ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Nov. 4, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- "Ready, reliable and relevant." Those were the priorities Lt. Gen. Daniel James III, U.S. Air National Guard (ANG) Director, announced at the recent Air Force Association National Convention in Washington D.C. These words also characterize the $19.3 million contract recently awarded to Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Electronic Systems sector for 16 LITENING Extended Range (ER) targeting and navigation pods, spares and support for ANG F-16 fighter aircraft.

"With this latest contract, the Air National Guard has reaffirmed its commitment to outfitting its warfighters with the finest targeting and navigation capabilities available," said Michael Lennon, vice president of Targeting and Surveillance Programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows. "In all respects, the LITENING pod satisfies Gen. James' requirement to be 'ready, reliable and relevant.' It is combat proven, incorporates state-of-the-art technology and is in production and ready to be delivered."

While the contract does not call for completion of LITENING ER pod deliveries until next September, Northrop Grumman has already delivered the first eight pods from its inventories and expects all deliveries to be completed by Nov. 15, 2002.

LITENING ER is a self-contained, multisensor laser target designating and navigation system that enables fighter pilots to detect and identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. LITENING ER features include a 640 x 512 pixel forward-looking infrared camera; charge-coupled device televisions; laser spot tracker/range finder; IR marker; and a laser designator. Northrop Grumman is continuing to work with the ANG to develop further enhancements for the LITENING family of targeting pods.

LITENING II and LITENING ER pods are currently fielded with ANG/AFRC F-16s, and AV-8Bs operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Italian and Spanish navies. Both LITENING configurations have seen combat duty supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. At present, half of the Air National Guard's stated requirement for precision targeting is being met by Northrop Grumman LITENING pods.

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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          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (847) 590-3542