FRENCH president Emmanuel Macron’s government is ramping up military spending, arming drones and hiring more “cyberfighters” for Europe’s biggest army.

The move comes amid demands from Nato and US president Donald Trump for European countries to pitch in more for their own defence.

The French defence minister presented a bill foreseeing €295 billion (£257bn) in overall defence spending from 2019 to 2025. That includes €1.7bn (£1.48bn) in additional spending each year until 2022, particularly to improve equipment and intelligence.

“The world is more uncertain, and the threats are more and more diffuse,” defence minister Florence Parly told reporters, noting growing demands for domestic military deployment after a string of deadly extremist attacks.

She insisted that France needs more defence spending to maintain its global influence and “intervene where its interests are threatened, and where it’s needed for international stability”.

France has thousands of troops overseas, from the Middle East to Africa, and will be the EU’s only nuclear-armed nation when Britain leaves the bloc next year. The military upgrade is part of Macron’s efforts to beef up collective European defence capacity and strengthen the EU as Brexit looms.

At a Nato summit in May, Trump reiterated US pressure on allies to increase military spending.