BALTIMORE, Jan. 16, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced that four business segments of its Electronic Systems sector have been appraised at Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI(r)) Maturity Level 5-the highest rating possible-for a broad range of operations.

The four units are the Aerospace Systems Division, the Systems Development and Technology Division, the Defense Systems Division- Land Forces business area, and the Global Solutions Division- C4ISRT business area. The businesses are concentrated at the company's Baltimore headquarters and in Norwalk, Conn., and are involved in the design, development and manufacture of a variety of military radar systems and other defense electronics products.

CMMI(r) is a process improvement framework that organizations use to improve their ability to build and maintain quality engineering products and services. The framework defines a set of objective standards for assessing an organization's full range of engineering processes. CMMI(r) is also a set of best practices that addresses productivity, performance, costs and integration of traditionally separate organizational functions.

Northrop Grumman's CMMI(r) appraisal assessed the full range of many disciplines: systems engineering, software engineering, hardware engineering, program management, organizational management and supply chain management. The sector achieved a "single cross-discipline, integrated Enterprise rating" through the use of the Standard CMMI(r) Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI(sm)). The appraisal was led by a representative of the Center for Systems Management, an independent evaluation company. The appraisal also included a review and affirmation of the Electronic Systems internal auditing program, which audited more than 80 Electronic Systems programs during the past two years. In addition, the appraisal featured an interactive review of the artifacts of statistically managed subprocesses, thus ensuring that CMMI(r) higher maturity practices are satisfied by all three disciplines.

"We have once again raised the bar as aerospace and defense industry leaders in systems, hardware, and software engineering excellence," said James F. Pitts, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "This CMMI(r) appraisal reflects the company's ongoing commitment to provide the best value solutions for our customers by making continuous improvements in engineering, manufacturing, quality and predictable program performance."

The CMMI(r) project is a collaborative effort with participation by the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the military services and other government agencies; industry, through the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Committee; and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon University. The institute's core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their product development capabilities.

CMMI(r) was developed by a coalition of industry, government and the Carnegie Mellon University to objectively assess the full range of an organization's engineering capabilities. Higher maturity levels signify lower risks for successful program execution. Occasionally, the federal government will require a certain maturity level to compete for development contracts.

Northrop Grumman Corporation continues to be a leader in process improvement initiatives, having achieved the most Level 5 ratings of any defense or commercial company to date. Electronic Systems' achievement marks Northrop Grumman's 36th CMMI(r) Level 5 rating, the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices for management and engineering. The 2006 appraisal resulted in the first Systems, Software and Hardware Maturity Level 5 rating across a multi-business enterprise within the corporation, and it is believed to be the first in industry to be rated a Level 5 for all three disciplines.

Northrop Grumman 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 
          Thomas.delaney@ngc.com 

          Fran DiMeglio
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (203) 852-4823
          Fran.dimeglio@ngc.com