BALTIMORE, April 9, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3) has delivered the first qualification focal plane assembly (FPA) for integration in the U.S. Air Force's Space-Based Infrared Systems High (SBIRS High) program.

The FPA is the primary infrared sensor for the SBIRS High system. It is the key component that allows SBIRS High to detect and track missile launches around the world.

The FPA was delivered to Aerojet's production facility in Azusa, Calif., where it will be integrated into the overall payload for SBIRS High as it is prepared for the system integration and test phase in 2001.

Northrop Grumman supplies the FPA, the optical telescope assembly and the thermal control subsystem to the SBIRS High Payload team led by Aerojet. Lockheed Martin Corporation is the prime contractor for the SBIRS High Program.

"This delivery represents the culmination of three years of development work on the primary IR sensors for the SBIRS High mission," said Tom Reid, Northrop Grumman's FPA program manager. "Northrop Grumman relied upon its extensive background and expertise in infrared sensor programs such as Orbview 3, Warfighter and Advanced Landsat Focal Plane to successfully develop and deliver this critical system component."

SBIRS High is a series of high Earth orbiting satellites whose sensitive IR sensors can detect the launch of strategic and theater ballistic missiles from space and pass the time and location of launch to battlefield commanders.

SBIRS High works in conjunction with SBIRS Low, together forming a system of missile tracking satellites supporting missile defense by providing missile tracking, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization. Northrop Grumman is partnered with Spectrum Astro for SBIRS Low and is providing the overall sensor payload and ground station data processing and integration for the program definition and risk reduction phase.

For more than 30 years, Northrop Grumman Space Systems, a business unit of ES3 in Baltimore, has supplied the sensors for scores of space-based missions, including the Gemini rendezvous radar, the cloud imager for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program and the multispectral/hyperspectral cameras for the Orbview 3 and 4 commercial remote sensing programs.

Northrop Grumman's ES3, headquartered in Baltimore, is a leading designer, systems integrator and manufacturer of defense electronics and systems, airspace management systems, marine systems, precision weapons, space systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With 80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

  CONTACT:  Northrop Grumman Corporation
          Debbi McCallam
          (410) 765-1521