EUMETSAT and Arianespace sign contract for the launch of the first Metop-SG satellites


Today, EUMETSAT and Arianespace announced the signature of a contract entrusting Arianespace with the launch of the first two Metop-SG satellites of the EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation plus an option for the launch of a third satellite.

Last Updated

22 October 2020

Published on

11 September 2017

The EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation (EPS-SG) will replace the first generation EUMETSAT Polar System in the 2021-2023 timeframe and deliver more and even better observations than the current Metop satellites. With three successive pairs of Metop-SG A and Metop-SG B satellites carrying two different sets of innovative instruments and flying on the same mid-morning polar orbit, EPS-SG will be exploited for at least 21 years by EUMETSAT.

Under the signed contract, Arianespace will launch the 4-ton class Metop-SG A1 and Metop-SG B1 satellites from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, using the same Soyuz launch vehicle as for Metop-C, the third and last Metop first generation satellite manifested for launch in autumn 2018. The contract includes an option for a Soyuz launch service for a third Metop-SG satellite, for which EUMETSAT is also offered the possibility to use Ariane-62.

The EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier, said: “The signature of this contract is a key milestone towards the initial deployment of our EPS-SG system. We know we can count on the reliability of Soyuz and on Arianespace’s services and unique experience in handling complex Earth observation satellites like Metop”. 

Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël added: "We are proud and honored of the confidence placed by EUMETSAT in Arianespace’s launch solutions. Entrusting Arianespace with the initial launches of EUMETSAT’s second-generation, advanced meteorological satellites in its EPS-SG series reflects the exceptional nature of our partnership. Not only does it enable Arianespace to continue providing secured and autonomous access to space for European institutions, it also enables us – through this project – to contribute to the sustainable development of our planet, which is one of the greatest challenges of our time.”