Re: The operational status of NCC 1701-A...?
There is no basis that the Defiant/Sao Paulo's name change was for PR. If you watch the episode you'll see it was to honor the previous ship and her crew. PR doesn't win wars. Sisko would have still won the same way had the name change never taken place.
I'd say more than a few propagandist would probably debate you on whether or not PR and morale wins wars.
- SeerSGB -