REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Dec. 20, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed integrating engineering model payload elements into a single-string prototype for the new Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) military communications satellite, which allowed the company to successfully demonstrate performance capabilities.

This is an important step towards early design verification of crucial components on the Advanced EHF military communications satellite. The company's Space Technology sector will provide the Advanced EHF payload to Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the Advanced EHF system.

Early integration and testing of the engineering model payload, software, satellite interfaces and user terminal simulators reduce risk associated with integrating and testing the two flight payloads for Advanced EHF satellites 1 and 2.

"Because the engineering models were produced with flight-quality hardware and processes, they enable early verification of a wide range of requirements," said Clayton Kau, Northrop Grumman Space Technology vice president and manager of its Advanced EHF payload program. "Now that we have demonstrated that the functions and interfaces are working as designed, we will spend the next several months conducting formal verification testing. Our early verification efforts are key to delivering the Flight 1 payload on schedule and to demonstrating the payload's functionality and system-wide interfaces, including compatibility with existing Milstar and new Advanced EHF user terminals."

Integration of the Flight 1 hardware has also begun at the company's Advanced EHF payload integration and test facility in Redondo Beach, alongside the engineering model payload. The engineering model payload will remain intact throughout the operational phase of the program to help validate future software changes and terminal designs prior to deployment.

The new Advanced EHF satellites will increase throughput, antenna coverage and accesses over the legacy Milstar system by an order of magnitude through new phased-array antennas, advanced microelectronics, and more efficient waveforms and protocols. Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide the first two Advanced EHF satellites and command and control system.

The results contained in this submission were generated in whole, or in part, through work supporting the MILSATCOM Joint Program Office.

The MILSATCOM Joint Program Office, located at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contract manager and lead agency for the Advanced EHF program.

Northrop Grumman Space Technology, based in Redondo Beach, Calif., develops a broad range of systems at the leading edge of space, defense and electronics technology. The sector creates products for U.S. military and civilian customers that contribute significantly to the nation's security and leadership in science and technology.

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  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          (310) 812.5227
          bob.j.bishop@ngc.com