PALMDALE, Calif., Jan. 11, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is implementing a more efficient business process for providing maintenance and sustainment support for the nation's fleet of B-2 stealth bombers under a one-year contract awarded by the U.S. Air Force's Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center. The contract comprises three delivery orders totaling more than $200 million.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship in the Air Force's arsenal of long range strike aircraft.

Under the new approach, known as Performance-Based Logistics (PBL), Northrop Grumman's product support team is measured by its ability to meet B-2 aircraft combat readiness requirements specified by the Air Force. PBL eliminates the traditional, transaction-oriented approach to weapon system support that requires a prime contractor to perform specific tasks, purchase spare parts, and conduct maintenance on a specified schedule.

Under PBL, Northrop Grumman will determine the types and quantities of support services -- hardware sustaining engineering, supply chain management, software maintenance, programmed depot maintenance, etc. -- needed to satisfy the Air Force's B-2 requirements.

"Performance-Based Logistics gives the contractor more flexibility to do what's needed to meet the government's system performance requirements," said Gary Roehrig, director of PBL for Northrop Grumman's B-2 program. "Our contract consolidates multiple funding sources dedicated to specific support activities into just three accounts. This framework allows us to address the most critical B-2 availability issues quickly and cost-effectively."

According to Roehrig, the more efficient PBL approach is also essential at a time when Air Force operations and maintenance budgets are continually under pressure. The B-2 entered the DoD inventory officially in 1993. The final aircraft in the fleet of 21 bombers was delivered in 2000.

Northrop Grumman's PBL contract builds on a longstanding successful B-2 related collaboration between the company and the Air Force called the Total Systems Support Partnership (TSSP). Under that agreement, established in 2002, Northrop Grumman and Air Force personnel worked closely to simplify the processes used to identify and deliver consumable spare parts to the B-2 fleet, resulting in improved combat readiness at a reduced cost.

As a result of the success of the Air Force and Northrop Grumman on the TSSP program, the B-2 program was selected to participate in a PBL pilot program conducted in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Defense. Motivated by DoD's Management Initiative Decision (MID) 917, the program included six DoD weapon systems and was designed to test the financial, contracting and budgeting tenets of PBL.

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is the most survivable aircraft in the world. It remains the only long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate deeply into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.

Northrop Grumman 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:  Brooks McKinney, APR
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-6610 office
          864-3785 cell