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The payload on board the FengYun 3 (FY-3) satellite series has been providing critical observations to the Earth, and the observation data have been processed and distributed to various users by the corresponding ground application system. In this paper, the FY-3 payload and its future development plan are presented, and its ground system is introduced. The major characteristics of the FY-3 instruments and the requirement on the instruments for major applications are discussed as well. There are nine new instruments, including the Microwave Temperature Sounder (MWTS), Microwave Humidity Sounder (MWHS), Infrared Atmospheric Sounder (IRAS), Medium-Resolution Spectral Imager (MERSI), Microwave Radiation Imager (MWRI), Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Sounder, Total Ozone Unit, Solar Irradiation Monitor, and Earth Radiation Measurement. The data quality from the IRAS, MWTS, MWHS, and MWRI has proved to be good, and according to our evaluation at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the data have a very high availability. The MERSI has 20 visible (VIS) and infrared (IR) channels, of which three are VIS channels with a 250-m spatial resolution, one is a near-IR channel with a 250-m spatial resolution, and one is a long-wave IR channel with a 250-m spatial resolution. The global data at a 250-m spatial resolution are very useful in weather, disaster, and environmental monitoring. Compared with the ground observations, the ozone products derived from the FY-3 series are highly accurate. We have completed the calibration and validation of these sensors and most products.