The Miranda class starship, the USS Reliant was a Federation starship first put into service in the 2250's. Designated as a light cruiser, the USS Reliant's configuration was similar to that of the famous Constitution Class ships in that it had the same easily recognizable saucer shaped primary hull used in many Federation ships at the time. One of the most noticeable differences however was the placement of the warp nacelles being on the bottom of the saucer as opposed to the Constitution class having the nacelles above the saucer section. The Reliant also didn't have an engineering section like the Constitution class ships had.
Design features of the primary hull included a docking port located on the forward section of the ship; the aft section included two shuttlebays, separated by the vessel's impulse engines. These shuttlebays were visually numbered; "1" being on the rear-port side, and "2" on the rear-starboard side.
The ships were mostly used in missions that were scientific in nature,but the Miranda class ships had such a versatile design that the ships were also used as escort and supply ships and were also very capable ships in battle. This versatility was enhanced by an array of interchangeable and removable elements allowing the vessels to be specialized for missions. These components include additional sensor pods and weapons arrays and one of the most visually noticeable options was to have a "roll bar" housing additional systems such as a weapons pod, which gave better field of fire and allowed the mounting of photon torpedoes over the main saucer section.
Standard to all designs were six dual phaser banks located on the primary hull – three mounted to the top and three mounted on the bottom of the saucer. Also standard to all designs were two single phaser emitters mounted just beneath the impulse engines. In the ships that had the "roll bar," the superstructure contained two tubular phaser emitters on each side that could fire both forward and to the ship's flanks. There were also two forward and two aft photon torpedo launchers housed in a pod mounted in the center of the superstructure. These armaments made the Reliant and it's sister ships formidable ships in battle.
The design of Miranda-class bridge during the 23rd century shared a similar layout to contemporary vessels of that era and generally had a crew of about 220 on board. With a length of about 900 feet, the Reliant was slightly smaller than the roughly 1000 foot long Constitution class ships of the time.
Located on Deck 1 of the saucer section, the main bridge housed the command center of the Miranda-class. The design lineage of the main bridge was a fairly standard floor plan for a Federation starship. The ship's viewscreen was placed against the forward bulkhead, with side-by-side navigation and helm consoles. The captain's chair was directly aft of the aforementioned stations. Several variations existed in the layout of the surrounding stations.
At the rear and center of the USS Reliant's bridge was the turbolift entryway. The primary stations, which were located along the rear of the bridge, included the tactical station on the port side of the bridge. Along the rear starboard side of the bridge were the primary science station and communications station.
When first launched, the Miranda class cruisers were only able to perform three-year missions, with resupply at one-year intervals. This made their dual-purpose role of research cruiser harder to perform. With the great distances that had to be traveled, they could not get more than six months' travel from a friendly outpost. Later refits extended the amount of time between re-supplies.
After over 30 years in service, in 2285 while on a survey mission in the Ceti Alpha system, the Reliant was commandeered by the renegade Khan Noonien Singh for purposes of revenge against Admiral James T Kirk and the USS Enterprise. Khan stranded the crew of the Reliant on Ceti Alpha V. After a vicious battle between the Enterprise & the Reliant, with both ships severely damaged, the USS Reliant was ultimately destroyed when Khan essentially self destructed the ship in hopes of destroying the Enterprise as well in the nearby Mutara Nebula.