SAN DIEGO, Feb. 25, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector delivered the seventh air vehicle of the Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance system to the U.S. Air Force Feb. 14 following the vehicle's successful first flight.

This air vehicle is the final one to be delivered under the Global Hawk program's advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) phase. Northrop Grumman is scheduled to deliver the first two production vehicles later this year.

Following launch from its Palmdale, Calif., assembly site, the vehicle flew a three-hour, autonomous checkout mission over the Edwards Air Force Base test range to evaluate system performance prior to delivery. It will continue a series of checkout flights from the base.

This air vehicle was built in a transition configuration between the ACTD phase and the first production system. It features enhancements to the avionics system, including enablers for an open-system architecture. The vehicle will be used to evaluate improved operational capabilities before production vehicles are delivered.

In low-rate initial production for the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial reconnaissance system designed to provide military field commanders with high-resolution, near real-time imagery of large geographic areas.

Since the Global Hawk program began in 1995, Northrop Grumman has received more than $1.6 billion in contracts for Global Hawk design, development, testing and production, including $302.9 million awarded recently for the second lot of low-rate initial production systems.

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:  Cynthia Curiel 
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-4355