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In 2286, while patrolling Sector 5, Neutral Zone, the Saratoga encountered a probe of unknown origin on a direct course to Earth. As the crew attempted to make contact, however, the ship was neutralized by the probe, the transmissions of which were being carried on an amplification wave of enormous power, impacting on all ship's systems. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
The Saratoga was a reuse of the USS Reliant studio model built for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, relabeled with a new registry. An incorrect entry in the Star Trek Encyclopedia has perpetuated the incorrect registry NCC-1937 for this ship, despite the visible registry in the film.
The bridge of the Saratoga was the reuse of the Grissom bridge from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which was in fact a reuse of the Enterprise bridge. (The bridge of the Reliant was also a reuse of the bridge of the Enterprise.)
It may be reasonable to assume that the Neutral Zone that the Saratoga was patrolling was the one shared with the Klingon Empire, as it is noted by Cartwright that the probe had traveled in or near Klingon territory.
The Saratoga was notable in Star Trek history as it was the first Starfleet ship to appear on screen with a female captain. That captain was played by Madge Sinclair, who went on to play another captain, Silva La Forge, appearing in TNG: "Interface" as the captain of the USS Hera.
The FASA role-playing game listed the same vessel with the registry NCC-1720, but most data from the game conflicts with filmed sources. The heavy cruiser Saratoga was also mentioned in a novel, The Kobayashi Maru.
The non-canonical Ships of Starfleet lists this USS Saratoga as a Cyane-class heavy frigate with the registry NCC-1892.