ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Sept. 7, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Royal Australian Air Force announced today that they have selected Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) third-generation LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) system for its F/A-18 Hornet aircraft upgrade program.
Northrop Grumman's LITENING AT system is a self-contained, multi-sensor laser target-designating and navigation system that enables fighter pilots to detect, acquire, track and identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. LITENING AT features advanced image processing for target identification and coordinate generation; a 640 x 512 pixel forward-looking infrared sensor; a new 1,004 x 1,004 pixel charge-coupled device television sensors; a laser spot tracker; an infrared laser marker; infrared laser designator/range finder; and air-to-ground data links.
"This selection is particularly significant because it comes as the result of a comprehensive, in depth review of the offerings by the Royal Australian Air Force to determine the most capable and affordable targeting system for its Hornets," said Mike Lennon, vice president of targeting and surveillance programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "The competition included all three U.S. operational, advanced targeting pods, and we are pleased the Royal Australian Air Force selected LITENING AT. We were able to offer advanced technology, unique features, high reliability and proven worldwide support all at a very competitive price and delivery schedule. We also believe LITENING's demonstrated ability to easily and affordably integrate emerging technologies was a major discriminator. We look forward to synergies between this program and our recent contract award to supply the U.S. Marine Corps with 24 LITENING AT pods for their F/A-18s."
Under the terms of the multi-million dollar contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver 37 targeting pods and spares beginning in 2006 and completing in 2007.
Over the last decade, Northrop Grumman has pioneered such advanced targeting technologies as precisely aligned and stable multiple sensors; coordinated air-to-ground and air-to-air operations capabilities through laser spot search and track and laser markers; J-series weapons employment capabilities; and data links for battlefield situational awareness. LITENING's innovative modular design provides true two-level maintenance and unsurpassed operational availability.
To date, more than 400 LITENING AT pods have been ordered by U.S. forces and foreign military services. LITENING AT and its predecessors, LITENING II and LITENING ER, are currently operational on AV-8Bs flown by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Italian and Spanish navies, and F/A-18s flown by the Marine Corps as well as on A-10s, B-52s, F-15Es and F-16s flown by active-duty and reserve components of the U.S. Air Force. Together, all variants of the LITENING AT pod have amassed approximately 350,000 flight hours, with more than 125,000 of these hours posted in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division is a component of Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector-a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems, including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, targeting and surveillance systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistic services.
CONTACT: Katie Lamb Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (847) 259-9600, ext. 3542 Katie.email@example.com