• Satellite Evolution Group

EUMETSAT confirms the choice of Arianespace's European launchers for its future missions

EUMETSAT announced the signing on December 2 of the “joint statement on the institutional exploitation of Ariane 6 and Vega C” in favor of a European preference for launchers on institutional missions in Europe, initiated by ESA in Madrid in October 2018.

Therefore, EUMETSAT joins the European institutions which express support for this agreement, namely: ESA, ASI (the Italian Space Agency), the French CNES national space agency, the CDTI (Spain), the DLR German space agency, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, and the State Secretariat of the Swiss Confederation in charge of space issues.

From now on, the current and future satellites in the EUMETSAT fleet will be launched as a priority by Ariane 6 or Vega C – the two future European launcher versions – and their launch manifest scheduling will be reworked accordingly.

EUMETSAT also has chosen Arianespace for the launch of its MTG-I2 imaging satellite, a member of the third generation Meteosat family (MTG), by confirming an option that was placed in July 2015 initially on Ariane 5, and will now utilize an Ariane 6.

Following this signature, EUMETSAT Director General Alain Ratier said: “EUMETSAT, which is a longstanding customer of Ariane launch services, is pleased to sign the joint statement and to confirm its confidence in the next generation of European launchers.”

Stéphane Israël, the Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, added: “I would like to congratulate EUMETSAT for joining the club of European institutions having committed to a European launch preference for their satellites. I am delighted with this decision, which confirms the launch of MTG-S1 by Ariane 6, and which paves the way for both the first Metop-SG satellites and the MTG-I2 satellite to be orbited by this future European heavy-lift launcher, along with other perspectives for the future family of European launchers at the benefit of the European meteorological operator – a key customer for Arianespace.”

Arianespace and EUMETSAT will now consolidate the launch scheduling for the five state-of-the-art meteorological satellites in the launch orderbook (MTG-I1, MTG-S1, MTG-I2, METOP-SG A1 and METOP-SG B1), and an additional launch, still on option, depending on the availability dates of the satellites and the Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers at the Guiana Space Center.

During the coming years, the MTG and Metop-SG families will have six more satellites to launch. Since June 1981, Arianespace has launched 13 satellites for EUMETSAT.

Arianespace's mission to provide European institutions with secure and autonomous access to space has been reaffirmed once again, enabling the European launch services operator to continue its contribution to the sustainable development of our planet – one of the 21st century’s most important challenges.