MELBOURNE, Fla., June 18, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received the final $106.9 million increment of a $221.8 million contract for full production of the 16th E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft for delivery to the U.S. Air Force by March 2004.

This contract also incorporates several system upgrades, including an Improved Data Modem for real-time targeting connectivity with the U.S. Army's Apache weapon system.

This will be the sixth aircraft produced in the Block 20 configuration, which contains commercial off-the-shelf computing and data processing capability. This technology provides the Air Force with increased performance and reliability in addition to a major increase in future growth capacity for onboard battle management, all at a lower cost per aircraft.

"We are very pleased to be able to produce another Joint STARS aircraft for our fighting forces," said Frank Moore, vice president and Joint STARS Program manager. "Operation Enduring Freedom has again demonstrated that the Joint STARS weapon system is a critical component of our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance force structure across a broad spectrum of conflict."

Joint STARS offers battlefield commanders real-time situational information, while simultaneously transmitting target locations to aircraft and ground strike forces. Joint STARS is the only platform in the U.S. arsenal that combines accurate wide-area moving target detection with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track ground targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector is the prime contractor for the E-8C Joint STARS. Norden Systems, a unit of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector, manufactures the Joint STARS radar sensor.

Airframe refurbishment and modification take place at Integrated Systems' Airborne Ground Surveillance & Battle Management Systems facility in Lake Charles, La. The Joint STARS radar and the computer systems are installed here in Melbourne, and the production aircraft are delivered to the 93rd Air Control Wing at Robins AFB, Ga., following ground and flight testing. Northrop Grumman also provides integrated logistics support to the 93rd ACW under a Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) contract. The TSSR effort is a unique partnership between the company and the Air Force to provide the most efficient support to the E-8C Joint STARS fleet, maximizing operational availability and mission reliability.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.

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  CONTACT:  Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (321) 726-7526