Following the end of the Dominion War, devastating ship losses required Starfleet to recuperate. Instead of rebuilding the fleet with aging designs, Starfleet R&D instead focused on the introduction of new designs, expanding on the existing technology. But the new design push also spread to development of new technology. The return of the USS Voyager in 2377 brought a treasure trove of new technology, most of it barely tested. The quantum slipstream drive, discovered by the Voyager in 2374 and tested early the next year proved to be unstable. Starfleet engineers studied the slipstream data and attempted to improve on the design. While early trials and simulations seemed promising, the only way to prove the design worked was to incorporate it into a complete test bed vessel.