SYKESVILLE, Md., Nov. 19, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has successfully deployed the first digitally-controlled arrestment system that dramatically upgrades the critical process of "catching" aircraft on carriers.

The Advanced Recovery Control (ARC) system was deployed on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) aircraft carrier and performed its first successful operational arrestment at sea on November 5. ARC was designed and developed by an integrated product development team consisting of Northrop Grumman's Power/Control Systems business unit, Naval Air Systems Command, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Engineering and Test, and NDI Engineering Company.

ARC is the Navy's first electronic digital control system for aircraft arrestment. Awarded to Northrop Grumman as the prime contractor, the program includes design, development, first article qualification and production. After a successful development and test program, the ARC system was granted Milestone "C" approval to proceed with production in June 2006. ARC installation began in July 2007 on the first of ten aircraft carriers scheduled to receive the upgrade. ARC is a key part of the Navy's plans for extending the service life of carriers and allowing for arrestments of heavier aircraft entering the fleet. NAVAIR plans to retrofit ARC on Nimitz-class carriers and also deploy it at three shore-based training facilities.

ARC is an upgrade to the existing MK 7 arrestment system. It uses a precision digital control system to replace the existing maintenance-intensive system of chains, cams and levers to close the constant run-out valve. ARC uses a computer system with feedback and built-in redundancy to accurately and safely arrest the aircraft on the carrier's deck. The ARC upgrade includes digital controls, software, graphical displays, programmable arrestment profiles, and redundant electronically-controlled actuators that precisely control the arrestment process.

"This milestone represents the first shipboard software-controlled aircraft arrestment in naval aviation history," said Ed Tipton, Northrop Grumman's ARC program manager. "The equipment worked 'right out of the box,' which underscores the precision development of this groundbreaking system."

The ARC program provides the Navy's fleet with significant improvements in the automation and control of the arrestment process. The upgrade increases the precision of the process and allows for continuing system enhancements to meet the fleet's future needs. ARC extends the life of arresting gear equipment to support heavier aircraft entering the fleet while reducing the carrier wind-over-deck requirements. In addition, ARC makes the arresting gear system easier to maintain, is safer with significant reductions in single point failures, enhances operator situational awareness, and is equipped with new diagnostics capabilities for insight into system health for ease of troubleshooting.

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:  Tom Delaney
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 993-6454