The Department of Defense awarded a contract to orthopedics products manufacturer Zimmer Holdings (NYSE:ZMH) on Monday.

Illustrating the high but hidden costs of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, out of a total of 18 contracts awarded Monday, the one hiring Zimmer to supply replacement body parts ranked No. 2 in total cost: $69.2 million.

Zimmer will supply orthopedic hip, knee, spine, and extremity "procedural packages," along with instrumentation sets and auxiliary products needed for implanting the devices in patients.

The instant contract is the second of four potential one-year "options" exercisable after the expiration of an initial one-year supply contract for the devices. That original contract, awarded in March 2011, was for $13.5 million. The first-year option, awarded last year, added $71.2 million in payments for Zimmer. Today's award brings the total to just under $154 million -- and there are still two option years to go.

Delivery on the instant contract is to be completed by March 24, 2014.

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