ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 30, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) program, with significant support from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), achieved a significant milestone in late March 2008, operating for the first time from one of the U.S. Navy's newest transformational platforms, the Ohio-class cruise missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727).

The ASDS vehicle was hosted on the USS Michigan during the SSGN's recent Follow-on Test and Evaluation period (FOT&E), which included as its final phase the operational evaluation of SSGN with ASDS. During the test, the ASDS vehicle was launched and recovered by the USS Michigan across the full range of operational conditions. All test activities associated with the combined operations of ASDS and the SSGN class submarine were successfully completed.

The ability to host an ASDS on the SSGN was enabled by Northrop Grumman's design, manufacture, and delivery of a set of "universal pylons" that are designed for Los Angeles class, Ohio SSGN class and ultimately the Virginia class submarines. Previously, hosting the ASDS was limited to two Los Angeles-class submarines - USS Greeneville (SSN 772) and USS Charlotte (SSN 766) - using transport and latching pylons that were designed specifically for that class of submarine. The flexibility of the universal pylons was demonstrated during the operational test and evaluation.

The ASDS' ability to provide clandestine undersea mobility will significantly expand the range of options available in the war on terrorism.

"The ASDS success during the test with USS Michigan is just another 'first' in a long stream of 'firsts' that ASDS has been involved in. This first-of-its-kind system provides an operational capability to our SEAL forces in any environment," said Dennis Gallimore, Northrop Grumman's ASDS Program Director. "ASDS is a transformational system that provides our naval forces, and our highly trained and valued SEAL personnel, with the most technologically advanced equipment in order to survive and succeed in critical special combat missions."

The ASDS is a combat submersible developed by Northrop Grumman for the Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The ASDS Program is a joint program between Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Newport News, bringing together world class submarine, manned submersible, and undersea systems capabilities to ensure the reliability and mission readiness of the ASDS.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a 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.

  CONTACT:  Tom Delaney
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 993-6454