RESTON, Va., Jan. 7, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has achieved three more CMMI(r) Level 5 ratings, the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices for management and engineering. Northrop Grumman now has 16 Level 5 ratings, more than any defense or commercial company to date.

Three businesses within Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector recently attained organization-wide Level 5 maturity ratings against the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI(r)) standard. The Information and Technical Services Division (Fairfax, Va.), Rocket Systems Launch Program (Albuquerque, N.M.), and Missile Defense Wargame Analysis Resource program (Colorado Springs, Colo.) achieved CMMI(r) Level 5 ratings, a total of 11 for the Mission Systems sector.

The Missile Defense Wargame Analysis Resource program is part of the Integration Center Research and Development Contract (ICRDC) business at the Joint National Integration Center. The ICRDC received a CMMI Level 3 rating.

With 16 CMMI(r) Level 5 ratings overall, Northrop Grumman ranks within the top 10 percent of the industry, assuring Northrop Grumman customers that the company is providing improved quality, greater productivity, and predictable program performance.

The ratings were achieved after three separate, comprehensive assessments conducted at the company's Fairfax, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs facilities. Comskil, Inc., an external organization independent of Northrop Grumman, conducted the appraisals in accordance with the formal Standard CMMI(r) Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI(tm)) methodology.

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 organizations make measured improvements in their software and systems engineering capabilities.

The CMMI(r) standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and the Software Engineering Institute 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 numbers one through five with five being the highest. Higher maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; technical services; and training.

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

  CONTACT:  Janis Lamar
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems 
          (703) 345-7046