The Canadian Forces will receive 16 new planes to be used in transporting army personnel and equipment announced Defence Minister Bill Graham yesterday. Flanked by Public Works Minister Scott Brison and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier, Mr. Graham denied that the announcement was made to score favour with the public because of an impending election expected in the New Year. Saying that "this election was rushed at us," Mr. Graham said the plan to purchase the aircraft has been in the works for six months. The contract for the 16 new tactical airlift aircraft is valued at between $4-5 billion, including a 20-year in-service support contract. They will replace 13 older CC-130 Hercules.