SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- On July 19, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) opened its new System Integration Laboratory for the U.S. Army's RQ-8B Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The laboratory provides a place for the Fire Scout team to test and refine the UAV.

The Fire Scout will serve as one of the largest UAVs in the Army's network of manned and unmanned vehicles that work together to perform a variety of functions on the battlefield. Fire Scout will perform reconnaissance and relay information as part of this network.

The new laboratory is a significant step toward meeting the Army's demand for a big-picture network it can use to better understand the battlefield environment and simultaneously communicate among several of its assets.

"This laboratory underscores our continued commitment to refine existing technology that our Army customer needs to meet its vision of how they will conduct operations in the future," said Nick Yorio, Northrop Grumman's director of tactical unmanned systems.

The $2 million, 1,857 square-foot laboratory boasts four simulation workstations, which enable engineers to validate new software and hardware for the Army Fire Scout. The lab is also connected to ground-control stations at the facility, which will be used by soldiers on the battlefield to monitor the UAV and manually control it if needed.

Another version of the Fire Scout is currently being developed to work on board the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship and has flown more than 140 hours over the course of 151 flights. The Navy Fire Scout is scheduled to test fire weapons later this month in Yuma, Ariz.

Northrop Grumman is the leading producer of unmanned systems for the United States military and is advancing its unmanned-systems capabilities in the areas of command and control, open system architecture, manned/unmanned interoperability, and software development. The company's portfolio spans a broad spectrum of capabilities. Current systems in service, production or development include the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk and Army RQ-5 Hunter currently supporting the global war on terrorism; the BQM-34 and BQM-74 aerial targets; 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. In addition, development work on the Killer Bee for the USMC tier II program is ongoing.

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 in 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:  Tim Paynter
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-4245
          tim.paynter@ngc.com