Adapted from a successful civilian design, the Copenhagen class ship was one of the most common scout vessels in service with Starfleet during the mid to later parts of the 23rd century. Small, nimble and surprisingly rugged, the design was not considered to be much more than an interm measure when the USS Nile was first commissioned in 2248 By 2257 when the USS Diligent, the last of the 26 Copenhagen class ships to be produced, was launched, the design was used extensively escorting convoys and patroling areas of space where the larger designs where deemed unnecessary.
Several admirals criticized the design’s poor endurance, saying that it was no match for new designs such as the Klingon D-7. As time progressed, the admirals warning appeared to be coming true. In 2262, USS Peacemaker was destroyed by multiple pirate vessels, with all hands lost. It was generally agreed that the design’s limited torpeado complement and small size made it unsuitable for combat, and San Francisco shipyards began researching a replacement later that year.
However, the design became nearly synonymous with victory over incredible odds early in 2264, when the USS Gridley was abandoned after destroying two Klingon Birds of Prey through a prolonged gunfight, and then ramming a third, without losing any of the four small freighters it was escorting. Although the Gridley suffered unrepairable damage, its crew suffered minimal casualties, and was later rescued by the USS Lexington. Starfleet, now seeing the Copenhagen class through new eyes, praised the design as one of the most resilient in the fleet, and for a brief time the design was comparible in fame to the Constitution class.
Stories of incredible engagements continued throughout the 2260s, as did the loss of Copenhagen class ships. The Alamo survived striking four mines during a rescue mission to beleagured colonists on Gamma Delta II in 2266. In 2267, USS Trafalgar was destroyed by Tholian ships, but not before destroying as many as five web spinners. With R&R on a refit of the Miranda class underway, a similar redesign for the smaller ships of Starfleet began, and in 2271, the newly refited Halsey departed the Sol system. Augmenting the pulse phasers, a conventional phaser array was added, giving the design slightly more punch for a much more dangerous time.
Through the next 20 years, occasionally a Copenhagen was involved in border skirmishes or pirate attacks. One ship in particular rose in fame among starship captains-the USS Bushido. Beginning in 2274, the ship racked up an astonishing 38 confirmed pirate kills, so much so that Orion pirate lord Jarfel issued a bounty of 1200 bars of latinum for the destruction of the Bushido. To many, Captain Harrison was a modern day legend. Sadly, the Bushido’s legend was cut short in 2281when its wreckage was discovered in the Klingon Neutral Zone. Many suspected that the Bushido had gone out fighting several Klingon D-7As, but no one has ever been blamed for her destruction.
Over the next ten years, the aging design was mothballed from Starfleet service, but was later reactivated in the 24th century as the Salvation class medical ship, before being retired for the last time in 2355.