SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 12, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Electronic Systems sector has been awarded a $16.6 million contract from the U.S. Navy's Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) for the demonstration/validation (DEM/VAL) of a Multiple All-Up-Round Canister (MAC) concept used to adapt the missile tubes of Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN) submarines from launching nuclear ballistic missiles to conventional cruise missiles. The reconfigured submarine will be known as the Ship Submersible Guided Nuclear (SSGN).

Naval Sea Systems Command has overall responsibility for the SSGN conversion and has assigned responsibility for the Attack Weapon System (AWS) to SSP.

The MAC is a subsystem of the AWS that will replace the existing Trident ballistic missile launch tubes and provide for the storage and launch of up to seven Tomahawk missiles from each submarine missile tube. Each SSBN submarine will be able to accommodate as many as 154 precision-guided, conventional land-attack Tomahawk weapons.

Work on the 18-month contract will be performed at Northrop Grumman's Marine Systems business unit in Sunnyvale, Calif., and at teammate General Dynamics' Electric Boat facility in Groton, Conn. Subsequent contract phases for system development and production are valued at more than $100 million.

"Northrop Grumman has been the sole supplier of underwater launch equipment to SSP since the inception of the ballistic missile submarine program in the 1950s," said Jim Hupton, vice president of Northrop Grumman Marine Systems. "Our extensive experience and proven track record in the underwater launch market is strengthened by teaming with Electric Boat, the original submarine builder and platform conversion contractor for the SSGN program."

Tasks covered under this DEM/VAL phase will include test planning, design and fabrication of test equipment, component risk reduction testing and, ultimately, a full-scale Tomahawk test launch from an SSBN submarine using a prototype MAC.

In addition to the SSGN mission of land attack, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is also supporting SSGN's other operational mission: Support of Special Operations Forces (SOF) campaigns and missions. Northrop Grumman's Oceanic and Naval Systems business unit, headquartered in Annapolis, Md., designs and builds the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS), a mini-submarine intended to clandestinely carry SOF troops and their combat gear to and from hostile shores. It is planned that each of the four SSGNs will be modified to allow two ASDS vehicles to dock, enabling SOF deployment to littoral theaters worldwide.

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

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  CONTACT:  Debbi McCallam
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (410) 765-1521