After the disastrous Stariionae attack on Chakona in 2333, the subsequent inquiry into the affair found that the Stellar Federation Starfleet was severely deficient in the area of sensing capability, especially in the hyper-space realm. The Science Corps has advanced a proposal for a surveillance vessel meeting the requirements for long-range mobile sensing, which involves mounting a retractable Stannus-Chakra hyper-spatial detector array on the hull of a modified Verne class science vessel. The Vernes' drive system would provide power for the array so no modifications to the power system would be required.
In order to bring the Argus class online as quickly as possible, three Verne class hulls already on the slipways at Syria Planum will be completed as Arguses instead. The Verne class designations thus replaced will be pushed back to future hulls.