SAN DIEGO, July 19, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has successfully delivered its first F-35 Lightning II integrated communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system ahead of schedule.

When fully developed, Northrop Grumman's integrated CNI system will provide more than 40 functions to the pilots of the F-35, one of two 5th Generation fighters in the world. By utilizing software-defined radios (SDRs), Northrop Grumman's revolutionary design enables simultaneous support for dozens of critical capabilities while greatly minimizing size and weight, which are valuable commodities for an advanced fighter.

Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector is developing the integrated CNI system for the F-35 on Northrop Grumman's Integrated Software Architecture, an enhanced Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Software Communications Architecture (SCA) core framework and integrated infrastructure, thereby creating a JTRS-compatible solution for future network-centric operations. The integrated CNI system, which was delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, included the following:

  --  Identification Friend or Foe Transponder - enables automatic, 
      secure electronic verification of friendly and enemy combat 
      units
  --  Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency receive and transmit -
      lets the pilot communicate voice and data on common radio 
      frequencies
  --  Intercom Audio - allows communication between the pilot, ground 
      crew or in-flight refueling aircrew without radio frequency 
      transmissions
  --  Radar Altimeter - gives precision measurement of the aircraft 
      distance above the ground or surface
  --  Backup Radio - provides emergency voice communication capability
 

"This delivery, including more than a half-million lines of software, is a major milestone for both Northrop Grumman and the F-35 program," said Ken Fecteau, F-35 program director of Radio Systems, Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "The expandable JTRS SCA infrastructure and initial functionality will serve as the foundation for the planned incremental addition of data links, communication capabilities and other connectivity over the next few years, culminating in a fully interoperable network-centric platform when the F-35 is deployed."

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136. Each power plant produces 40,000 pounds of thrust, making the F-35 the most powerful single-engine fighter ever. Four F-35 aircraft are currently in assembly, with 15 scheduled to fly during the aircraft's test program.

As a principal partner of the Lockheed Martin team, Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development, demonstration and production of this multi-role fighter. The company's contributions span seven of its eight sectors and range from producing and integrating a major section of the aircraft's structure to producing key avionics and communications subsystems to developing mission systems and mission-planning software and pilot and maintenance training systems, to developing logistical support hardware and software.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

  CONTACT:  Sudi Bruni
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology 
          (858) 592-3407
          sudi.bruni@ngc.com