ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., July 15, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Defensive Systems Division and Sonoma Design Group have signed a teaming agreement for the design and production of a high-performance electro-optic (E/O) and infrared (IR) system for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and targeting for specified business opportunities.

The system, called the Night Hunter II, combines Northrop Grumman's sensor and processing capabilities with Sonoma Design's high-performance gimbal technologies. Night Hunter II incorporates elements from several existing Northrop Grumman programs, including the Night Hunter E/O surveillance system, the LITENING advanced targeting pod, and the distributed aperture system thermal imaging system developed for the Joint Strike Fighter.

"Our relationship with Sonoma Design Group has enabled us to raise the bar on the performance standard for an EO/IR ISR and targeting system," said Mike Lennon, vice president of targeting and surveillance programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "The end product of this teaming effort is a system that provides the modern imaging capabilities that have become a critical part of most of today's manned and unmanned airborne and shipboard platforms."

The Night Hunter II has been optimized for passive imaging at standoff ranges in both the visible and IR regions. Some of the system's key capabilities include a largest-in-class aperture of 11 inches in a 21-inch lightweight turret; search, auto detect and track modes; superior pointing stability over the full 360-degree range; support for the laser ranging and designation for targeting of the latest laser-guided or global positioning system-guided weapons; and a scalable design that uses common gimbal architecture. This versatile turret design will accommodate up to six sensors for improved performance and flexibility.

Night Hunter II's open and modular architecture and large available sensor volume gives the system an excellent growth potential. "Night Hunter II's lightweight and low sensor placement offers ease of installation into platforms such as those under evaluation for the U.S. Navy's Multimission Maritime Aircraft and Broad Area Maritime Surveillance programs," said Che Voigt, president of Sonoma Design.

The system's capabilities have already been demonstrated to representatives from the U.S. government and key prime contractors. Northrop Grumman has initiated the manufacture of one of the 21-inch systems, which will be available for flight demonstrations on a variety of platforms later this year.

Sonoma Design Group, a technical engineering-based company based in Santa Rosa, Calif., provides advanced E/O sensors for use on numerous mobile vehicle platforms. Sonoma's products incorporate all electronics, embedded software and control systems to fully command the E/O system motion and a variety of optical and laser payloads.

The Defense Systems Division is a component of Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems, including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, government systems, and logistics services.

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  CONTACT:  Katie Lamb
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (847) 590-3542

          Darius Karalis 
          Sonoma Design Group 
          (707) 529-8711