One of the United Federation of Planets' first starship designs commissioned and operated under its auspices, inaugurated soon after UFP formation in 2161 and retired in 2196. It was among the first starships to demonstrate the primary/secondary hull and warp nacelle designs which later became a characteristic of Starfleet vessels. Destroyed in 2167 at Mab-Bu VI, the U.S.S. Essex was a Daedalus-class starship. It is possible that the U.S.S. Horizon as well as the U.S.S. Archon also belonged to this class. A model of the design was displayed in Benjamin Sisko's office on Deep Space Nine.