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EUMETSAT Council underpins international cooperation with China and takes steps to prepare future launches

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June 29 2013. EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, held its 78th Council meeting in Darmstadt, Germany, on 25 and 26 June.

The Council approved the Cooperation Agreement with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) which was then signed by Alain Ratier, Director-General of EUMETSAT, and Jun Yang, Director-General of the National Meteorological Satellite Centre, during the session. The agreement provides a more strategic dimension to the existing cooperation, extending it to the coordination of polar-orbiting and geostationary systems of both parties.

Council also agreed tandem operations of Metop-A and Metop–B. This will optimise observations from both satellites in order to further improve forecasting as long as Metop-A continues to be available.

Council approved the contracts concerning the industrial activities related to the preparation for the launches of MSG-4 and Metop-C, planned in 2015 and 2018, respectively, as well as the first contracts for the development of the ground segment facilities for the future Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) system.