The Reliant's designers certainly saw her that way
That's a bit odd, as the ship's mission in the movie was to plausibly outgun Kirk's ship. After a sneaky first strike anyway. It almost sounds as if Jennings didn't read the script!
Also, if the designers really attempted what they said, why did they give the Reliant
so many guns? If anything, by design she was the most militantly aggressive ship design in Star Trek history until, dunno, the Stargazer
(again bristling with identifiable weapons) or perhaps even the Defiant
i believe that the solution to this is that the constellation and other similar ships have their weapons hull embedded, and the reliant having no large secondary hull distributes the difference some by externalizing the weapons systems. I think it was even stated that under normal conditions the enterprise would outgun the reliant; it was the sneak attack that did them in.
but... i could be wrong...?