REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Jan. 29, 2010 -- The Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD) system being developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has passed two milestone reviews by the Office of Naval Research, which point to the real potential of the MLD weapon system design.

Representatives from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office conducted a critical design review and critical safety review of the MLD at the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.

“These reviews indicate that our MLD design should meet the Navy's objectives in future demonstrations," said Steve Hixson, vice president of Advanced Concepts – Space and Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “Next we will finalize detailed test plans and move into land-based, live fire tests.”

Northrop Grumman will conduct an at-sea demonstration of this revolutionary capability, according to Dan Wildt, vice president, Directed Energy Systems. “We will prove that the pinpoint accuracy and response capability of our MLD system can protect Navy ships and personnel by keeping threats at a safe distance. We will accomplish this while leveraging technologies with proven scalability that may ultimately enable addressing additional threats of interest to the Navy.”

The company received a contract from the Office of Naval Research in July 2009 to demonstrate an innovative laser weapon system by the end of 2010 suitable for operating in a marine environment and able to defeat small boat threats, and ultimately could be applicable to other self-defense missions. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity MLD contract has a ceiling value of up to $98 million and an expected overall completion date of June 2014.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems 
          Cell: 310.251.0261