Perimeter action ships are all gun and engine. They are designed to react swiftly to an enemy incursion, defeat it quickly and decisively and return to base. They were enormously fast and swoopy.
The record of the Perimeter Action Ships is mixed. When faced with a conventional enemy in a straight up fight, they excelled, but they were not as good at handling weirdness. Their officers and crews were well trained combatants, but lacked experience in non-linear problem solving. The Perimeter action ships ended any threat of Orion independence in the late 23rd century. Most pirates that struck within reach of these ships regretted the decision. The Perimeter action ships also ended the career of many a promising young rogue Klingon Captain.
But when things turned weird, Perimeter Action Ships often became the subjects of Cruiser rescues. Their sharply limited supply of food, ammo and consumables meant that many interesting things had to be let go, so the Perimeter Action Ship could return to base.
After the Khitomer accords, the Perimeter Action Ships were mostly mothballed, but a few stayed in service as the the lighting fist of a Starbase in the area. Many ended up in planetary defense fleets. A position they excelled in. Some were demilled and sold to civilian interests. Re purposed as corporate couriers.
Many say the Defiant Class is a 24th century iteration of the Perimeter action ship.