"We are extremely happy and proud to meet the challenge of building the most ambitious geostationary satellites ever developed in Europe," Thales Alenia Space President and CEO Reynald Seznec said in a statement.
The Meteostat Third Generation System will include four imaging satellites that will also be able to detect lightning. In addition, two sounding satellites equipped with infrared and ultraviolet options will be able to show the chemical composition of each layer of the atmosphere. This will also be useful for monitoring climate change, said Thales Alenia Space in a statement.
The European Space Agency is funding the project in cooperation with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.
Thales Alenia Space is owned by French electoronics group Thales and Italy's Finmeccanica.