl USS Excelsior model kits and the torpedo rollbar and bridge from an Ertl USS Reliant kit. It was listed as "Excelsior-class starship variant" in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual due to the use of the Excelsior saucer section. However, it has now been established that the original scale of the shooting model was much smaller and was based on the bridge section and other details from the Miranda-class Reliant model, not the saucer section.  No further name was known; it was generally referred to as "Centaur-class" or Centaur-type, and was considered a prototype. Whatever its formal class designation, dialogue from "Sacrifice of Angels" suggests that it was considered a "destroyer"-type starship.
The following specifications were given in the DS9 Technical Manual:
- Production Base: ASDB Integration Facility, Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, Mars
- Type: Medium cruiser
- Accommodation: 315 officers and crew
- Power Plant: One 1,500 plus cochrane warp core feeding two nacelles; two impulse systems
- Dimensions: Length, 381.87 meters; beam, 320.16 meters; height, 78.54 meters
- Mass: 870,000 metric tonnes
- Performance: Warp 9.6 for twelve hours
- Armament: Nine type-9 phaser emitters; two photon torpedo launchers
- According to the novel Articles of the Federation, this type is the Centaur-class, making the USS Centaur the first of its type.
- In Star Trek: Legacy both the USS Centaur and the USS Carolina appear as playable ships of this type, available in the TOS and TNG parts of the game.
- The Centaur is also playable in Star Trek Online, where it is one of the three starting designs for Federation players' starships. It is on the same tier as (and interchangeable with) the Miranda and ShiKahr classes.