El SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 12, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector has been awarded a contract to modify and prepare two Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance vehicles and associated ground and support equipment for the U.S. Navy Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) program.

The level of work required through 2006 could bring the value of the GHMD to as much as $185.2 million, though the final details of the cost-plus-award-fee contract have not been finalized. The contract was awarded and will be managed by the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on behalf of the U.S. Navy. There are options that could extend the contract through fiscal year 2009 at a total potential value of $318.5 million.

"This demonstration will employ the technical expertise of two Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems business units to provide a cost-effective solution that meets our Navy customer's needs," said Martin E. Dandridge, executive vice president and general manager, Unmanned Systems. "Integrating maritime sensors with Global Hawk's high-altitude, long endurance capability will provide strong, persistent surveillance to meet the Navy's critical requirements."

The objective of the Navy's demonstration is to accelerate and refine the development of Naval UAV Concept of Operations and experimentation. The program will leverage Air Force contracts to procure two Global Hawk UAVs, and associated ground control equipment as part of the maritime demonstration program.

Two Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems' business areas -- Unmanned Systems, San Diego, Calif., and Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems, Bethpage, N.Y. -- will perform the work under this contract.

As the prime contractor for Global Hawk, Unmanned Systems will modify two Global Hawks and integrate the maritime system for the demonstration under an amendment to the current Air Force low-rate initial production contract.

Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems will design and develop advanced maritime payloads, provide mission management functions and develop new ground station and shipboard control systems that are specific to the Navy.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.

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  CONTACT:  John A. Vosilla
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (516) 575-5119