REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Nov. 19, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Another Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) business has achieved the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices for management and engineering.

The Systems Development Operations business unit within the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector's Command, Control and Intelligence Division (C2ID) attained a Level 5 maturity rating against the newest Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI(r))* standard. Less than a dozen companies worldwide have attained CMMI(r) Level 5.

Four units within Northrop Grumman Mission Systems have achieved CMMI(r) Level 5 this year.

The rating was achieved in a comprehensive appraisal conducted in October at the company's Redondo Beach facility, which included sites in Redondo Beach, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Omaha, Neb. The assessment looked at critical programs for Mission Systems' customers at U.S. Strategic Command; Air Force organizations including the Air Force Weather Agency; Missile Defense Agency; and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency library.

The appraisal was conducted by Comskil, Inc. in accordance with the industry standard CMMI(r) appraisal method.

"Our Systems Development Operations unit demonstrates strong process maturity," said Galina Knopman of Comskil, Inc. "All levels of the organization are involved and support the process initiative. The Systems Development Operations culture is continuously improving, which has resulted in increased program performance and customer satisfaction."

"To remain competitive and deliver maximum value to our customers, we must operate at the highest levels of process maturity," said Tony Deley, director, Systems Development Operations. "Demonstrating Level 5 performance is a credit to the entire team. By achieving Level 5, Systems Development Operations has demonstrated an ability to quantitatively manage our programs to produce predictable, high-quality results and to continuously improve."

Achieving this rating against the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI(r) maturity model demonstrates Northrop Grumman Mission Systems' early and broad commitment to CMMI(r), and positions the company as a top-tier contractor within the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

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 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.

* Capability Maturity Model, CMM, 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