The ship was used to pursue escapees throughout the galaxy. These ships would last some 50,000 years of active service. They were equipped with a transporter capable of beaming through shields. The ship was seathed in special materials giving it an invisibility screen similar to the the 2260s Romulan cloaking device. The craft was visually invisible, but its location, configuration and size could be determined with sensor scans. The ship's configuration was not similar to anything encountered by the Federation before 2268. The power source and weaponry of the craft could not be determined by sensor scans. The size of the craft allowed Commander Spock to determine however it to be a craft large enough for a crew of one or two and designated to be a rapid scout vessel built for speed rather than combat. It was at least fast enough to collide with a Constitution-class starship attempting to evade it.
These scout vessels were designed to disintegrate as a means of auto-destruct, killing any occupant on-board. This self-destruction was automatic when the ship's advanced qualities were completely drained. Bele's ship disintegrated upon his arrival to the USS Enterprise in 2268. (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")