CLEARFIELD, Utah, Nov. 30, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a 23-month, $176 million contract in October to continue the full-rate production phase of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP). The program will replace aging solid-rocket motor sets for stages 1, 2, and 3 in the Minuteman III missile arsenal with re-manufactured motors to maintain alert-readiness status through 2030.

This award represents the seventh and final full-rate production option under the ten-year, cost plus award fee/incentive fee PRP contract. The PRP contract began in 1999 and is valued at $1.9 billion. Under this option, Northrop Grumman will deliver 56 motor sets, for a total of 601. A motor set is comprised of a stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 and interstage ordnance components.

"The propulsion replacement program has been an enormously successful effort," said John Clay, vice president and general manager for the Northrop Grumman ICBM Prime Integration Contract. "We have accomplished what we set out to do - provide our nation with a modernized, reliable, strong, deterrent weapon system that will be in place through 2030. I applaud our PRP Team for continuing execution of such an extremely complicated effort on-time and within budget."

Teammate Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is producing all three stages at full rate and expects to deliver all production motors by August 2009. The remanufacturing of the motors includes replacing the aging propellant in the motors and replacing obsolete or environmentally unsafe materials and components. Minuteman stage 1 motors are manufactured by ATK at its facility in Promontory, Utah, and stage 2 and 3 motors are manufactured at the ATK Bacchus facility in Magna, Utah, with components provided by the ATK Promontory and Clearfield Utah facilities.

PRP is one of eight large modification programs currently managed by Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector, prime integration contractor for the program. In this role, Northrop Grumman supports its customer in modernizing and maintaining the reliability, safety and security of the nation's land-based Minuteman III weapon system. Northrop Grumman, its teammates and subcontractors provide system engineering, program management, integration, process discipline, domain expertise, subsystem expertise and full-spectrum ICBM industrial capabilities. Northrop Grumman manages a team consisting of three principal teammates and more than 20 subcontractors.

The company's ICBM Prime Integration Contract is headquartered in Clearfield and employs more than 700 people, including teammate and subcontractor personnel. Northrop Grumman employs more than 1,200 employees in Clearfield and Salt Lake City combined.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Marynoele R. Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-6734