A Kitchener-based company has been awarded a $32.1-million contract to make machine guns for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Colt Canada has been tasked with manufacturing 1,148 of the weapons, as well as maintenance kits, spare parts and slings.

The federal government says they will replace the military’s current machine guns, which have been in use for more than 30 years.

According to the Department of National Defence, advantages of the new guns include polymer buttstocks instead of wooden ones, and the ability to attach optical sighting systems and other devices to the weapons.

The new contract is expected to result in 13 new jobs at Colt Canada, with the guns delivered to the military between September 2018 and June 2019.