Brief Construction History
The USS Indria-A was constructed at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, and successfully passed its final test flights on Stardate 237501.22. It was assigned a registry number on that date and marked in Starfleet records as ready for active duty. The Indria-A did not carry the same registry number as its predecessor and so it was not necessary to suffix the registry with a letter.
Special Features of the Ship under Rear Admiral Marlin
Although not designed to be an out and out warship like its sister vessel the USS Ranger-A, the Indria-A, given its sensitive mission brief, was still required to be a vessel with tactical prowess. However, unlike warships, the Indria still needed space for other ships systems which were necessary to make it a multi-purpose vessel (eg. Science Sensors).
Construction of the USS Indria-A was completed on Stardate 237501.22, two weeks behind schedule. The ships predecessor, the Indria (no suffix), was an out and out Warship, and was named after the Alpha Centauri Goddess of War. It was intended originally for the Indria-A to be similarly designed, however the mission brief of the Indria-A was changed at the design stage. Starfleet requested a vessel for covert operations which was still capable of a wide range of multi-purpose missions. Thus the Indria-A had to be remain flexible whilst still retaining its offensive/defensive capabilities. It was decided at the outset to base the Indria-A on the nebula class design which had a natural flexibility because of its interchangeable mission pod. The outline of the ships mission brief clearly indicated that there had to be a trade off between military capabilities and other standard capabilities, however the design team aspired to make this trade off as satisfactory as possible.
So it was that the design team began the process of designing the Indria-A, trying wherever possible to give the ship tactical prowess whilst keeping her flexible in terms of other departments. It was decided at an early stage that due to the high risk involved in the Indria-A's mission brief, she would not be assigned civilians, and so one of the main deviations from the standard nebula class design was that much of the space previously taken up with 'civilian decks and quarters' was reclaimed for supplemental ships systems.
Following the end of the Dominion War Starfleet's mission goals changed once again. In 2385 Fleet Captain Rocar ordered the full stripping out of the Indria-A's more advanced systems at the Starbase 118 ship yards. She was, thus, restored to a more standard Nebula class vessel better suited to a mission of exploration and investigation.
2370's Original Mission: Covert Ops
Launched from StarBase 118 on Stardate 237506.09, the USS Indria-A, a Nebula Class starship, was assigned as a covert operations vessel. The Nebula class design was chosen for the covert operations assignment as it has an interchangeable mission pod, making the ship very flexible in terms of capabilities. As a result, the Indria can provide a platform for a variety of mission types.
The Indria-A was thrust into significance some time ago when it was hijacked by a rebel member of the Romulan Tal Shiar. In the time it was taken, the rebel agent fitted the ship with a cloaking device, and was planning to use the Indria as the flagship, along with a fleet of Warbirds, in an attempted hostile take-over of the Romulan government. With the help of the Romulan government the Indria-A crew recovered the ship, although she was very heavily damaged in the process.
The Romulan government, deeply embarrassed by the incident, did not enforce its earlier threat to remove the cloaking device by force, apparently assuming the cloak had been heavily damaged with the rest of the vessel. The cloaking device had, however, only received superficial damage, and was repaired. As such the Indria-A was the only Starfleet ship, other than the USS Defiant, with a cloaking device that does not break the Romulan-Federation peace treaty. (As the cloak was fitted by Romulans.)
The cloaking device was, however, removed after the Dominion War for reverse-engineering by Starfleet Intelligence.