The "U.S.S. Equinox" from ST:VOY was described in general as a science vessel, and somewhat more specifically as a planetary research ship. Although to me personally, she always seemed like a general purpose small starship at heart, with this variant of the design maybe configured more for research. Afterall, unofficially her design started out as a small warship that ultimately lost out to the "Defiant". Anyway...
In the final episodes, we see the "U.S.S. Rhode Island" which is obviously a variant of the same design, yet seems to be more combat capable. My question is, if you had to classify this ship, what would it be? And what would her mission profile include? Just curious to see what others think.
And if you think that the "Rhode Island' we saw onscreen had undergone a significant refit sometime in the past, (I tend to assume she was originally built not long after the original Nova class, though there's nothing to support that...just my own speculation) what do you think her classification and mission profile was originally?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.