BETHPAGE, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- A new, 'see-through-paint' inspection system developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been named Project of the Year for pollution prevention by the Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP).

Developed by the company's Integrated Systems sector, the non-destructive inspection system uses infrared imaging technology to detect corrosion underneath the painted surface of aircraft structures. It eliminates the costly and environmentally hazardous step of stripping paint from aircraft structures before inspecting them for corrosion or cracking.

SERDP estimates that the new approach will save the Department of Defense and commercial aircraft operators an estimated $200 million annually in aircraft maintenance and related pollution control costs.

"The system can see through paint, which reduces down time and life-cycle costs while improving aircraft readiness for the warfighter. The elimination of the paint removal process is also a positive step for protecting the environment," said Robert Klein, vice president of Engineering, Logistics and Technology for Integrated Systems' Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems business area, Bethpage, N.Y. "Having our system recognized by the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency as the best among two dozen pollution-prevention projects is a great honor for us."

Northrop Grumman employees Don DiMarzio, Hugh Isaacs, Kevin Kovaleski and John Weir accepted the award on behalf of the company at SERDP's annual symposium and workshop held in December in Washington, D.C.

Until now, finding corrosion, cracks, pitting and other damage hidden by paint or other organic coatings has required that the paint be stripped completely off aircraft structures. Northrop Grumman's new patent-pending, infrared inspection system produces images of a part's surface underneath its paint sharp enough to reveal miniscule cracks. The imagery also allows inspectors to make maintenance decisions without the costly paint-stripping process.

To confirm the utility of the system, Integrated Systems and the U.S. Air Force are beginning a three-year demonstration/validation study funded by SERDP. The Air Force will use the system to inspect aircraft coming in for scheduled repainting to verify the system's accuracy in real-world conditions.

The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program is the Department of Defense's corporate environmental research and development program. It identifies, develops and transitions environmental technologies that relate directly to defense mission accomplishments. The program is planned and executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, with participation by numerous other federal and non-federal organizations. Within its broad areas of interest, the program focuses on cleanup, compliance, conservation, pollution prevention, and unexploded ordnance technologies.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. As one of Northrop Grumman Corporation's seven sectors, it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for U.S. government, civil and international customers. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland security missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command & control; and integrated strike warfare.

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  CONTACT:  John Vosilla
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (516) 575-5119
          john.vosilla@ngc.com