MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 27, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Civilian Agencies group has achieved a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI(r)) Level 5 rating, the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices for management and engineering. The Civilian Agencies group is part of Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector.

The CMMI(r) Level 5 rating was accomplished after a comprehensive assessment of nine projects representing systems/software development and systems services programs across all Civilian Agencies organizational units: enterprise solutions, health solutions and security and infrastructure solutions.

Projects evaluated in the assessment include: the U.S. Department of Defense AHLTA; the National Institutes of Health bioinformatics integration support and bioinformatics resource centers for bio-defense and emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases contracts; the Centers for Disease Control information technology services II contract; the U.S. Department of Treasury HR Connect contract; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security homeland secure data network contract; the Internal Revenue Services service center recognition image processing system and total information processing support services contracts; and the Federal Aviation Administration technical assistance contract 2.

"Achieving CMMI(r) Level 5 reinforces to our customers and employees that we are committed to excellence as a process-based, data-driven organization, and we will continue to improve our processes and key metrics for current and future programs," said Linda Mills, president of Northrop Grumman IT's Civilian Agencies group. "The appraisal results demonstrate our commitment to delivering quality, timely and cost-effective solutions to our customers."

"Your achievement reflects the commitment and substantial support the organization has given to its enterprise process improvement initiatives," said Gene Jorgensen, SEI SCAMPI lead assessor, System and Software Consortium, Inc. "In my experience, it is unusual for an organization to address such a wide variety of business driven quality and process performance objectives that truly are in sync with the needs of their broad customer set, and then be able to demonstrate these wide ranging CMMI(r) Level 4/5 activities in a single comprehensive appraisal."

Systems and Software Consortium, Inc., an external organization independent of Northrop Grumman, conducted the appraisal in accordance with the formal Standard CMMI(r) Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI(tm)) methodology.

The CMMI(r) standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and the Software Engineering Institute, part of Carnegie Mellon University, to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software and systems engineering, product development, 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 numbers one through five with five being the highest. Higher maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.

The Civilian Agencies group's achievement marks Northrop Grumman's 38th CMMI(r) Level 5 rating. The company has earned more CMMI(r) Level 5 ratings than any other defense or commercial company to date.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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

  CONTACT:  Juli Ballesteros, APR
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 556-2736
          juli.ballesteros@ngc.com