SAN DIEGO, March 26, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has achieved its 37th Software Engineering Institute 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 most recent CMMI(r) Level 5 rating was achieved by the company's Network Communications Division, recently formed from parts of long established Northrop Grumman businesses. The rating was awarded after a comprehensive assessment of three programs that had been resident in those businesses.

"The top-level CMMI(r) rating validates our commitment for process improvement and excellence," said Jerry Agee, president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. "Continuous improvement is part of our culture and key to delivering high-performance, low-risk solutions to our customers while driving down cost and schedule."

Northrop Grumman has earned more CMMI(r) Level 5 ratings than any other defense or commercial company to date. This rating assures Northrop Grumman customers of improved quality, greater productivity and predictable program performance.

Multi-Dimensional Maturity, an external consulting organization independent of Northrop Grumman, conducted the appraisal in accordance with the formal Standard CMMI(r) Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI(tm)) methodology.

"Inasmuch as Northrop Grumman formed the Network Communications Division just a few weeks ago, this is an outstanding achievement," said Dr. Richard Waina, external lead appraiser from Multi-Dimensional Maturity. "The timing of this appraisal has reinforced the level of importance Northrop Grumman management places on maintaining process maturity and project performance through the transition of project and support organizations into the new division."

The Software Engineering Institute 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 institute'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 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 Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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

  CONTACT:  Sudi Bruni
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (858) 592-3407