MELBOURNE, Fla., May 14, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems Sector (ISS) successfully completed the first of a set of system-to-system flight tests as part of a contract to develop an Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement (AMSTE) capability. The test took place May 10 at the Eglin AFB, Fla., test range.

This one-year, $12 million project is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Special Projects Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y. The purpose of the AMSTE program is to develop a system that locates and identifies a ground target moving at up to 50 m.p.h. and destroy it with an affordable precision weapon.

The test was conducted by ISS's Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management (AGS&BM) Systems business area. This exercise was designed to test the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System's precision ground moving target indicator (GMTI) coupled with a Joint Strike Fighter GMTI radar developed by Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector in Baltimore, Md. The equipment was mounted on a BAC I-II test bed aircraft and gathered precision GMTI engagement quality track data in real time.

Data gathered will validate algorithms and system-of-system design for a late summer test at Eglin AFB, Fla., where a low-cost precision weapon produced by Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Orlando, Fla., will be dropped on a moving target.

"We want to be able to find and follow those targets that are trying to evade detection and hit them with a small, affordable precision weapon," said Bill McCall, senior program manager at AGS&BM Systems in Melbourne. "With this capability, we'll be able to reduce collateral damage and deny the enemy sanctuary of movement. Our aim is to design flexible architecture that will work with multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, multiple attack platforms and multiple weapons, all with a standoff, all-weather capability," he said.

Orincon, San Diego, Calif., brings precision fire control target-tracking capabilities to the ISS AMSTE team. Alphatech, Burlington, Mass; Mission Research Corporation, Dayton, Ohio; and Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., provide technology used in long-duration target tracking. Logicon Inc., Northrop Grumman's information technology (IT) sector, provides IT systems to the team.

Northrop Grumman's ISS, headquartered in Dallas, Tex., 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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