CLEARFIELD, Utah, Dec. 21, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $153 million contract to continue full-rate production of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Guidance Replacement Program (GRP). This program is a key modernization effort that will upgrade the guidance-system electronics in the Minuteman III ICBM to extend the missile's service life through 2020.

This is the sixth of eight production awards from the Air Force ICBM Systems Program Office at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The overall GRP program is valued at $1.6 billion over the eight production awards and is expected to be complete by 2009.

"The guidance replacement effort has been an extremely successful program," said John Clay, vice president and general manager, ICBM Prime Integration Contract, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. "We are on schedule with approximately 250 missiles left to equip with the upgrades. The exceptional performance of our guidance system is a tribute to the continued dedication and hard work of our team."

Northrop Grumman's GRP teammate, Boeing Electronic Systems Missile Defense produces the missile guidance sets for the program under subcontract to Northrop Grumman. Honeywell Space Systems Division is a major subcontractor to Boeing and provides the system's computer.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems is the Air Force's ICBM prime integration contractor charged with maintaining alert readiness of the United States' ICBM weapon system through 2020. As part of the contract, Northrop Grumman manages nine modernization efforts, including the Guidance Replacement Program, to maintain viability of the United States' ICBM fleet. The 15-year prime contract was awarded in December 1997 and is currently valued at $4.5 billion with a total projected value of more than $6 billion. Northrop Grumman manages a team consisting of four principal teammates and more than 20 subcontractors.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.

  CONTACT:  Jay McCaffrey
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems 
          (703) 345-8910
          jay.mccaffrey@ngc.com