General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has been awarded a contract from the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to start production of Mk46 modification (Mod) 2 gun weapon systems (GWS).

To be built as part of a $26.2m agreement, the systems will be integrated on the US Navy’s littoral combat ships (LCS) and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) vessels.

The all-weather, day / night, fully stabilised weapon system will be used for a range of anti-surface and anti-air defence applications.

"To date, 38 Mk46 systems have been delivered to the navy."

Aimed at assisting vessels against small, highly manoeuvrable surface craft, it is operated locally at the gun turret or from a distance at the remote operating console in the combat information centre of LPD 17-class vessels or mission control centre on LCS.

The Mk46 Mod 2, which uses open architecture, fault isolation software and an embedded trainer, will act as the main deck gun for LPD-17 vessels and secondary gun battery for LCS and DDG-1000 ships.

The system uses a 30mm high-velocity cannon, forward-looking infrared sensor and low-light television camera, as well as a laser range finder.

To date, 38 Mk46 systems have been delivered to the navy.

With work under the contract set for completion by November 2016, GDLS will begin production at its facilities in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, US.