HERNDON, Va., Jan. 25, 2010 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Defense Systems division has received the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI-DEV ® ) Level 5, the highest rating possible.

The CMMI for Development model is used to appraise and recognize best practices in software engineering and systems engineering.

Within the last three years, Northrop Grumman has achieved 10 CMMI Level 5 appraisals, more than any other any U.S. defense or commercial company, and more than one-fifth of the 48 CMMI Level 5 appraisals reported by all North American companies. Northrop Grumman is also the only company, worldwide, with appraisals in the three CMMI models – development, acquisition and service.

CMMI is an industry-recognized standard for benchmarking process integration and improvement. The framework defines a set of objective standards for assessing an organization's full range of engineering and organizational processes.

The appraisal of the Defense Systems Division was conducted by external organizations and performed in accordance with the Standard CMMI ® Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI SM ) Class A methodology.

"This achievement demonstrates the ongoing commitment within Defense Systems to employ processes to achieve repeatable results on our programs and deliver lower risk and higher performance to our customers," said Barry Rhine, vice president and general manager of Defense Systems for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector. "By conducting external appraisals of our projects, we continually affirm our staunch commitment to process improvement and the integration of best practices throughout each project's lifecycle. That's a core competency and a key discriminator for Northrop Grumman."

"This was one of the largest appraisals I have conducted, covering more than 10,000 employees, spanning the country, and including 24 programs. Despite the large scope, I am extremely impressed how Northrop Grumman plans, manages and executes programs in a systematic manner, shares and utilizes knowledge, and delivers products and services across the division," said Ralph Williams, external Lead Appraiser from Cooliemon, Inc.  "Senior management at this sector understands the importance of their processes and documented best practices and is continuously improving and leveraging Six Sigma and CMMI initiatives to reduce rework and waste. Defense Systems should be very proud of such a rare achievement."

The CMMI ® standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and SEI to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software and systems engineering, program management and organizational management capabilities. There are five levels of CMMI ® maturity, each a layer in the foundation for ongoing process improvement, designated by the numbers one through five with five being the highest. High maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.

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

CMMI ® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

  CONTACT:  Janis Lamar
          Northrop Grumman Information Systems
          (703) 345-7046