MELBOURNE, Fla., Aug. 16, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems Sector (ISS), has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren Division to develop an airborne mine detection system for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The total contract award could be valued at more than $44.7 million, if all options are exercised for the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) program.

The COBRA system, which includes a multispectral payload flown on a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), will provide amphibious forces with accurate battlefield intelligence depicting tactical objectives, minefields, obstacles and fortifications on the beach and inland areas. The Northrop Grumman design will build on the successful COBRA Advanced Technology Demonstration program completed by the Navy's Coastal Systems Station in the late 1990's.

"Northrop Grumman's COBRA team brings together leading mine countermeasures experts in spectral imaging systems to design, build, test, deliver and support a 'best value' mine detection system for the war fighter," according to John Casko, Airborne Ground Surveillance & Battle Management (AGS&BM) Systems Advanced Mine Countermeasures director. "Our innovative design exceeds all COBRA threshold requirements for hostile littoral areas, can be fielded on a variety of UAV platforms and provides expeditionary operations the ability to more effectively detect minefields in the beach and inland."

"We bring a tremendous amount of expertise in airborne ground surveillance and battle management, coupled with our proven corporate UAV expertise," said Alan Doshier, sector vice president-AGS&BM Systems. "In addition, we have been aggressively applying top-of-the-line resources and skills developed on other programs to mine countermeasures solutions."

This passive sensor surveillance uses complementary technology to Northrop Grumman's Airborne Laser Mine Detection System work and positions Northrop Grumman for future combined sensor integration.

The AGS&BM Systems unit in Melbourne will manage Northrop Grumman's work under the COBRA contract. In addition, the Air Combat Systems unit in El Segundo, Calif., will manage the unmanned systems component.

The Melbourne unit is the development and production site for the Air Force's Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, the world's most advanced battle management asset.

The Northrop Grumman COBRA team also includes Arete Associates, Niceville, Fla.; Science & Engineering Associates, San Diego, Calif.; Wescam, Healdsburg, Calif; General Dynamics-Advanced Technology Systems, Greensboro, N.C.; PAR Government Systems, San Diego, Calif; and L3 Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Headquartered in Dallas, Tex., Northrop Grumman's ISS is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. ISS has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management aircraft, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft and air combat aircraft.

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