EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 6, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), expected to be the largest military aircraft procurement program ever, would help sustain California's leadership in aerospace technology while creating 5,400 direct and indirect jobs in the state, officials at Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) said today.

The U.S. government is expected in late October to announce the winner in the JSF competition -- either Lockheed Martin Corporation or The Boeing Company -- and award a development contract. Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a principal member of the Lockheed Martin JSF team, along with BAE SYSTEMS.

The JSF is the next-generation fighter for three U.S military services (Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps) and the British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Approximately 3,000 aircraft are expected to be produced under the program, which has an estimated value of $200 billion.

During a meeting today in El Segundo with JSF subcontractors, Northrop Grumman officials said a win by the Lockheed Martin JSF team is important for the company as well as for California. Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is responsible for about 17 percent of the work on the Lockheed Martin team.

"Northrop Grumman's rich heritage of innovation in California goes back more than 60 years, but today the opportunities to work on new military manned aircraft are few and far between," said Scott J. Seymour, Northrop Grumman sector vice president-Air Combat Systems. "As one of a handful of companies with expertise in total systems design and integration, it is important that we have a significant role on JSF to preserve the key capabilities we bring to the industrial base: advanced stealth design, airframe and mission systems design, composites design and manufacturing, and program management processes."

The California job estimate is an annual average over the next 10 years for the development phase of the program. The figure includes direct employment at Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and their subcontractors, as well as indirect jobs generated by that employment.

On the JSF program, Northrop Grumman brings decades of experience in advanced tactical fighter and long-range strike aircraft development and integration, stealth technologies and composite manufacturing capabilities, avionics systems integration, sensors, advanced commercial aircraft manufacturing processes, and aircraft carrier suitability.

Northrop Grumman is responsible for design and integration of the JSF center fuselage section, including the subsystems; development of a substantial portion of JSF mission systems software; ground and flight test support; development of flight control software for the Navy carrier variant; development support in the area of signature/low observables, and support of modeling and simulation activities.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, based in Dallas, Tex., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. It has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management aircraft, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft and air combat aircraft.

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          Jim Hart
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