HERNDON, Va., Dec. 10, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has again achieved the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices for management and engineering, extending the company's lead in the U.S. defense and information technology industry for Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI(r))(a) Level 5 ratings.

TASC, a business unit of Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector, is the ninth Northrop Grumman organization to achieve CMMI(r) Level 5, each one determined by an externally-led evaluation. This ninth CMMI(r) Level 5 rating for Northrop Grumman marks the most CMMI(r) Level 5 ratings by any company in the industry and further validates the company's number one ranking as a federal systems integrator.

"CMMI(r) Level 5 illustrates our employees' and company's early commitment to quality processes," said James O'Neill, president, TASC, Northrop Grumman IT. "This rating reinforces the fact that Northrop Grumman delivers high-value, timely and cost-effective solutions."

The CMMI(r) Level 5 rating for the TASC business unit's systems and software engineering practices was the result of a comprehensive appraisal performed last month by Software Productivity Consortium, an independent SEI authorized lead assessor. The appraisal team assessed the systems and software engineering processes of TASC projects, which include Commercial Joint Mapping Toolkit, Combat Terrain Information System Digital Topographic Support System, Target Management System Federated Production, and Topographic Production Capability.

The SEI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. The SEI's core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities.

The CMMI(r) standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and the SEI to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software engineering, program management and organizational management capabilities. There are five levels of CMMI(r) maturity, each a layer in the foundation for ongoing process improvement, designated by the numbers one through five with five being the highest. Higher maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, based in Herndon, Va., is one of the largest and trusted providers of IT services to the federal government and commercial customers. The company's expertise spans such areas as information systems integration; information technology security; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; homeland security; enterprise hardware and software solutions; training and simulation; base and range support; signals intelligence; health informatics; space systems; and specialized scientific, engineering and technical services.

(a) Capability Maturity Model, CMM, and CMMI are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

  CONTACT:  Juli Ballesteros, APR
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 713-4675