The Canadian Government has approved a C$10bn plan to purchase new military hardware including new armoured vehicles and helicopters for its armed forces.

The government has authorised C$5bn to purchase close combat vehicles to accompany the Leopard 2 tanks, tactical armoured patrol vehicles and force mobility enhancement vehicles.

The deal also includes the acquisition of a new armoured tactical patrol vehicle and an upgrade of the existing LAV-3 fleet, which has seen continued use in Afghanistan.

The budget has also been set aside for the purchase of additional Chinook helicopters from Boeing.

The details of this deal are expected to be announced by the Defence Department within the next few months.

The Canadian Forces will start using the new vehicles by 2012, with a fully operational fleet intended for 2015.

The government will award the contracts for the manufacture and assembly of the vehicles as well as for engineering and support services over the next 25 years.