WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — South Korea has signed a $769 million dollar deal to upgrade its Patriot air and missile defense system, Raytheon announced in a statement.
"The upgrade enhances the Republic of Korea's defenses and underscores the value of the 13-nation strong Patriot partnership which funded development of the modernization," Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems President Dan Crowley said on Monday.
"The Republic of Korea's procurement is also an economic growth engine which will bring good jobs to Korea and preserve jobs in the US which would have gone overseas if a foreign system was selected," Crowley added.
Raytheon’s Patriot is an advanced air and missile defense system used against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and drones.
At present, 13 countries use the Patriot system.
Earlier in March 2015, North Korea launched two short-range missiles toward the Sea of Japan. The move came amid the annual US-South Korea military exercises. North Korea stated that it viewed the drills as a probable threat, although the United States claimed the drills were of a defensive nature.
The United States has about 28,500 soldiers stationed in South Korea, and has been militarily present in the country for nearly 60 years.
The border separating South Korea and North Korea is one of the most heavily militarized zones in the world.