Falklands residents vote
Falklands residents overwhelming voted in favour of staying under British rule during a referendum on the issue in 2013Reuters

The UK will deploy two Chinook helicopters to the Falklands Islands in a bid to bolster the British territory's defences as fears of an attack from Argentine forces grows.

Michael Fallon also said the islands' land, sea and air counter-measures would be modernised as the government has committed £280m ($416m) worth of defence investment over the next 10 years.

The Tory defence secretary told MPs in the House of Commons the government would "always defend the right of the Falkland Islanders". The Ministry of Defence said the RAF Chinook helicopters will be stationed in the Falklands in mid-2016.

The move comes after the governmental department conducted a year-long review into the islands' defences.

"Our defences are there to ensure that we have some sufficient troops there and that the islands are properly defended. The threat of course to the islands remain," Fallon told the BBC's Today Programme.

"It's our general view that the threat has not reduced. Argentina still sadly maintains its claim to the Islands even 30 or more years after the original invasion and the war. And we have to respond to that and make sure that the Islands are properly protected."

The comments come after reports claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin was to lease 12 long-range bombers to Argentina.

Argentina argues the islands belong to the South American state and refer to the territory as the "Malvinas".

British and Argentine forces went to war over the islands in 1982 when Leopoldo Galtieri's regime invaded the territory. The conflict left 255 British fighters and 649 Argentine military personnel dead.

The war was a defining moment for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's administration after UK forces took Port Stanley and won the war.

Residents of the islands held a referendum on whether to stay under British rule in 2013. A vast majority of voters (99.8%) showed their support for the status quo, delivering a blow to Argentina.