EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 13, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has delivered to F-35 Lightning II prime contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) the initial release of software required to perform manufacturing checkout of the first F-35B short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant.

The company has delivered updates for software modules used to perform three critical functions: functional test of key sensor subsystems such as radar, electronic warfare, and communication/navigation/IFF; download of maintenance information from the aircraft; and in-flight detection and pilot notification of safety-critical faults.

"The delivery of this initial manufacturing release (IMR) of software for the first F-35 STOVL aircraft continues Northrop Grumman's unbroken, two-year-long streak of on-time software deliveries to the F-35 Lighting II program," said Janis Pamiljans, F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "We're doing everything we can to support the F-35 industry team's goal of flying the first STOVL variant in the spring of 2008."

The software delivered to Lockheed Martin includes:

  * Prognostic and Health Monitoring software, which is used to check
   out the built-in-test features of the sensor hardware and verify
   that the hardware is operating properly;

 * Maintenance Interface Broker software, which is used by maintenance
   personnel to download diagnostic information from the aircraft; and

 * Mission Domain software, which includes navigation related
   software; software models for aircraft performance; and the Mission
   Systems Integrity Monitor, safety-critical software that detects,
   filters and notifies the pilot of critical in-flight failures.
 

The initial manufacturing release of software is the second in a five-step F-35 software release process leading to first flight. Between now and spring 2008, Northrop Grumman plans to deliver three more rounds of software updates for the STOVL software modules listed above.

  * Ground test release, which will be used during initial power-up and
   taxi tests of the F-35B;

 * Flight candidate release, which provides the core of software used
   during initial flight; and

 * Flight test update, which provides any updates or additional
   software capabilities required for flight testing.
 

As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 global industry team, Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development and production of the weapons system. The company's contributions include: producing and integrating a major section of aircraft's structure; producing key radar and electro-optical subsystems; producing key avionics and communications subsystems; developing mission systems and mission-planning software; developing pilot and maintenance training systems; and developing logistic support hardware and software

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Brooks McKinney, APR
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-6610 
          Cell: (310) 864-3785
          brooks.mckinney@ngc.com