AIRE-SUR-L'ADOUR, France, July 18, 2002 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector today named Potez Aeronautique S.A., located here, a "Key Plan" supplier. Potez and other Key Plan suppliers help Integrated Systems lower the cost and raise the quality of products to its U.S. and international customers.
Integrated Systems bestows this distinction on suppliers to recognize their exceptional contributions to those efforts and to encourage more business between Northrop Grumman and Key Plan companies.
Potez assembles the E-2C Hawkeye empennage -- the tail structure including horizontal and vertical stabilizers -- of this airborne early warning and control aircraft flown by the U.S. Navy, Egypt, France, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. The French Navy currently flies two E-2C Hawkeyes and has ordered a third, which will have a Potez empennage. The Potez empennage program grew out of Integrated Systems' successful industrial compensation program in France.
"Potez has made a tremendous contribution to the international Hawkeye team. Their empennages are already on Navy Hawkeyes and the quality is excellent," said John D. Michaelsen, Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW&EW) Systems vice president for AEW Programs. "Next year a Potez empennage will be on the third French Navy Hawkeye. It will be a proud milestone for all of us."
"This is more than an endorsement of Potez' sustained, high-quality performance," said Tom Vice, sector vice president, Materiel, for Integrated Systems. "Key Plan suppliers all have highly skilled, professional workforces using proven manufacturing processes that deliver product to our strict standards, time after time. That's a win-win for our suppliers, our customers and Northrop Grumman. But Potez goes beyond that. Potez is responsible for everything required to build an empennage. Northrop Grumman isn't directly involved until we receive each empennage."
"I am very proud of our employees," said Roland Potez, president of Potez Aeronautique. "That investment was successful because we have the right people. They earned the Key Plan distinction. We are proud to be a part of the Northrop Grumman Hawkeye team."
As a Key Plan supplier, Potez has proven that its empennage production processes deliver a component that does not require on-site inspection and product acceptance by Integrated Systems. This cuts product costs for both Potez and Integrated Systems and reduces the time from order placement to empennage delivery.
Integrated Systems' goal is to reduce its total number of subcontractors to a high-quality core, nearly all of which will be Key Plan suppliers. This will increase the amount of work available from Integrated Systems to companies in that select group.
Potez received a contract from Integrated Systems in 1997 to produce 29 empennages plus spare components for the E-2C. To date, Potez has manufactured nine of these major subassemblies, which are 30 feet long, 10 feet wide and 11 feet high and have over 2,700 components. When completed, each empennage is shipped to Integrated Systems production, modification and overhaul facility in St. Augustine, Fla., where the final assembly of each E-2C Hawkeye takes place.
"Our industrial compensation program is a serious commitment to our international customers to make any E-2C sale a success for everyone involved, particularly our customers' local industries," Michaelsen said.
Northrop Grumman initiated the French E-2C industrial cooperation program in 1995, when France ordered its first two Hawkeyes. The program has established about 100 projects that benefit French aerospace, defense and high-technology companies in manufacturing, marketing assistance, technology transfer and investment. The Potez contract is the largest of these.
Potez Aeronautique is a privately owned company managed by Mr. Roland Potez. It is located at Aire-sur-l'Adour, in Aquitaine in the southwest of France. In 2001, the total sales amounted to Euros 36 M, with a permanent staff of 271 employees.
Potez Aeronautique is a major subcontractor producing commercial and military aircraft structures. As such, it is a partner of the most prestigious aircraft manufacturers like Dassault Aviation, Northrop Grumman and others, making fuselage sections and subassemblies. It is also a partner of some major equipment manufacturers such as Hispano Suiza, for which it produces the thrust reverser doors for the Airbus A320.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.
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