REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Oct. 30, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Defense Support Program (DSP) has been awarded the 2007 Aviation Week Program Excellence Award in the Production/Sustainment category. The award is presented annually to identify and recognize best practices in program leadership, encompassing the full range of responsibility and commitment required to develop, execute and build on the base of complex aerospace and defense programs.

DSP has been, and continues to be, the linchpin of the United States missile warning system since its first launch in 1970, detecting strategic missile launches against the nation and its allies. It is one of the most successful military space programs in U.S. history, demonstrating long-term on-orbit performance, mission success and on-time production deliveries within budget.

"I'm very proud that DSP has been honored with this prestigious award," said Peggy Paul, DSP program manager for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "This program has contributed to the nation's security for more than three decades, and its long-term success has not only directly benefited the warfighter, but it has also built a foundation for more advanced programs and served as a training ground for many senior managers."

The baseline criterion for the award consists of program performance, budget and schedule, and also considers value creation, system complexity, organizational processes including best practices and team leadership.

The best practices consistently employed to make DSP an outstanding program include:

  * A close, mutually-supported government-industry partnership that
   emphasizes open, honest communication, trust and cooperation, and
   extensive attention to detail in all program areas.
 * Disciplined evolution to upgrades through rigorous application of
   proven processes and risk mitigation on the ground and in space
   before implementation in the operational system.
 * Proactive risk management that anticipates and plans for problem
   prevention, uses rigorous root-cause analysis to resolve problems
   and carries solutions into the future to avoid recurrence.
 

DSP is a geosynchronous constellation of infrared sensing satellites. Each satellite consists of a spacecraft and a primary infrared payload built by Northrop Grumman. The company integrates the sensors and spacecraft for its customer, the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile System Center. Twenty-two DSP satellites have been launched, and the 23rd and final satellite will be launched from Cape Canaveral.

DSP has undergone four upgrades to increase system capabilities without major satellite redesign. The upgrades have increased performance, lifetime, survivability and communication capabilities and expanded the DSP missions, users and user utility. These satellite improvements, along with upgrades to ground processing systems, have significantly increased DSP mission and system performance, scope and efficiency.

DSP on-orbit assets have far exceeded their three-year design life requirements by more than four times. The 22 DSP satellites launched to date have delivered a total of 163 years of useful mission life above those design life requirements.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion 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: Sally Koris
         Northrop Grumman Space Technology
         (310) 812-4721
         sally.koris@ngc.com