BETHPAGE, N.Y., Feb. 7, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Navy has awarded a study contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), working with L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL), for the Navy's EP-X aircraft program.

EP-X is envisioned as a shore-based, manned aircraft providing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISR&T) support to carrier strike groups and theater, combatant and national commanders. The contract is valued at $1.25 million.

The Navy initiated a competition in November 2007 to study the replacement of its EP-3E signals intelligence aircraft fleet and the expansion of its mission capability. This contract, the first step in the Navy's multiyear selection process for the EP-X system, calls for development of a preferred system concept and analysis of the associated risks and requirements.

"This competition is about more than replacing an aircraft," said Patricia McMahon, vice president of Information Operations and Electronic Attack for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "It's about transforming Navy warfighters' ability to perform the ISR&T mission and share that information with joint and allied forces. EP-X will develop the capability to execute an evolving set of missions, and no one understands those missions better than Northrop Grumman and L-3."

"It's exciting that we can approach this program from the standpoint of what works best for the mission," said Mike Holmes, vice president of Federal Programs for L-3's Integrated Systems. "This is an important program as the Navy recapitalizes its fleet, and the systems integration experience offered by L-3 and Northrop Grumman will help transform its ISR&T capability."

The companies will perform the work under this contract in Bethpage, N.Y., and Waco, Texas. The results of the study will be delivered in five months.

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs over 64,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in aircraft modernization and maintenance, C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems and government services. L-3 isalso a leading provider of high technology products, subsystems and systems. The company reported 2007 sales of $14 billion. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company's web site at .

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion 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:  Jim Hart
          Northrop Grumman
          (310) 331-3616

          Lance Martin
          L-3 Integrated Systems
          (254) 867-7001