Canada has announced plans to spend more than half a billion dollars on new military transport aircraft.

The newly announced planned spending for the current 2008-09 fiscal year includes C$557.3m for the military to allow it to acquire a new aircraft fleet to transport troops and equipment, which will replace the existing fleet of 13 aging Hercules aircraft, according to local media.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a 20-year plan to spend C$30bn on the military, including boosting the number of troops, replacing fighter jets, surface combat ships, maritime patrol vessels, transport helicopters, armoured vehicles, helicopters and search-and-rescue aircraft.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh