LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22, 2009 -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) the first phase of a $28.9-million Nitride Electronic NeXt Generation Technology (NEXT) contract. Work on the contract will support defense communications, aircraft and space systems with the development of the next generation of gallium nitride (GaN) technology. The first phase of the contract totals $12.4 million.

"New GaN transistors and integrated circuit technology developed under this program will enable high-performance analog-to-digital converters for future advanced electronic systems," said Dwight Streit, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems vice president of Electronics and Sensors.

"The goal of the NEXT program is to increase the operating frequency of GaN devices to 500 gigahertz while maintaining its high breakdown voltage in a large-scale integration process," said Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems' Mike Wojtowicz, NEXT program manager. "This will enable the next generation, high dynamic range mixed signal technology and high frequency RF power sources. NEXT technology will provide significant improvements in performance and functionality for U.S. military and space systems."

The company's NEXT program builds on the success of another DARPA initiative involving GaN technology -- the Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for RF Application (WBGS-RF) program.

Partners on the NEXT program include the University of California Santa Barbara, Arizona State University and Pennsylvania State University.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT: Christopher Boyd
         Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
         (310) 812-8536