BALTIMORE, July 15, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the U.S. Navy's BQM-74F, the newest member of the BQM-74 family of aerial targets. The review, completed at the end of June, lays the groundwork for the rollout of the first air vehicle early next year and the first flight test in 2004.

The objective of the CDR was to present a comprehensive look at the new air vehicle's baseline design, and the analysis and testing required to support its performance evaluation and manufacturing. The review also included hardware demonstrations, discussions of new developments and resolution of technical issues.

"The professionalism and technical expertise of the U.S Navy/Northrop Grumman BQM-74 team paved the way for an extremely successful design review," said Capt. Rick Smith, senior ranking member, PMA-208 program office. "The team's commitment to excellence will allow us to produce and deploy an exceptional upgrade to the most versatile aerial target in the Navy's inventory."

The BQM-74F will be a high subsonic aerial target. It will deliver higher speed, greater maneuverability and increased range and endurance than the earlier BQM-74E model.

The Navy uses BQM-74 targets to train fleet personnel and test weapons systems. The target carries different payloads to emulate different air vehicles. At the user's choice, it can present the characteristics of targets ranging in size from a small cruise missile to a tactical fighter. The use of targets give Navy personnel experience in tracking live targets or testing a weapons system's effectiveness in a real-world environment.

Northrop Grumman began its work on the BQM-74F production contract in March 2002. The company will perform final assembly and checkout in Palmdale, Calif., while engineering design, analysis and integration will be done in San Diego. The Navy's Program Executive Office, Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation, and Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., manages the BQM-74 program.

Since the 1960s, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems has delivered more than 7,500 vehicles in the MQM/BQM-74 target family to the Navy and allied nations. The international version of the target is called the Chukar.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. As one of Northrop Grumman Corporation's seven sectors, it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for U.S. government, civil and international customers. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.

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  CONTACT:  Cynthia Curiel
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (858) 618-4355