Preparations to build the U.S. Navy of the future continue apace.

On Tuesday, the Department of Defense announced it has awarded General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) two Navy contracts worth a combined $43.7 million. The larger of these awards, for $25.7 million, modifies a previously awarded contract to fund the production of eight MK46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon Systems.

The first two guns are to be installed upon an LPD 17 (San Antonio) class landing platform dock warship. The remaining six MK46 guns will be part of "gun mission modules" to be ready for installation upon Littoral Combat Ships LCS 5 through LCS 7. Work on this contract should be complete by November 2014.

GD's second contract award Tuesday went to its Bath Iron Works division, which will be paid $18 million under a contract option to perform design and construction work on new DDG 1000 (Zumwalt) class guided missile destroyers. At a sticker price that has already shot up past $3.3 billion apiece, only three Zumwalt-class destroyers are currently expected to be built. This contract's due date is September 2013.

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