Arianespace and Eumetsat sign contract for launch of MTG series

by Clayton Vallabhan | July 21st, 2015

Alain_Ratier-Eumetsat-879x485Arianespace and EUMETSAT have announced the signing of a contract entrusting Arianespace with the first launch services for the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) series of geostationary satellites. The contract comprises two firm launches, for MTG-I1 and MTG-S1, and one option for MTG-I2. 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) program will expand into the 2020-2040 timeframe and massively improve the services currently delivered by the Meteosat 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 operated 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 honor 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 programs as MTG is a true source of pride. Many thanks to EUMETSAT for enabling Arianespace to be part of this endeavor, so beneficial to sustainable development on Earth.”

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