REDONDO BEACH, Calif., March 5, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has again achieved the highest possible rating for commercial and defense industry best practices for software.

The company's Space Technology sector attained a CMMI(r) Level 5 maturity rating for software against the latest Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) standard. To date, with 11 CMMI Level 5 ratings, Northrop Grumman has earned more than any other company in the defense and information technology industries. Fewer than 20 companies worldwide have achieved CMMI(r) Level 5.

The rating was achieved after a comprehensive assessment conducted at the sector's Redondo Beach, Calif., headquarters by ProcessVelocity, LLP, an independent organization. The assessment evaluated an array of critical programs that are representative of the sector's business.

"Northrop Grumman has demonstrated excellence in software development and management as well as ongoing commitment to continuous process improvement," said Gary F. Norausky, assessment team leader and partner in ProcessVelocity. "The Space Technology sector has set the bar very high in terms of software process improvement results, and this CMMI(r) Level 5 milestone provides a significant competitive advantage."

"The CMMI(r) Level 5 milestone exemplifies our ongoing commitment to excellence in software-intensive systems as well as a process-centric culture focused on sustainable continuous improvement," said Wes Bush, president, Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "This milestone highlights Northrop Grumman's strong foundation in mission assurance and distinguishes our capabilities in mission-critical embedded software for world-class spacecraft, communication and directed energy systems."

Application of these enhanced software processes will benefit key Northrop Grumman programs such as the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, James Webb Space Telescope, Space Tracking and Surveillance System, Space Interferometry Mission, Transformational Communications MILSATCOM and the Advanced Extremely High Frequency payload.

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. The SEI's core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities.

The CMMI(r) standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and the SEI to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software and systems engineering, program management and organizational management capabilities. There are five levels of CMMI(r) maturity, each a layer in the foundation for ongoing process improvement, designated by the maturity level ratings one through five with five being the highest. Higher maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.

Northrop Grumman Space Technology, based in Redondo Beach, Calif., develops a broad range of systems at the leading edge of space, defense and electronics technology. The sector creates products for U.S. military and civilian customers that contribute significantly to the nation's security and leadership in science and technology.

(r) Capability Maturity Model and CMMI are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

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  CONTACT:  Sally Koris
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology 
          (310) 812-4721