PASCAGOULA, Miss., Feb. 11, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a contract to provide life-cycle engineering and support to the U.S. Navy's San Antonio-class (LPD 17) of amphibious transport dock ships. These ships are being constructed at the company's Ship Systems sector here, as well as in Gulfport, Miss. and New Orleans.

The LPD 17 class forms a solid foundation for the Navy's new Sea Basing strategy. Sea Basing will accelerate deployment timelines by pre-positioning warfighting capabilities in a theater, subsequently enabling joint forces to take rapid action in a crisis situation. Sea-based forces have the advantages of security, swift employability and operational independence.

"This contract supports the Navy's new acquisition strategy, combining many post-delivery support activities into one contract," said Philip A. Dur, president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. "Northrop Grumman will utilize significant experience gained in earlier shipbuilding programs, to support the U.S. Navy's vision for minimizing LPD 17 total life-cycle costs. This contract will deliver true affordability and operational readiness to the Navy's Sea Basing fleet."

The original LPD 17 acquisition strategy report identified an integrated total ship life-cycle support role for the class, as this highly integrated ship design drives the need for an equally integrated life-cycle support program. The LPD 17-class life-cycle engineering and support contract, worth $26.9 million, combines the expertise of the shipbuilder, Northrop Grumman, and electronic-systems integrator, Raytheon Company, to manage critical life-cycle cost/performance ship-class drivers such as technology upgrades, software support and ship-systems integration. This approach mitigates interoperability risk by managing ship-class hardware and software as a single entity.

To date, the first five ships awarded in the Navy's LPD 17 program are under contract to Northrop Grumman, each in various stages of construction at the three Northrop Grumman facilities. This new ship class provides the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group with the technology and flexibility to launch and recover amphibious landing craft such as the Landing Craft Air Cushion, operate an array of rotary-wing aircraft, as well as the ability to carry and launch the U.S. Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

Technological and design advances provide enhanced survivability, state-of-the-art command-and control-capability, modernized weapons stations and enhanced ergonomics, which greatly improve the quality of life at sea for the sailors and marines. With these advances, the LPD 17 class is becoming the most sophisticated and survivable amphibious ship ever produced, offering unparalleled amphibious warfighting capabilities.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; and in New Orleans and Tallulah, La., as well as in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. Ship Systems is one of the nation's leading full-service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction and life-cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies.

  CONTACT:  Bill Glenn
          Northrop Grumman Ship Systems 
          (228) 935-3972