BALTIMORE, Jan. 16, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- A total of 41 manufacturing-related processes at Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Electronic Systems sector have been nationally-recognized as Best Manufacturing Practices (BMP) as part of a unique industry and government cooperative technology transfer effort intended to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. industrial base.

A 17-person survey team from the College Park, Md.-based Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, U.S. Department of Commerce and the University of Maryland, spent five days at Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-area facilities reviewing business practices and interviewing employees. Of a total of 57 processes submitted for consideration, 41 were deemed to be best manufacturing practices by the BMP reviewers.

The purpose of the Best Manufacturing Practices program is to create an awareness of best practices used in industry, government and academia and the value they bring to benchmarking and problem solving. The final survey report, which details the findings, is distributed electronically and in hard copy to thousands of representatives from industry, government and academia throughout the U.S. and Canada so that the knowledge can be shared.

Northrop Grumman was one of only two companies to receive BMP recognition for 2005.

"Between 40 to 60 percent of the processes annually submitted are selected, on average, as best practices," said Larry Halbig, BMP survey chairman. "However, we found Northrop Grumman to be a model of operational efficiency in numerous areas, with 72 percent of the processes submitted chosen as best practices.

"Through this BMP award program we are pleased to recognize Northrop Grumman for its willingness to step to the forefront and contribute voluntarily to share best practices with the U.S. industrial base," Halbig added.

Among the areas surveyed at Northrop Grumman's Baltimore operations were design, test, production, facilities and management. Examples of best practices included the innovative use of commodity design teams, production test cells, rapid prototyping, supplier logistics, and electronic component procurement, among other areas.

Halbig noted that through industry collaboration in the BMP program, the goal is to strengthen the industrial base competitiveness of the U.S. Since 1985, more than 4,000 practices have been documented as best practices through the program. Best practices are defined as processes that are unique or innovative, and have a proven record of success in providing significant improvement in cost, quality, performance, safety, environment or other measurable factors which impact the strength of a company.

"The independent team of evaluators told us we're doing exceptionally well in many design engineering, manufacturing and business support areas," said John J. Chino, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems deputy and vice president and general manager of Enterprise Excellence.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics and systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, government systems, and logistics services.