MELBOURNE, Fla., Aug. 27, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a three-year, $36.9 million contract to develop a Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) for the U.S. Navy to protect the fleet from near-surface and floating mines.

RAMICS is a non-towed airborne mine neutralization system designed to operate from an MH-60S Organic Airborne Mine Countermeasure helicopter and to deploy from surface combatants and aircraft carriers in a carrier battle group and an amphibious ready group. It will provide a rapid response clearance capability against near-surface and surface (floating) moored mines that have been detected, classified and localized by Northrop Grumman's Airborne Laser Mine Detection System or other mine hunting systems.

"The RAMICS award is an important win for the company," said Alan Doshier, vice president, Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management (AGS & BM) Systems. "This contract allows us to maximize our system integration expertise for this critical fleet requirement, effectively joining our mine detection capabilities with a highly complementary mine neutralization system."

RAMICS uses an electro-optic light detecting and ranging system to acquire a target and aim the gun subsystem. The 30mm MK44 gun uses a MK 258 Mod 1 armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot tracer. The projectile is stable during air flight, successfully penetrates the water's surface, supercavitating while in the water, to greatly reduce drag and improve underwater flight performance.

RAMICS will be capable of neutralizing near-surface and surface-moored mines in the shallow water zone (40 to 300 feet total water depth) and the deepwater zone (greater than 300 feet total water depth).

The Northrop Grumman RAMICS team includes Kaman Aerospace Electro-Optics Development Center, Tucson, Ariz.; DRS Sensors & Targeting Systems, Inc., Anaheim, Calif.; HR Textron, Santa Clarita, Calif.; Sargent Fletcher, Inc., El Monte, Calif.; Western Design, Irvine, Calif.; MAL Associates, Inc, Goleta, Calif.; GOEST, Oro Valley, Ariz.; and Boeing, Mesa, Ariz.

Integrated Systems is developing RAMICS at the sector's AGS & BM facility here. A recognized leader in advanced surveillance systems, the business area produces the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and is developing airborne mine detection technology for the U.S. Navy.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.

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