EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 18, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems Sector (ISS) has been awarded an $86.6 million systems engineering and risk-reduction contract under the first phase of NASA's Space Launch Initiative (SLI). The initiative is designed to develop technologies and perform systems engineering leading to a second-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV).

SLI is laying the foundation for NASA's investment during the next five years to enable the start of full-scale development of the next generation RLV architecture to eventually replace the Space Shuttle. NASA's planned budget for SLI totals $4.8 billion through the 2006 fiscal year.

Under the four-year contract, Northrop Grumman will perform program management, systems integration and technology integration in the areas of structure, subsystems and integrated vehicle health management.

Northrop Grumman's effort will be led by ISS's Air Combat Systems business area in El Segundo, which has supported studies in earlier stages of the RLV program. The company's work leverages its systems integration capability as well as advanced technologies derived from years of experience in the design and development of advanced weapons systems, such as the B-2 stealth bomber; Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance system; the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack System; E-2C airborne early warning command and control aircraft; and a significant portion of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Northrop Grumman's ISS, based in Dallas, Tex., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. ISS has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management aircraft, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft and air combat aircraft.

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  CONTACT: Northrop Grumman Corporation, Los Angeles
         Jennifer Canaff
         (310) 331-5957