A "revival" hull, the Brenton Heavy Cruiser displays design aspects akin to that of several early Federation ship designs, most notably the NX-class. One of the first ships to be built with the new warp nacelle modules allowing for a shortened warp delay, the Brenton was an experiment to see just how much firepower could be stuffed into a Federation starship of the period.
Rather than using newer, more advanced weaponry such as the medium phaser and photon torpedo, the Brenton was equipped with older weapons that were cheaper to construct and further miniaturized. The Brenton's new armament consisted of no less than six intermediate phasers and three light photon torpedoes.
Trial runs were promising and more Brentons were produced. They made excellent cruisers against lighter targets, but when thrown up against the likes of newer Romulan and Klingon heavy craft it became telling that the intermediate phaser was simply not good enough to hold its ground against the newer units.
The design lessons learned on the Brenton Heavy Cruiser were taken to heart by Federation engineers and used to great effect in the Miranda Light Cruiser. The Brenton cruisers, however, did not serve much longer before being either mothballed or scrapped.