Austria will scrap or sell more than 500 armoured vehicles and halve its fleet to save $16m a year, Defence Minister Norbert Darabos has said.

“Autonomous defence of territory is no longer necessary because of changes in the security environment,” he said.

“We will still have robust equipment available to protect our soldiers on foreign missions and will have to maintain our armoured capabilities in case the security situation changes in the long term,” he added.

The current security situation in Austria and the duties of the military allows the tank force to be reduced by more than half.

Up to 1,000 anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and other related defence systems are also slated to be scraped as per the cost-cutting plan.

Hungary has expressed an interest in purchasing tanks, according to Agence France Presse.