ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Dec. 11, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a $104.6 million contract to outfit 17 NATO AWACS aircraft with the company's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems.

Under the terms of the contract with the U.S. Air Force's Electronic Systems Center on behalf of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Program Management Organization, Northrop Grumman will commence LAIRCM system deliveries in 2007, with final deliveries expected in 2009.

Integration of the LAIRCM system on the NE-3A aircraft will provide NATO with the latest generation of infrared countermeasures technology, providing warfighters and high-value AWACS aircraft protection against man portable missile threats in operational theaters.

"This contract further demonstrates Northrop Grumman's commitment to the protection of the warfighter," said Jeffrey Palombo, vice president of Infrared Countermeasures programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "Integrating LAIRCM on NE-3A will give NATO proven infrared countermeasures technology while providing a foundation for using LAIRCM on the remaining domestic and international AWACS fleet."

Northrop Grumman's LAIRCM system is a laser-based countermeasures system that operates automatically by detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity infrared countermeasure system to track and defeat the threat. The only such system currently in production, Northrop Grumman's Nemesis AN/AAQ-24(V) is being installed on several hundred military aircraft including more than 27 different fixed- and rotary-wing platforms for the U.S. military and several allied countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Denmark.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 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:  Ellen Hamilton
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          +1 (224) 625-4693