The Department of Defense awarded 30 separate defense contracts Friday, worth a total of $1.99 billion. One single contract consumed nearly one-third of the funds on offer -- and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) won it.

The award in question, worth $655.4 million to Raytheon, took the form of a firm-fixed-price, sole-source, foreign military sales contract to supply to the Kuwaiti military two PATRIOT fire units, plus associated spare parts. Delivery of the units is expected to take place by April 30, 2018.

Raytheon describes  the Patriot as "the world's most advanced air and missile defense system," and "the cornerstone of the air and missile defense architecture for 12 nations around the globe." The long-range, high-altitude, all-weather weapons system is capable of shooting down hostile aircraft and cruise missiles, and even ballistic missiles.

The Patriot has been in use around the globe for decades, albeit its record has been put in some question. It first gained fame when used to defend U.S. troops and allied civilians from Scud missile attacks during the 1991 Gulf War. At the time, Raytheon claimed Patriot successfully engaged 40% of the Scuds it targeted -- but the U.S. Government Accountability Office put the success rate at closer to 9%.

In any case, the system has since been upgraded and, according to Raytheon, the newest version of the Patriot is expected to remain in service through 2048 and beyond.

Patriot missile in flight. Photo: Raytheon

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Raytheon Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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