In June 2008, then-Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced that the Navy's newest line of amphibious assault ship, the LHA 6, would inherit the U.S.S. America name. The LHA 6 model replaced the Tarawa-class ships still in use by the Navy at that time. The navy's goal for the new line of assault ships was to increase its aircraft capacity.
The original U.S.S. America was a 74-gun ship designed for use by the Continental Navy. Before the navy had the chance to use the ship for fighting, it was gifted to the King of France. Since the end of the American Revolution, three other ships bore the U.S.S. America name. The first of those three was a racing schooner deployed for service in the early 1850s and captured for use by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The second iteration of the U.S.S. America was an ID-3006 used to transport American troops in World War I. The third U.S.S. America in commission prior to the LHA 6 was the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier CV 66, which was in service from 1965 to 1996. The CV 66 was deployed three times for service in Vietnam and was also used to launch air strikes against Iraq during the Gulf War.
As of 2015, the current U.S.S. America is a creation of Northrop Grumman. The ship has two hanger bays, which each have cranes fitted inside for aircraft maintenance, and increased fuel capacity. The ship's design supports the newest line of Naval aircraft, including the AV-8B Harrier and the F-35B Lightning II strike fighter.