SAN DIEGO, June 21, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Air Force has recognized a combined Air Force-Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) maintenance team for its support of an RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle deployed as part of the global war on terrorism. The team was named "April Maintenance Team of the Month."

Not only did the team support the rigorous operational launch and recovery schedule, it also faced the additional challenges of a nose-gear change out, a complete inspection of the air vehicle and the relocation of the launch and recovery element. During the inspection, the team took apart much of the Global Hawk to make sure none of the structure or components were damaged or worn. They did all of these tasks well under the allotted time schedule.

The Northrop Grumman maintenance team members come from all facets of the program and volunteered for the two-month deployment.

"It's a great opportunity for us to make a difference in the global war on terrorism and to support our warfighters," said Avis Anderson, Northrop Grumman's deployment-team leader. "We do it because we believe in what we're doing. Our team takes a tremendous amount of pride and is dedicated to success. We have supported 40 missions without a glitch. It is good to be recognized by our customer, although that's not why we're here."

Anderson also credited the rest of the Global Hawk team in San Diego and Palmdale, Calif., and at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.: "Those people support us day and night," he said. "The reason for our success is the joint effort between our folks here and our group supporting us back at home. We all feel the same sense of pride in the success of Global Hawk."

The team, which also includes subcontractors, supports the operational deployment of a Global Hawk-prototype system. It was built to prove the viability of the concept of a high-altitude, long-endurance autonomous unmanned air vehicle, not to sustain the rigorous flight schedule of an operational deployment.

Through three deployments, the six prototype aircraft have maintained a better than a 90 percent mission-capable rate during more than 180 missions (more than 100 on this deployment alone) and more than 4,000 combat flight hours.

Global Hawk flies autonomously at an altitude of 65,000 feet, above inclement weather and prevailing winds, for more than 35 hours. During a single mission, it covers an area approximately half the size of the United States, providing detailed image-based intelligence on 40,000 square miles.

Northrop Grumman is the leading producer of unmanned systems for the U.S. military with a portfolio that spans a broad spectrum of capabilities. Current systems in service, production or development include the combat-proven Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk and U.S. Army RQ-5 Hunter unmanned reconnaissance systems currently supporting the Global War on Terrorism; the BQM-34 and BQM-74 aerial targets; the RQ-8 Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical UAV in low-rate initial production for the U.S. Navy and for U.S. Army Future Combat Systems Class IV unmanned air vehicle program; the multi-role Hunter II proposed for the Army's next-generation, extended-range, multi-purpose UAV program; and the X-47 Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force and Navy.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.

  CONTACT:  Revelle Anderson
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (858) 618-4405 office
          (858) 205-7694 cellular