LE BOURGET, France — Training specialist firm Reflet du Monde is exhibiting at the Paris Air Show its prototype mini UAV, dubbed RDM One, designed to link up with satellites to deliver long-range communications of 300 kilometers.

A satellite-linked UAV, staying aloft for three hours, will carry a price tag of some €300,000 (U.S. $334,350) per unit.

French space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales has provided support on the RDM One project, and the company is seeking a financial partner for further funding, Lilian Marolleau, a director with Reflet du Monde, said June 21.

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The company displayed its RDM One at a May 30 exhibition of drones at Bretigny, France, just outside the capital, on a press trip organized by Thales ahead of the air show.

The director also touched on the Phantom 4 UAV from Chinese manufacturer DJI, which is among drones French soldiers have been trained to fly, he told Defense News.

Reflet du Monde trained those troops to fly the lightweight Phantom drones during March and April in weeklong courses in order to meet "operational needs," he said.
 
The French Army has relied heavily on various UAVs, including the Reaper MQ-9, to support troops engaged in the Sahel sub-Saharan region. Phantom drones from SZ DJI Technology, based in Shenzhen, China, are among the most popular lightweight commercial UAVs in the U.S., often used for filming, mapping and site inspection, according to Reuters.

Reflet du Monde, based in Bordeaux, is part of the Aetos business cluster specializing in UAVs in the Aquitaine region, southwestern France. The company expects 2017 sales of €500,000, up from €300,000 in the previous year, and expects a 50 percent increase in 2018. The company was set up in 2004.