LINTHICUM, Md., May 22, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has further strengthened its long-standing relationship with the University of Central Florida by forming a strategic research partnership aimed at facilitating the co-development of advanced optic and photonic technologies.

Under the five-year Master Sponsored Research and License Agreement, Northrop Grumman will provide financial support and engineering expertise to the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) and the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence (FPCE), two research centers within the College of Optics & Photonics. In exchange, Northrop Grumman will receive preferential rights to any resulting technology developed through the partnership.

"The College of Optics & Photonics is recognized as one of the top three independent optics academic departments in the nation," says Jim Armitage, chief technology officer and vice president and deputy of Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division for Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "Through this partnership, Northrop Grumman will continue its tradition of developing breakthrough technologies that provide discriminating capabilities for our military and government customers."

"Northrop Grumman's leadership in optic and photonic technologies will be a tremendous asset to our students," says Dr. M.J. Soileau, vice president for Research and Commercialization at the University of Central Florida. "We're looking forward to leveraging their expertise in this field in order to develop new technologies that have military, intelligence, homeland defense and civil applications."

The company has long-established operations in Central Florida, where it conducts work in airborne ground-surveillance and battle management systems and also manufactures military laser systems such as ground-based laser rangefinders for target location. Northrop Grumman has enjoyed a strong relationship with the university both in funding research and by hiring its graduates.

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:  Alleace Gibbs
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 765-1294