The Orion scout ship had a unique design, previously unknown to Starfleet, consisting of an oblong primary hull attached by a central "spine" to a large vertical ring, perpendicular to the primary hull, which contained the ship's propulsion system. The propulsion system itself consisted of two four-spoke components, each containing four propulsion units. These two components spun independently of each other while the ship was in flight.
The scout ship's hull was composed of high density trititanium, which allowing the vessel to be "cloaked" against Federation sensor probes. This technology was unlike the cloaking device used by the Romulans.
While moderately armed with standard phasers, the scout ship was capable on evading both phaser and photon torpedo fire, due to its incredible speed; indeed, capable of traveling at warp 10 in combat.
While en route to Babel from Vulcan, in 2268, the USS Enterprise encountered an intruder vessel, later discovered to be an Orion scout ship. Due to the vessel's design, it was able to block the sensor probes of the Enterprise, allowing the ship to remain unidentified, and the size of its crew masked.
After making multiple strafing runs at the Enterprise, it was eventually defeated by the Enterprise in combat, after Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk allowed his ship to drift, baiting the Orion ship in to a range of about 75,000 kilometers, before disabling it with a few phaser shots. The scout's crew chose to set their vessel to self-destruct rather than be captured. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")
Having originally appeared as "a simple spinning wheel of light," the original appearance of the Orion scout ship suffered from the series' budget limitations, but would ultimately be revised for the remastered episode that aired in 2007.
Having been given a certain amount of leeway in their design creativity, the digital artists managed to "remained faithful to the original effect, but embellished it by creating an ingenious ship design that used the spinning lights as a powerful alien propulsion system." wbm