MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 28, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $142 million follow-on contract for systems engineering, planning and logistics support for its Airborne Laser boost phase missile defense program.

The Airborne Laser system is a high-energy, oxygen-iodine laser and beam control system in a Boeing 747 aircraft that can detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles during boost phase using a high-power laser beam.

Under the Airborne Laser Advisory and Assistance Services contract, Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector will provide technical and administrative support, including understanding technical program challenges, analyzing and predicting performance and conducting optimal system-design plans for the Airborne Laser Program Office, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., through 2009.

"Our technical expertise will help the Missile Defense Agency successfully execute this critical program to provide an advanced missile defense capability using high-energy lasers. ABL will bring speed-of-light capability to missile defense," said Kent Schneider, president of Northrop Grumman IT's Defense Enterprise Solutions business unit.

Additional work on the contract includes analysis, systems engineering and modeling and simulation for the chemical oxygen-iodine laser device, which causes structural damage to a target missile, and the beam control system, which senses the target, selects an aim-point, and directs the laser to that aim-point. The beam control system also senses and corrects for distortions caused by the atmosphere along the beam path.

Northrop Grumman IT will also help analyze system tests, provide administrative support for security and personnel and support the Missile Defense Agency's airborne sensor program operations.

The Northrop Grumman IT team includes the following major subcontractors: AEgis Technologies Group, Huntsville, Ala.; Apogen Technologies, Springfield, Va. and New Orleans, La.; ATK Mission Research, Santa Barbara, Calif.; MZA Associates Corporation, Albuquerque, N.M.; National Security Research, Arlington, Va.; Schafer Corporation, Chelmsford, Mass.; and Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, Calif.

From detection, to tracking, to engagement, Northrop Grumman is bringing its expertise to bear in the development of a global layered missile-defense capability. In the boost phase, Northrop Grumman leads an industry team on the Kinetic Energy Interceptors program and is developing the chemical laser portion of the Airborne Laser. For the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, Northrop Grumman provides the critical Ground-based Midcourse Defense fire control/communications system. In the area of sensors, the company is prime for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System and is currently the prime on the Defense Support Program. In modeling and simulation, Northrop Grumman is prime at the Joint National Integration Center, the nation's premier missile defense wargaming center.

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, headquartered in McLean, Va., is a trusted IT leader and premier provider of advanced IT solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. The company's technological leadership spans such areas as homeland security solutions, health IT solutions, secure wireless, cyber and physical assurance, IT and network infrastructure, managed services, knowledge management, modeling and simulation, and geospatial intelligence solutions.

  CONTACT:  Juli Ballesteros, APR
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 713-4675

          Christy Whitman
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 713-4436