RESTON, Va., Oct. 27, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received a contract for continuing system and software development of the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2)-Blue Force Tracking system. FBCB2 is a system of computer hardware and software that forms a wireless, tactical Internet for on-the-move, near-real-time situational awareness and command and control on the battlefield.

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J., awarded the 5-year FBCB2 Systems Engineering & Integration contract, which has an initial value to the company of $40 million and a total potential value of more than $150 million.

Among its duties as prime contractor, Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector will define the system architecture; develop, implement and maintain system software; support network operations at the Army's worldwide operations centers; and continue to converge the Army and Marine Corps systems into a common capability.

The FBCB2-Blue Force Tracking contract covers operations center hardware and software components as well as vehicle mounted and dismounted systems that use terrestrial tactical radios and satellite communications.

"Northrop Grumman originally developed FBCB2, which has proven in combat to be the world's premier battlefield digitization system," said Otto Guenther, vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman's Tactical Systems Division. "We are committed to even more markedly enhancing its operational effectiveness by delivering the next-generation FBCB2 system. FBCB2 validated the superiority of network-centric operations and now must continue to evolve to support the Future Force and joint forces."

Since installing the system in more than 10,000 ground and air platforms and supporting deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans, Northrop Grumman has continued to work with the Army to improve the technology. Significant efforts include developing a handheld for use by dismounted troops; beginning the convergence of the Army and Marine Corps systems for Joint Blue Force Situational Awareness; demonstrating the integration of FBCB2 with the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS); integrating FBCB2 with the Army Battle Command System; and integrating a variety of existing and emerging tactical sensor systems, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector was awarded the first FBCB2-development contract in January 1995.

Under a four-year contract awarded in September, the sector is also providing installation kits and engineering support for installing as many as 13,000 FBCB2-Blue Force Tracking systems on various Army vehicles and aircraft.

The Army's Systems Acquisition and Review Council approved the full-rate production of FBCB2 in August.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; technical services; and training.

  CONTACT:  Janis Lamar
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems 
          (703) 345-7046