One of Starfleet's most successful classes, the Miranda-class began its life in the early 23rd century, serving in the 2250s as complimentary class to the Constitution-class, with which it shares many construction components. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; EV comic: "Cloak and Dagger")
While the early Miranda-class vessels were successful, the final configuration of the class did not come about until the 2270s and 2280s when the Miranda-class vessels and the similar Anton-class series underwent refit. The refitted Anton-class vessels were sometimes referred to as Reliant-class. The renewed Miranda-class design, again using components from the Constitution-class refit (Enterprise-subclass) proved so successful that Starfleet rapidly commissioned a number of new vessels. (FASA RPG module: Federation Ship Recognition Manual; ST reference: Starship Spotter)
Reliant-type refits, and newly commissioned Miranda-class vessels in the refit configuration, served well into the 24th century and still made up a significant proportion of Starfleet a century after the first Anton-class vessels underwent refit. The class served with distinction in the Dominion War and while the class took quite a beating in the conflict many still remained in service at the end of the 2370s (ST reference: Starship Spotter; DS9 episode: "What You Leave Behind"; TTN novel: Taking Wing, et al.)
- Vessels of the class of both before and after refit configurations are referred to universally as Miranda-class by contemporary sources. The FASA RPG supplements designate the pre-refit Miranda-class ships as Anton-class ships with the USS Reliant serving as the first refit vessel, and thus the refitted vessels being referred to as Reliant-class. The FASA designations for the class pre and post-refit could now be considered sub-class names for the singular Miranda-class. The Anton-class vessels had different configuration from the pre-refit Miranda ships shown in comics and mentioned in novels.
Part of the Miranda-class' extreme success is due to their versatility; they perform well in combat, scientific research or even as cargo ships. This versatility is 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 most obviously the option to have a roll bar housing additional systems over the main saucer section. The variability is so extensive one variant has been deemed a class in its own right; the Soyuz-class.
The Miranda-class in its most common configuration features two pulse-phaser cannons which draw power directly from the warp plasma feeds running into the warp nacelles making the class a formidable opponent. (ST reference: Starship Spotter)
The ebook The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon, published by Last Unicorn Games after they had lost their Star Trek license listed several other Miranda class starships: USS Alberta, USS Cotswold, USS Dalriada, USS Devereaux, USS Iscander, USS Ka'thela, USS Pahang, USS Prospero, USS Thermopylae, USS Winter and USS Yavapai.