ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., July 30, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today delivered the 75th EA-6B Prowler aircraft wing center section to the U.S. Navy five months ahead of schedule. The delivery is a milestone in the Navy's plan to replace wing center sections on its fleet of high-demand, carrier-based electronic attack aircraft to ensure their availability to support the nation's global war on terrorism.
The EA-6B's wing center section is the wing assembly of the aircraft that extends from wing-fold to wing-fold. The wing-folds allow the Prowler's wing tips to be folded so that the aircraft can be stored close together on aircraft carriers.
"Northrop Grumman's focused and persistent application of Lean and other manufacturing practices has allowed it to deliver 58 consecutive wing center sections ahead of schedule," said Patricia McMahon, vice president and leader of the company's Electronic Warfare Programs Integrated Product Team. "This achievement is not an extraordinary effort. It's what we do day-to-day. Our job is to ensure that the nation's warfighters have the equipment they need when they need it to fight the war on terrorism. We just keep looking for ways to do our job better."
Northrop Grumman-built EA-6B Prowlers are the only tactical electronic attack capability in the U.S. inventory. Identified as a national asset, they are in high demand around the world, logging significant airtime and resultant wear and tear. Prowlers will be a key node in the Navy's FORCEnet network-centric warfare architecture until the EA-18G aircraft currently in development replaces them in 2009.
Northrop Grumman's work replacing Prowler wing center sections began in 1994. Of the 75 wing center section units produced so far, 69 were manufactured in St. Augustine, while the first six were built in Calverton, N.Y. Of the 119 Prowlers now in service, 114 are scheduled to receive wing center section replacements.
Between now and when the EA-18G assumes the Prowler's role, Northrop Grumman will be outfitting EA-6B Prowlers with its next-generation electronic attack system, known as Increased Capability (ICAP) III.
The ICAP III system, currently in low-rate initial production, will also be the basis for the EA-18G's electronic attack system. It will give the fleet an electronic weapon that can not only focus energy on radio-frequency emitters but can also detect and change frequencies as quickly as the latest fire control radars change theirs. ICAP III's geolocation capabilities will also make it a critical component of the Navy's information warfare thrust. The first upgraded Prowler is slated for delivery at the end of this year.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
Members of the news media may receive our releases via e-mail by registering at: http://www.northropgrumman.com/cgi-bin/regist_form.cgi
LEARN MORE ABOUT US: Northrop Grumman news releases, product information, photos and video clips are available on the Internet at: http://www.northropgrumman.com . Information specific to the Integrated Systems sector is available at: www.is.northropgrumman.com/index.html
CONTACT: John A. Vosilla Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 516-575-5119 John.Vosilla@ngc.com