BERLIN, May 17, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) welcome the memoranda of understanding (MoU) establishing the base conditions for U.S./German government cooperation concerning interoperability of the Global Hawk and Euro Hawk(r) systems. The German Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense signed the MoU on May 16 in Berlin. The government-to-government MoU is a critical step towards the Euro Hawk(r) risk-reduction contract, which is expected in autumn of this year.
The Euro Hawk(r) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), derived from the Northrop Grumman-produced U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV, will be equipped with a new signal intelligence mission system developed by EADS. With a larger wing span than an Airbus A320 and with a target total airborne endurance of 30 hours, the Euro Hawk(r) is the platform that best meets the German Air Force's requirement for a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) signal intelligence (SIGINT) system.
Stefan Zoller, member of the Executive Committee of EADS and CEO of EADS Defence & Security Systems commented, "This step is the result of six years of close transatlantic cooperation. It's an example of a successful transatlantic partnership which will provide the German Luftwaffe not only with an integrated solution to meet their reconnaissance needs but also give them the means to control their own intelligence."
"The Global Hawk ELINT demonstration conducted in 2003 at Nordholz was a critical collaborative effort that established a great deal of confidence in the Euro Hawk(r) concept," said Scott J. Seymour, president of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "As the basis for the Euro Hawk(r) air vehicle, Global Hawk's outstanding performance on operational missions, as well as its solid reputation combining unprecedented reliability and capability, ideally position this new program as the best solution for the Ministry of Defence's surveillance and reconnaissance requirements."
The EADS-built SIGINT mission system is the heart of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system, providing stand-off capability to detect radar emitters (ELINT) and communications emitters (COMINT). EADS will also provide the ground stations that will receive and analyze the data from Euro Hawk(r) as part of an integrated system solution for the German customer.
The demonstrator system delivery is scheduled for 2010, with contract approval for series production and initial operational capability expected also in 2009. This schedule would ensure a 2010 replacement timeframe for the ageing fleet of SIGINT-equipped Breguet Atlantique aircraft currently in service.
Northrop Grumman and EADS have established a 50-50 joint venture company tailored to the program's requirements. This new company, named EuroHawk GmbH, is based in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and acts as the national prime contractor for the German Ministry of Defence through the entire lifecycle of the Euro Hawk(r) system.
Northrop Grumman and EADS initiated their transatlantic cooperation in August 2000 by signing an agreement to develop requirements for a HALE UAV ISR system that would meet the German Ministry of Defence's need for airborne wide-area surveillance and reconnaissance.
This cooperation was followed by a bilateral project agreement between the U.S. Air Force and the German Ministry of Defence signed in October 2001. The first phase of the project included the operation of the HALE UAV concept, the mission system integration, and the October 2003 flight demonstration program at the German Naval Base in Nordholz, led by the U.S. and German governments and supported by Northrop Grumman and EADS.
The six successful flights conducted in October 2003 in Nordholz demonstrated the technical feasibility of using an unmanned platform carrying an ELINT-type sensor to conduct wide-area surveillance missions. The Global Hawk ELINT demonstration was also the first successful operation of a UAV in controlled European airspace, paving the way for further developments of unmanned flight in Europe.
With revenues of about EUR 5.6 billion in 2005 and roughly 23,000 employees across nine nations, EADS Defence & Security Systems Division forms the defence and security pillar within EADS. As a Large Systems Integrator, it offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and global security. It is active in the areas of manned and unmanned integrated combat and mission air systems, including related training services, and in missile systems, battlefield management systems for all branches, global security solutions, secure networks, defence electronics, sensors and avionics, as well as related services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of EUR 34.2 billion and employed a workforce of about 113,000.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 125,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: EADS Stephanie Chalmers +49 89 607 21918 firstname.lastname@example.org Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems ILA: James Stratford +1 (321) 960-8497 jim.stratford.@ngc.com U.S.: Jim Hart +1 (310) 331-3616 email@example.com