Finland buying Dutch tanks

Jan. 15, 2014 at 10:56 AM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Netherlands' Ministry of Defense says Finland has agreed to buy 100 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks from the country's military.

The sale, which will be finalized next week by Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund during a visit to the Netherlands, was disclosed to Parliament in a letter from Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert.

"The sale of the tanks includes training materials, spare parts, special tools, training ammunition and personnel training," the Netherlands' Ministry of Defense said. "Netherlands will not deliver the tanks in one go, but in batches.

"The final Leopards will be handed over to Finland in 2019."

The Dutch military, in the face of increasing budget constraints, disbanded two tank battalions in 2011 and mothballed their equipment. The Netherlands, which had nearly 1,000 main battle tanks during the Cold War, now has only a few bridge-laying and engineer tanks in service.

The purchase price of the tanks and other agreement details were not disclosed.

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