Austrian defence minister Norbert Darabos has said that two-thirds of the army’s armoured vehicles will be sold, scrapped or recycled by late 2013 in a bid to save up to €15m annually.

Agence France Presse has quoted the minister as saying: "We are getting rid of cost-intensive equipment that represents an expensive burden for the army and which we no longer need."

The armoured vehicles that will be scrapped and sold will include more than 400 Saurers and modern Leopard tanks respectively, while other models will be recycled for spare parts.

The latest cuts will reduce the number of armoured vehicles from 1,147 to 389 by the end of 2013, which will allow the army to save on maintenance costs.

The vehicle sale is expected to bring in €19m ($25.5m), of which €2m will be used for destroying ammunition.