Cardassia was surging ahead with its expansionist policy in the Alpha Quadrant, but it found it difficult to secure and maintain order in a colonized system without extensive long-term military presence. They could not afford to use existing Galor Cruisers as they could not be spared in large enough numbers. So a new ship was requested, the Hutet Assault Cruiser. It took eight years to complete the design and build the first prototype.
The Hutet was designed primarily to disperse a large number a troops and equipment far away from any support facilities. It also could hold back any major attacks without sacrificing territorial domination, even if it sustained substantial damage. Advanced structural integrity fields made this possible.
The Hutets were never built in any great numbers before the Dominion War and all of those built before and during that conflict were destroyed in the fighting. The very last Hutet was destroyed after the Cardassians broke ranks from their former Dominion allies, the ship exploding as it plowed full on into the underside of one of the Jem'Hadar battleships. The battleship survived the encounter, but was crippled and picked apart by Federation frigates.