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The Assault-class ship commanded by Loquar in 2377 was classified as a survey vessel not equipped to fight enemy ships. (VOY: "The Void") Other ships of this class used for raiding enemy ships were classified as assault vessels, more heavily armed, with three ships capable of outgunning a Starfleet Intrepid-class with heavy phaser armaments that could be set to fire on rotating frequencies. The assault ships were also equipped with stealth technology.
These ships were used to survey passing ships for future raids, on at least one occasion while hiding in nebulae. The Hierarchy used the ships sensors to assess the tactical risk of attacking passing vessels and the available loot. They used the ships cloaking field technology to sneak up on other ships. The Hierarchy applied several attack patterns for use aboard this type of ship, such as a type 3 stealth assault and a type 4 assault, which was based on energy consumption (see Hierarchy for elaboration). A special communication system aboard these ships was used by the crew for consulting with the actual Hierarchy. On these ships every crew member had one duty and work station, hardly any social contacts, and limited access to the ship.
In 2376, three vessels of this type attacked the Federation starship USS Voyager; the ships eventually withdrew in fear of the photonic cannon, an imaginary weapon of The Doctor's design. (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")