ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Aug. 8, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Phase III of the Counter-Man Portable Air Defense System (Counter-MANPADS) program.
During the Phase III contract, which is valued at $55.4 million, Northrop Grumman will complete production of 12 Guardian(tm) missile defensive systems, modification of 11 MD-10 aircraft and operation of the Guardian(tm) systems onboard nine MD-10 cargo aircraft flying in regular commercial service.
The Guardian(tm) system is a defensive aid utilizing proven military technology to defend against the threat posed by anti-aircraft, shoulder-fired missiles. Once launched, the missile is detected by the Guardian(tm) system which then directs a non-visible, eye-safe laser to the seeker head of the incoming missile, disrupting its guidance signals.
To date, Northrop Grumman has completed a 16-month flight test program in commercial operational environments that included the use of a ground-based electronic missile surrogate to simulate the launch of a shoulder-fired missile toward aircraft during takeoff and landing. The tests were performed on both an MD-11 and a 747 aircraft. In each test, the Guardian(tm) system functioned flawlessly, automatically detecting the simulated launch and mock missile. Had the threats been real, an invisible laser beam harmful to the missile but safe to humans, aircraft and the environment would have defeated the threat.
"Northrop Grumman is committed to supporting the Department of Homeland Security's fight against MANPAD terrorist threats," said Jeff Palombo, vice president of Infrared Countermeasures programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "With the successful completion of flight testing onboard both the MD-11 and the 747, we are in an excellent position to enter into Phase III."
The company's Guardian(tm) system makes use of multi-band laser and other technologies from the company's military directional infrared countermeasures system, the only such protection system currently in production for the U.S. military and several allied nations.
Northrop Grumman's Guardian(tm) system was developed as part of the Department of Homeland Security's initiative aimed at protecting commercial aircraft from attack by ground-based, shoulder-fired missiles. The DHS program is focused on demonstrating the viability, economics and effectiveness of adapting existing military technology to protect commercial aircraft from this terrorist threat.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: Ellen Hamilton Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (224) 625-4693 firstname.lastname@example.org