REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Oct. 10, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) / Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) team was the first to successfully complete the last in a series of verification tests of its Next Generation Processor Router (NGPR) performed during the Risk Reduction and System Definition (RR&SD) phase of the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Space Segment.

The "spiral tests" demonstrated additional NGPR functions and performance beyond those conducted in previous demonstrations. This final test in the risk reduction phase was completed ahead of schedule and met all test criteria with 100 percent success.

The NGPR spiral test culminates a four-year, highly disciplined risk reduction plan, developed in partnership with the MILSATCOM Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL) independently conducted the verification tests to ensure proper performance, functionality and compatibility with user terminals.

TSAT will provide warfighters with extremely high data rate connectivity to thousands of mobile terminals connected in an Internet Protocol (IP) network, thus enabling the information-intensive, network-centric warfare of the future. The NGPR is the heart of the system's network and protection capabilities.

Completed in September, spiral tests verified uplink communication performance, information assurance features, interoperability with the Global Information Grid, and router ability to support the required number of terminals.

"I am very pleased to see our team's experience in developing these types of satellite communications systems being applied to TSAT with such successful results," said Alexis Livanos, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Space Technology sector. "The NGPR development is a critical part of the TSAT program. Successful completion of these tests ahead of schedule shows that our team and the NGPR design are ready to succeed in the next phase of TSAT."

The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman team submitted its proposal for the next phase of TSAT -- Development and Production -- in July. The proposal builds upon its combined experience developing advanced military and commercial communications systems, including the Milstar satellite communications network currently in operation; the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system now in production; and the successful TSAT risk reduction and system definition activities conducted under contract to the Air Force.

"The team once again conducted an efficient and effective test, which reinforced our confidence in delivering this essential TSAT capability to our customer," said Leonard F. Kwiatkowski, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Military Space programs. "The network centricity that TSAT will provide is exceedingly important to future military operations and our team stands ready to successfully execute this critical program for the Air Force."

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., serves as the prime contractor. Northrop Grumman Space Technology is responsible for the communications payload, including laser and radio-frequency communications and on-board processing. Juniper Networks, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., who is the supplier of networking equipment for the DoD Global Information Grid (GiG), is applying its Internet Protocol version 6 routing technology and extensive network expertise in the design of the team's TSAT processor/router. ViaSat, Carlsbad, Calif., is providing dynamic bandwidth and resource allocation algorithms and software, and the integrated cryptographic processor security system. Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, Gaithesburg, Md., provides the satellite ground control and gateway elements.

The U.S. Air Force is managing the program at the MILSATCOM Systems Wing, located at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          310.812.5227
          Cell: 310.251.0261
          bob.j.bishop@ngc.com