By Andy Sambidge
Company set to upgrade Saudi Arabia's Patriot air and missile defence system
Raytheon Company has received US Congressional and State Department approvals on a $1.7bn contract to upgrade Saudi Arabia's Patriot air and missile defence system.
The award, announced in June, includes ground-system hardware, a full training package, support equipment upgrades and an interoperability capability to support potential coalition operations.
Patriot is the world's leading air and missile defence system, protecting against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
It is the system of choice for 12 nations around the globe.
The six oil exporting Gulf states have been spending billions of dollars in recent years on the latest defence systems.
The region is forecast to spend as much as $100bn in the next few years in overhauling their military, in part to counter the perceived threat posed by Iran.
The UAE was in March named the region’s largest arms importer and the sixth largest buyer of weapons worldwide by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Raytheon Company, with 2010 sales of $25bn, is a technology and innovation leader specialising in defence, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world.
With headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, Raytheon employs 72,000 people worldwide.