Defense contractor and munitions producer Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) was awarded a $422 million contract on Wednesday, according to a press release from the company. The contract is for the commercial sale of the company's series of Paveway II laser- and GPS-guided bombs, which have so far been sold to more than 40 international customers.

Guided precision munitions such as the Paveway II are key elements of the U.S. military's approach to modern combat, converting standard bombs and munitions into "smart" weapons capable of highly accurate strikes. As Raytheon Missile System president Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence illustrated in the release:

Paveway™ has revolutionized tactical air-to-ground warfare by providing the warfighter unparalleled accuracy and standoff capability, proving itself in every major conflict in which it has been used.

The Paveway series has been heavily used in recent conflicts. Raytheon claims that Paveway munitions made up more than half of air-to-ground precision weapons in the latest Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Shares of Raytheon rose slightly on Wednesday, aided by the news, picking up gains of nearly 0.5%.

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