ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Sept. 6, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received a $73 million contract from the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) to supply LITENING II pods for its AV-8B Harrier aircraft.

Work on this contract will be performed by the company's Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows and Rafael Missile Division, Haifa, Israel. The award includes 47 LITENING II pods for the USMC as well as logistical support, spares and training.

"This second contract validates the success of the LITENING program technology in support of the USMC," said Michael Lennon, vice president-Targeting and Navigation Systems at Northrop Grumman. "The system is particularly well suited for USMC rapid deployment missions since maintenance has been simplified to include 'built-in test.' This eliminates the need for ground test support equipment, while maintaining a meantime between failures of over 400 hours and a LITENING II system availability of 99 percent."

The LITENING pod has been extensively tested at the U.S. Navy's China Lake, Calif., and Patuxent River, Md., test facilities. Tests included laser-guided bomb drops, electromagnetic interference, store separation and aircraft handling.

The first Northrop Grumman LITENING II USMC contract was received in April 2000 and included pods for the navies of Italy and Spain. To date, nine pods have been delivered to the USMC, four to the Italian navy and two to the Spanish navy. Two U.S. and two international sites have been activated under this contract.

LITENING II is also in production for the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserves for the F-16 and has been flown on the F-15, F-16 and F-18.

The LITENING II combines night and day targeting and navigation capabilities in a single, low-cost, high-performance pod. It enables the aircraft to detect and identify ground targets for extremely accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. LITENING II features include a forward-looking infrared camera; charge-coupled device television camera; laser spot tracker/range finder sensors; laser marker; and laser designator. The system is currently equipped with a 256 X 256 FLIR. USMC flight tests at China Lake with a 512 X 640 FLIR are ongoing and upgrades are expected.

The Defensive Systems Division is a part of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics and systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, air traffic control systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

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          Katie Lamb 
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