BALTIMORE, Feb. 14, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has successfully demonstrated the capability to generate high-resolution, in-flight synthetic aperture radar (SAR) maps using the AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar being produced for the U.S. Air Force's F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft.

"The flight tests, on board a company BAC 1-11 test bed aircraft, have proved that the F-22 fighter's mission capabilities have expanded to include directly identifying and targeting enemy ground defenses and mobile forces," said Teri Marconi, vice president of Combat Avionics Systems at Northrop Grumman. "This is a hugely significant event for the F-22 program because it ensures that Raptor pilots will have access to critical detailed information about both air and ground threats before the enemy's radar ever detects the F-22."

The test flights are the first phase of a planned multi-year contract with The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) to incorporate SAR capability into the existing fleet of F-22s and new production aircraft in support of future air-to-ground requirements.

Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector leads a joint venture with the Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) to design, develop and produce the F-22 radar system. Northrop Grumman is responsible for the overall design of the AN/APG-77 and AN/APG-77(V)1 AESA radars -- the latter of which features the new air-to-ground capabilities, including SAR. The company is also responsible for the control and signal processing software and radar system integration and test activities.

The Boeing Company, which is teamed with prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) and Pratt & Whitney (NYSE:UTX) to design and build the F-22 Raptor, has responsibility for integrating the radar with the other avionics systems to produce an integrated suite that features sensor-fused target detection and tracking.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Alleace Gibbs
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 765-1294