U.S. Raytheon Company has announced it has received defense orders worth $1.1 billion to supply Taiwan with advanced Patriot air defense systems.
Raytheon said on Wednesday it will deliver "Patriot fire units that will include new advances in technology, improved man-machine interface and reduced life-cycle costs" and spare parts under two contracts approved by the U.S. government.
"The Patriot system is a vital element to providing superior integrated air and missile defense capabilities for the protection of Taiwan," said Daniel L. Smith, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS).
China said earlier in December that it was against all arms sales to Taiwan, which it considers to be part of its territory.
Arms sales are seen as a threat to China's claim on Taiwan, which split from the mainland in 1949 and has de facto relations with many countries, including the United States.
Beijing has always maintained it reserves the right to take control of the self-ruled island by force if it formally declares independence.
According to anonymous Taiwanese military sources, China has at least 1,500 medium-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles targeted at the island.
Patriot (MIM-104) is a theater air-defense system designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.
Patriot systems were successfully deployed by U.S. forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
WASHINGTON, December 24 (RIA Novosti)