The Dupleix was one of the proposed solutions to the continuing challenge of escort vessels that could keep up with the capital vessels in a task force. For example, if an Ascension-class dreadnought found it necessary to move out at its full emergency speed (either to press an attack or to retreat), vessels such as Monoceros-class scouts or Siva-class destroyers would find themselves left behind.
The Dupleix featured two staggered single LN-64 (or similar) warp nacelles below a standard primary hull. The extra nacelle afforded a higher maximum warp velocity. Two megaphaser cannon were mounted between the nacelles to port and starboard.
During trials, it was demonstrated that maneuverability had been sacrificed due to the nacelle arrangement, but tactical performance with regards to weapons was excellent. An auxiliary fusion reactor, dedicated to ordnance, provided optimum power levels to both phasers and megaphasers.
- No other ship names were known other than the prototype USS Dupleix. If none other than the prototype were put into production, that may indicate political rather than economic concerns of the period.
At 123,000 tonnes, the Dupleix is larger than most other classes of perimeter action ships. By some lights, ships of the Dupleix class would be called interceptors.
The mission profile of a perimeter action ship had traditionally been that of high-warp military engagements and short overall mission durations. The larger hull and crew size (311) allowed the Dupleix to undertake extended missions as needs dictated.
Blueprints for the class are planned by Strategic Design but no release date has been scheduled as of January 2008.