PASCAGOULA, Miss., Oct. 28, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) redelivered the second of two modernized Lupo-class frigates, Almirante Brion (F-22) to the Venezuelan Navy Oct. 26. The first ship, Mariscal Sucre (F-21), was redelivered May 16, 2002.

The two frigates completed major, extensive modernization and upgrades at the company's Ship Systems sector in Pascagoula.

The project aboard the two 20-year-old, Italian-built frigates included repairs, modernization and upgrades in most areas -- from the ship's hull, to propulsion, weapons, electronics and communications systems.

"This naval ceremony is important for Venezuela," said Adm. Juan Eduardo Lares, naval logistics commander, Venezuela. "It means completing the major maintenance and modernization of the frigate F-22, Almirante Brion, and in parallel, it will be incorporated again into the squadron command -- a fact which allows the Venezuelan naval fleet to increase its combat capability upon having a unit equipped with the most sophisticated technical advances which place it at the head of the units in its class."

"These ships will provide defense to the great sovereignty of the Republic of Venezuela," said Bat Robinson, senior vice president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. "This has been a greatly anticipated event for all involved and the modernization is complete. The ship is ready to fulfill her mission as her systems have been demonstrated, not only with dockside testing but also at sea. Knowing the challenges this ship will face, she has been modernized with the most up-to-date technology available in arms, electronics, communications and platform areas. We continue now with final preparation for departure and a very intensive crew training effort."

"This is the completion of a modernization and actualization process of systems which have converted this noble unit into one of the most modern warships in Latin America," said Cmdr. Victor Bordon Fernandez, commanding officer, ARBV Almirante Brion (F-22). "This ship now has the most sophisticated equipment with the latest generation of technology, becoming an obligated reference point in relation to naval weapons systems."

The Almirante Brion is expected to depart the shipyard in mid-November.

Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; New Orleans and Tallulah, La.; and in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. The sector, which currently employs more than 18,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.

LEARN MORE ABOUT US: Northrop Grumman news releases, product information, photos and video clips are available on the Internet at: http://www.northropgrumman.com . Information specific to Ship Systems is available at: http://www.northropgrummanshipsystems.com .

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