RESTON, Va., MUNICH, Germany and MADRID, Spain, Aug. 31, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Defense industry leaders Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), EADS and Indra have announced that they have formed an international team to pursue a systems engineering and integration contract that is a key part of the new NATO active-layered theatre ballistic-missile defense program.

This NATO ballistic-missile defense program will be the first to link the assets of member nations into a multi-layered system that will effectively protect deployed alliance forces against short- and medium-range ballistic-missile attack.

The winning team for the NATO systems engineering and integration (SE&I) contract will design and operate an integration test bed in Europe that will help NATO prepare its member-nations' assets for inclusion into this unified theatre ballistic-missile defense system. Award of the contract is due in the second quarter of 2006.

"The proliferation of missiles of all ranges presents a significant threat to NATO nations and alliance forces," said Gary Abercrombie, vice president of missile-defense programs at Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector. "The Northrop Grumman/EADS/Indra team offers NATO unprecedented missile-defense integration experience that's imperative to help NATO tie these systems together and build this much needed defense. Together, the Northrop Grumman-led team of highly experienced engineers will meet the complex integration and interoperability challenge of blending these NATO assets into a seamless system to protect its forward-deployed forces."

"We are excited about this opportunity to team with Northrop Grumman and Indra, and bring the full capabilities of EADS to the challenge of NATO ballistic missile defence," said Dr. Stefan Zoller, chief executive officer of EADS Defence & Security Systems Division. "We have a strong focus on transatlantic cooperation projects and expect to expand this further within our defence and security strategy."

"The active-layered theatre ballistic-missile defense is a critical program where NATO and nations' resources must be addressed to generate an effective and very complex system architecture," said Regino Moranchel, Indra's managing director. "Superb blending of the Northrop Grumman team's capabilities and successful experiences as partners and as individual contractors in major NATO initiatives provide the best base to generate the most adequate proposal to satisfy NATO's and nations' interest."

If chosen, the team will use the integration test bed as a platform to integrate, test and verify the proposed architectures; develop and evaluate theatre missile-defense concepts of operation; and test and evaluate the different architectural capabilities as hardware and software become available. In addition, the team will ensure integration and interoperability among the various NATO components of the architecture from both a technical and operational perspective. The test bed will also be used for performance verification, using detailed modeling and simulation tools to ensure that the actual missile defense performance will meet the requirements.

Northrop Grumman's experience in the U.S. missile-defense integration market is vast. For the U.S. ground-based missile-defense shield, Northrop Grumman is developing the highly successful battle-management system that orchestrates each engagement and ties together the entire system. For 10 years, Northrop has been the prime contractor at the Joint National Integration Center, the nation's premier missile-defense wargaming center. Northrop Grumman is also leading an industry team to develop and test the Kinetic Energy Interceptor system -- a land-based mobile boost/ascent-phase missile-defense capability. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the Air and Missile Defense Workstation program, a decision dominance system that was successful in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, where the company developed and fielded the system for the U.S. Army from theatre level through fire unit.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2004, EADS generated revenues of EUR 31.8 billion and employed a workforce of about 110,000. EADS Defence & Security Systems Division, with revenues of about EUR 5.4 billion in 2004 and roughly 23,000 employees across ten nations, forms the defence and security pillar within EADS. It offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and homeland security units. It is active in the areas of military aircraft, missile systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, battlefield management systems, defence electronics, sensors and avionics and related services.

Indra, the leading Spanish Defence Systems and Information Technology company, delivers C4ISR and air defence systems and equipment to national, NATO and international customers. Indra's capabilities include systems development, integration and engineering.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; technical services; and training.

Media Contacts:

Northrop Grumman
Marynoele R. Benson
(703) 741-7723

Stephanie Chalmers
+49 (89) 607.21918

Luisa Gomez Gonzalez-Solis
+34-91-480 97 17