EUMETSAT and Arianespace announce signature of launch contract for three MTG satellites

Immediately after the successful launch of MSG-4, EUMETSAT and Arianespace announced the signature of a contract entrusting Arianespace with the first launch services for the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) series of geostationary satellites. It consists of two firm launches for MTG-I1 and MTG-S1, and one option for MTG-I2.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Thumbnail - Press Release - MTG contract signature

Using Ariane 5 ECA launchers from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the launches are scheduled in the 2019-2023 timeframe.

The Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) programme will expand into the 2020-2040 timeframe and massively improve the services currently delivered by theMeteosat Second Generation series in support of nowcasting and very short-range forecasting of high impact weather over Europe and Africa. MTG will be the most complex and innovative operational geostationary Earth observation system ever built, comprising two separate lines of imaging and sounding satellites exploited simultaneously.

The EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier, said: “MSG-4 was the tenth Meteosat satellite successfully launched by Ariane and it will be essential for the smooth transition to Meteosat Third Generation. Excellent launch services will be equally essential, and this contract reflects the trust of the 30 Member States of EUMETSAT in Arianespace for the delivery of the first three MTG satellites to orbit.”

Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "The trust placed by EUMETSAT in our launch solutions is a great honour for Arianespace: with this new order, additional momentum is given to the long-term partnership established between EUMETSAT and Arianespace. Beyond our duty to provide European institutions with reliable and guaranteed access to space, contributing to such innovative programmes as MTG is a true source of pride. Many thanks to EUMETSAT for enabling Arianespace to be part of this endeavour, so beneficial to sustainable development on Earth"

The MTG satellites are being developed under the successful cooperation model between EUMETSAT and the European Space Agency (ESA), which is responsible for the development of satellites fulfilling user and system requirements defined by EUMETSAT and for the procurement of recurrent satellites on its behalf. EUMETSAT develops the ground systems required to control the satellites, acquire and process their data and deliver products and services to users and to respond to their evolving needs. It also procures all launch services and operates the full system for the benefit of users. 


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the Jason ocean altimetry missions exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES.

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.

From 2016 onwards, EUMETSAT will exploit the Copernicus Sentinel-3 marine mission, in cooperation with ESA, on behalf of the EU and deliver data services to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.

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