The Netherlands Defence Organisation has decommissioned the Leopard 2A6 main battle tank (MBT) on range 6 at the Bergen-Hohne firing range.

11 Tank Battalion commander Captain Chiel Nieuwenhuis said the removal of the MBTs from service marked an end to 90 years of Dutch tank history.

“Without the tank, manoeuvres such as a breach or a turning movement are no longer possible,” he added.

The Netherlands had operated almost 1,000 battle tanks after the First World War, which formed the backbone of the Dutch armed forces.

The decommissioning is part of the Dutch Government’s effort to reduce spending by €18bn, of which, €635m is required to be saved by the Ministry of Defence.