ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Oct. 15, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Electronic Systems sector has been selected by the U.S. Air Force's Materiel Command to develop and produce a laser-based infrared countermeasures system designed to protect large military aircraft from sophisticated heat-seeking missiles.

The company's Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract with the Air Force for the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system is valued at $66 million, with production options totaling another $112 million. The Air Force plans to install the LAIRCM equipment on a total of 20 Air Force C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft.

"Inexpensive, yet lethal, surface-to-air missiles have proliferated around the globe and unfortunately are in the hands of our potential adversaries," said Arnold Welch, vice president-Infrared Countermeasures Programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows. "It is essential that our military pilots and aircrews have this sophisticated type of protection in order to perform their missions and return safely."

LAIRCM is a laser-based variation of Northrop Grumman's lamp-based Directional Infrared Countermeasures system, which is currently in use by militaries in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics and systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, air traffic control systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With 80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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  CONTACT: Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems 
         Katie Lamb 
         (847) 259-9600, ext. 5266