- Since the ship was second-hand, it probably had a former name and registry from the Klingon Defense Force. It might even be the eventual fate of one of the many other 23rd century K't'inga vessels listed on this wiki.
The cruisers were contraband, obtained as surplus from the floundering government of the Klingon Empire in the wake of the changes brought about by the Praxis explosion and the Khitomer Conference. Admiral Drake used a false-flag Starfleet Intelligence operation to purchase the Klingon ships using his daughter, Ariadne Drake, as a secret agent courier, code name Jade. Commanders Nyota Uhura and Pavel Chekov were expected to be disposed of during the exchange, but Jade's plans were thwarted when they were rescued by the Federation starship USS Excelsior. When the Excelsior encountered Drake and his daughter on this battle cruiser, Chekov and Uhura were able to ascertain that the admiral had been behind the attempt on their lives to obtain the ship.
Admiral Drake ordered his Klingon squadron in combat against the Chal patrol ship Enterprise, another surplus vessel, formerly of the Federation Starfleet. Drake wanted vengeance against James T. Kirk, who had thwarted the plans of the Khitomer Conspiracy, and Kirk commanded his old ship to defend Drake's Chalchaj'Qmey enemies. Battle took the vessels into Chal system's sun, where Kirk baited Drake's overconfidence and fooled him into allowing his cruiser to be consumed. Kirk and his Chal crew were rescused by the Excelsior. (TOS novelization & comic adaptation: The Ashes of Eden)