REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Sept. 21, 2011 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received a contract from the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a division of The Johns Hopkins University, to perform manufacturing and production readiness systems engineering for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS).

The company is one of six contractors selected by APL for the PTSS Integrated Systems Engineering Team (ISET). Northrop Grumman is working with APL in Laurel, Md., and other ISET member companies on systems engineering activities for the future space-borne sensor of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) designed to track ballistic missiles shortly after launch and through midcourse.

"As prime contractor for the MDA's Space Tracking and Surveillance System demonstration program, we bring extensive systems engineering and integration experience in midcourse missile tracking to PTSS ISET," said Doug Young, vice president, missile defense and warning, for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector in Redondo Beach.

"The STSS satellites currently are participating in integrated BMDS testing, meeting all test objectives and providing significant risk reduction for a future missile defense operational constellation," he added.

Initial development on PTSS is being performed by government and military laboratories, to be followed by a competitive procurement with industry for production, according to MDA. The agency said a system requirements review was completed in March 2011, and that a preliminary design review is scheduled for fall 2012. Launch of the first two development satellites is planned for 2016.

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