Saudi Arabia has signed a $1.7 billion direct commercial sales contract with Raytheon Company to upgrade the Kingdom’s Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to the latest Configuration-3. The award includes ground-system hardware, a full training package and support equipment upgrades. The announcement came last night at the Paris Air Show where military and commercial deals are done for both military and civilian aircraft and technology, the Saudi daily (Arab News) reported. \"Raytheon is honored to provide the most technologically advanced air and missile defense system in the world to Saudi Arabia,\" said Tom Kennedy, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). \"We are pleased that, with this contract, they have shown further confidence in Raytheon and the superior air and missile defense capabilities of the Patriot system.\" Raytheon first supplied the combat-proven Patriot system to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s to protect the nation’s critical assets. Subject to customary US regulatory approvals, work under this contract will be performed by Raytheon at the Integrated Air Defense Center in Andover, Massachusetts, and in Saudi Arabia. The newly redesigned Patriot protects against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and UAVs. The bi-annual Paris Air Show opened on Monday at Le Bourget with two industry giants Boeing and Airbus announcing a combined $20 billion of orders. Airbus, owned by European high-tech giant EADS, with its Asian orders for its new fuel-efficient A320neo accounted for 142 firm orders worth $15.1 billion.