The Oberth is an aging Federation craft but one that remains highly visible in Starfleet use. Oberth crafts are typically charged with short range exploration missions into uncharted territory or for longer tours of duty to complete the mapping of areas covered by other starships. The ship lacks good shielding and good weaponry and as a point attempts to avoid combat with other ships.
It is not typical for an Oberth to be seen in combat, their impact in a battle being worth less than the value of their construction, but from time to time one does come under fire-whether intentionally or unintentionally. In these instances the Oberth can be a limited asset to the fleet through the use of its ELINT abilities, providing additional options to its defenders.