The USS Drake was a Federation light cruiser that was in service with Starfleet in the mid-24th century. In 2364, the Drake was under the command of Captain Paul Rice. In that year, Commander William T. Riker, then-XO of the USS Hood, declined Starfleet's offer to take command of the Drake. Riker's classmate at Starfleet Academy, Paul Rice, would later take up the offer to command this starship.

Later that year, the Drake was destroyed along with its crew by an automated weapons platform known as the Echo Papa 607 while in orbit of Minos. The Echo Papa 607, masquerading as Captain Rice, later stated that the top speed of the Drake was warp 3. (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom")

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 122) this vessel was a Wambundu-class at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works starship, with the registry NCC-20381. The Encyclopedia further notes that the ship was named after Sir Francis Drake.
The second USS Drake that served in the Federation-Klingon War in 2373 was a subsequent ship to bear the name.

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