The Canadian Government has signed a C$723m contract with Lockheed, which will provide maintenance to the Canadian Forces (CF) fleet of C-130J Hercules aircraft.

The contract also aims to create high-value work for the Canadian industry through industrial regional benefits (IRBs).

The government signed a contract amendment with Lockheed for an initial period ending 30 June 2016.

The C-130J tactical airlift fleet will be used by the CF to deploy personnel both at home and abroad, as well as to support Canadians in distress at home.

The C-130J aircraft, scheduled to be introduced into the CF in June 2010, will be based at CFB Trenton.

Under the contract agreement, Lockheed will provide IRBs, equal to 100% of the contract value.

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Valued at nearly C$1.4bn, the original contract for 17 C-130J Hercules aircraft was awarded to Lockheed in December 2007.

The Canadian Forces consist of three main branches, including Maritime Command (MARCOM), Land Force Command (LFC) and Air Command (AIRCOM).