President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that France will cut its nuclear arsenal to fewer than 300 warheads.

France will reduce by one-third its airborne force of nuclear weapons, according to Sarkozy, leaving the nation with fewer than 300 warheads. Many of those are aboard submarines.

Sarkozy said he is firmly committed to France's nuclear deterrent. He called it the nation's life insurance policy. But military spending needs to be re-examined, he added.

The French president was speaking Friday at the inauguration of a new nuclear submarine called "The Terrible."

It was his first major speech on France's nuclear program since he took power last May.