Science Vessel; Commissioned 2405
Starfleet is receiving multiple reports of new ships being used by a variety of races, including the Kobheerians, Galadorans, Barolians and Coverians.
It is believed that this class of ship was originally designed by a private Cardassian corporation. The Cardassians frequently contract with the Ferengi to handle sales and distribution of their raw materials and technology, an arrangement that allows the Cardassians to realize a profit on their efforts quickly. However, Ferengi salesmen are more than willing to covertly provide technical specifications or design schematics to anyone, for the right price.
Because this class of space vessel has been copied and modified by so many different races, it is impossible for Starfleet to provide specifics about the capabilities of any particular Type VII vessel.
The Type VII is most often used for scientific purposes, rather than transport or defense. It is equipped with limited weaponry, and upgrading the offensive capabilities of a Type VII ship come at the cost of limiting power for sensors and laboratories. However, that has not stopped some captains from adding additional weapons. Captains are warned not to assume that a Type VII will be ill-equipped for battle.