MELBOURNE, Fla., Feb. 25, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered the 15th E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft to the 116th Air Control Wing today, five weeks ahead of schedule.

This is the first airplane delivered to the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing (ACW) since the Joint STARS mission transitioned late last year to the Air National Guard under the Air Force's Future Total Force concept. All E-8C aircraft are based at Robins AFB and assigned to the 116th ACW, a new "blended wing" with both active duty Air Force and Air National Guard personnel.

"We're proud to add another platform to this fleet of high-demand, low-density surveillance and targeting aircraft operated by the 116th ACW," said Frank Moore, Joint STARS program vice president. "This early delivery is especially significant to the 116th since current demands on operational personnel and equipment are so high."

Northrop Grumman also provides a broad range of logistics and training support to the Air Force under a Total Systems Support Responsibility (TSSR) contract. The TSSR program is a unique partnership between the company and the Air Force to maximize the operational availability and mission reliability of the E-8C Joint STARS fleet. It has also helped assure a seamless transition to the "blended wing" concept under the 116th ACW.

This is the fifth aircraft produced in the Block 20 configuration, which features integrated commercial-off-the-shelf onboard computing and signal processing capability, for future growth capacity in the E-8C's surveillance, targeting and battle management missions. Northrop Grumman also continues the Block 20 upgrade program for the first 10 Joint STARS aircraft to the Air Force. Two have been completed and two are currently in work.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector is the prime contractor for the E-8C Joint STARS. Norden Systems, a unit of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector, manufactures the Joint STARS radar sensor at its Norwalk, Conn. facility.

Airframe refurbishment and modification takes place at Integrated Systems' Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management Systems facility in Lake Charles, La. The Joint STARS radar and the computer systems are installed here, where the aircraft undergo ground- and flight-testing.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise with the capabilities to design, develop, produce and support fully missionized integrated systems and subsystems. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services in support of chosen segments within the broad market areas of battlespace awareness, command and control systems and integrated combat systems.

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  CONTACT:  Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (321) 726-7526