MELBOURNE, Fla., Nov. 27, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced the delivery of the next Block 20 E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft to the U.S. Air Force, nearly two months ahead of schedule. This is the eighth consecutive E-8C that the company's Integrated Systems sector has delivered early.

"We've worked hard to provide the U.S. Air Force with a very sophisticated airborne ground surveillance capability by applying advanced technology and incorporating commercially developed processors. The teamwork exhibited by the manufacturing line in Louisiana, the systems integrators in Florida, and our Electronic Systems partners in Connecticut has been outstanding," said Ralph D. Crosby Jr., corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. "In addition to the great working relationships we enjoy with our suppliers, the successful application of Lean Management principles has had a major impact on streamlining our production and delivery processes."

The Block 20 E-8C's contain commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology computers for operating the Joint STARS surveillance equipment. Commercially available computer systems provide the Air Force with increased reliability, advanced technologies and increased processing power, all at a lower cost per aircraft. Each airplane uses systems from Mercury Computer Systems (Nasdaq:MRCY) and Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE:CPQ).

"The inclusion of dual-redundant Mercury RACE systems provides each Joint STARS aircraft with significant processing power for solving our customer's most demanding signal processing requirements," said Vince Mancuso, vice president and general manager of Mercury Computer Systems' Government Electronics Group. "Working closely with Northrop Grumman, Mercury provides the Joint STARS aircraft with reliable, real-time computing power packaged within fully integrated, COTS systems designed to meet the extreme space and power consumption constraints and operating environments typical of airborne military applications."

"The use of commercially available technology, like Compaq's OpenVMS-based AlphaServer ES40CV systems in military surveillance and combat environments that traditionally require highly specialized and customized systems, is a testament to their performance, reliability and functionality," said Rich Marcello, vice president and general manager of Compaq's High Performance Systems Division.

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.

Airframe refurbishment and modification takes place at Integrated Systems' Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management (AGS&BM) Systems facility in Louisiana. The Joint STARS radar and the computer systems are installed at AGS&BM Systems Florida facility, where the team completes work on the production aircraft with ground and flight-testing. AGS&BM Systems also provides support to the user under a Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) contract. The TSSR effort is a unique partnership between Northrop Grumman and the Air Force to provide the most efficient support to the E-8C Joint STARS fleet, maximizing operational availability and mission reliability.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems, headquartered in Dallas, Tex., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems 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.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advance, innovated 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.

Compaq, the Compaq logo, AlphaServer and OpenVMS are trademarks of Compaq Information Technologies Group, L.P. Mercury RACE is a trademark of Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.

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