After 30 years of research, development, and qualification work of radio‐frequency ion thrusters (RIT), the RIT 10 engine has now been tested successfully in space onboard the European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA). RIT 10 produces a thrust of 10 mN and is designed for north–south stationkeeping of geosynchronous satellites. Besides, the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC) plans to implement ion propulsion in their technological satellite ARTEMIS, where ion thrusters shall be used operationally for north–south stationkeeping. In parallel, development and tests of a scaled‐up 50 mN engine RIT 15 have been continued successfully with xenon and krypton as propellants. A large ion engine with a 35 cm ionizer diameter, the RIT 35, has been developed for primary propulsion of interplanetary probes aiming at a thrust level in the 250 mN range. A laboratory prototype has been subjected to extensive testing and performance mapping. Recently, this work has been continued in European cooperation due to a redirection of contracts. The ion source diameter has been reduced to 26 cm but the performance should be kept using a British high perveance grid at the German rf‐ion source.