SAN DIEGO, Jan. 12, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Army have successfully conducted a series of flights of the RQ-5A Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a new payload that will allow warfighters to more quickly adapt to battlefield changes.

The 10-day demonstration, sponsored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command, illustrated the ability to use the new Adaptive Joint Intelligence payload on Hunter UAVs to share multiple types of communications simultaneously; a capability that is not yet available to warfighters in the field.

"This demonstration further illustrates the multi-purpose role of the Hunter," said Nick Yorio, Northrop Grumman's director of tactical programs. "The warfighter will be able to quickly retask or reprogram this software-driven payload as a communications relay, a signals intelligence-gathering device or an electronic-warfare tool."

The demonstration followed six weeks of test flights using the reconfigurable payload and two weeks of combined payload operations with an emulated airborne command post.

Northrop Grumman's RQ-5A Hunter UAVs have flown more than 19,374 hours on combat missions with the U.S. Army in the Balkans and Iraq.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.