Back in my days of playing the Star Trek RPG, long before the the current Enterprise teevee series hit the airwaves, I ran a series of games (called Star Trek: Birth of a Federation) set in the late 2160s, just after the end of the Romulan war. I placed the players on board this class of ship. I wanted something more advanced than the Daedalus class, which, at the time, I was calling Independence class. But it was too early for the Constitution class to be flying. So, I designed this middle ground, with design elements reminiscent of the Daedalus, but foreshadowing the Constitution. I felt the Romulan war might have served as the impetus for an alliance that developed into the Federation, hence the name of this class. The Federation class was designed as a warship, though with the war now over it ended up with the better mission of "going boldly."
The players were posted to the USS Yamato, NCC-1305. This choice was based on the appearance, in TNG's Where Silence Has Lease, of a Galaxy-class USS Yamato, NCC-1305E. By the time the Yamato's number was changed (TNG's Contagion), my game was underway.
I created these design initially using DesignCAD 2D & 3D. The current renderings are Rhino/Flamingo.