The Daedalus-class was an early class of Starfleet vessel that, unlike most Federation starship designs, was designed with a spherical primary hull, outwardly similar to the later Olympic-class. This class, which operated with a crew of approximately 229, had a unique subspace distress call among starship classes. (TNG: "Power Play")
- LD: "An Embarrassment Of Dooplers"
- SNW: "Ghosts of Illyria" (etching)
The Daedalus class was mentioned but unseen in "Power Play." Gregory Jein constructed a model of the Horizon identified as Daedalus class for the reference work Star Trek Chronology, which Mike Okuda then had reproduced for set dressing in Sisko's office on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine starting in "The Nagus" and later used in the Star Trek Encyclopedia.
A Daedalus-class starship named the USS Lovell (β) is prominently featured in the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers Foundations trilogy. The Daedalus-class starship on the book's cover is the USS Archon. The Lovell is also active in the Star Trek: Vanguard novels. The ship – a CGI model constructed by Doug Drexler – is shown outside Starbase 47 (Vanguard) (β) on the cover of the second book of the series Summon the Thunder (though Drexler had assigned the registry number NCC-129 to the USS Daedalus (β) on his CGI model).
In Michael Jan Friedman's novel Starfleet: Year One, competition among the early Starfleet's captains for command of the first Daedalus was one of the main plot threads – though the events of this novel have been ignored by later novels, as it was contradicted by Star Trek: Enterprise.
In the Pocket ENT novels The Good That Men Do, Kobayashi Maru, and Beneath the Raptor's Wing, the Daedalus-class is featured heavily as an older ship class refitted with modern technology, and the main replacement of the NX-class fleet. The NX ships were deemed too expensive and taking too long to build, shipyard personnel stated they could churn out three new Daedalus hulls in the same time it would take to build one NX vessel.
According to Issue #100 of the Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, the Daedalus-class was a type of explorer. This class was approximately 140 meters in length, had a maximum speed of warp factor 7, and was equipped with phaser emitters and photon torpedo launchers. It was stated further that this class of ship superseded the NX-class starships.