TINKER AFB, Okla., Aug. 12, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) have successfully demonstrated that a prototype of a new digital cockpit display for the U.S. Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber can accurately replicate the functions of the jet's current analog displays.

Known as a "brassboard," the prototype of the new Multipurpose Display Unit Replacement (MDU-R) is a critical first step in developing the "smarter," higher resolution display needed for future B-2 modernization efforts. The demonstration was completed here July 29 at the Weapon Systems Support Center, an Air Force test facility.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long range strike arsenal. Rockwell Collins developed the MDU-R brassboard under contract to Northrop Grumman.

"The new digital MDU-R display will help lay the foundation for an all-digital B-2 cockpit in the future," said Dave Mazur, vice president of long range strike for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "It will also significantly ease the workload of B-2 pilots while increasing their overall mission effectiveness."

During the next phase of its development, known as Option 1, Rockwell Collins will produce an actual form-fit-function prototype of the display and continue to refine its design. Option 1 is scheduled to begin Aug. 1 and last for one year.

The MDU-R development is the latest in a series of B-2 modernization efforts undertaken by Northrop Grumman and its subcontractors to help the Air Force ensure that the aircraft remains fully capable against evolving threats.

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. It remains the only long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate deeply into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Brooks McKinney, APR
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-6610
          Cell: (310) 864-3785