07/27/2015 14:56 EDT | Updated 07/27/2016 01:12 EDT

Ottawa awards military contracts to Montreal-area company

SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Que. — The federal government has awarded contracts to a Montreal-area company as part of its investment in military technology.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney says the contracts obtained by Rheinmetall Canada Inc. are potentially worth more than $493 million.

They involve equipment for the Integrated Soldier System project, including weapon accessories and electronics such as a radio, a smartphone-like computer to run battle management software, a global positioning system and a communications headset.

Rheinmetall Canada Inc. will get an initial $8.5 million to test the system. The government may then exercise options to buy up to 4,144 of the units with the total value as much as $250 million.

Another contract would see the company give the Canadian Forces 10 radar systems that can be transported into an operation by truck and allow soldiers to detect the origin of indirect weapons fire, such as mortars, artillery or rockets.

That contract is accompanied by another for related in-service support, with the potential value of both set at $243.3 million.

o create and maintain 30 positions in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

"The fact we are going to be using that Israeli-proven technology makes me very confident. This is not a theoretical system. This is one that has been really tested and proven to be the most effective in the world against real threats in the recent past."

The Canadian Press