WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Jan. 11, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Lufthansa will be one of the first commercial air carriers worldwide to benefit from the latest air data inertial reference units from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC).

Inertial reference units provide aircrews with essential aircraft operational data such as aircraft position, velocities, attitude, altitude, air speed and many other parameters.

Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division has been selected by Lufthansa to provide its new LTN-101E inertial reference units for 10 Airbus A380 aircraft. Lufthansa will operate the first four aircraft in the summer flight plan period 2008.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Northrop Grumman's advanced navigation system technology was integral to the selection of the LTN-101E by Lufthansa, providing the aircraft high dispatch reliability and lower cost of ownership demanded by today's carriers," said Bob Bushnell, director of Business Development at Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division. "Its interchangeability and intermixability with earlier LTN-101s make it an ideal choice to support the entire Lufthansa fleet."

The Northrop Grumman LTN-101E inertial reference unit replaces ring-laser gyro technology with fiber-optic gyros and micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) silicon accelerometers that are more reliable and easier to maintain. It is interchangeable and intermixable with the earlier LTN-101 system utilized on Airbus aircraft, including the, A320, A330, A340 and A380.

Fiber-optic gyros and MEMS accelerometer enhancements provide the LTN-101E with a three-fold increase in system reliability, a significant savings in weight and power and a reduction in the overall cost of ownership over ring-laser gyro units used in most other inertial reference units. Enhancements over its predecessor, the LTN-101, include a more than 50 percent reduction in electronic modules, faster processors, and a new interface bus that speeds transfer of data within the aircraft.

Utilizing Northrop Grumman's patented AIME(tm) algorithm, the system integrates inertial and GPS measurements to provide highly accurate aircraft position with the highest integrity available.

Headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif., Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division -- part of the company's Electronic Systems sector -- supplies situational-awareness products for international and domestic defense and commercial markets and offers integrated avionics, navigation and positioning systems and sensors for space and high-value platform products, navigation-grade and tactical-grade inertial systems, fiber-optic gyro systems designed to customer requirements, underwater fiber-optic sensors, identification friend-or-foe transponders and interrogators, cockpit displays and computers, and logistic support products and services.