RESTON, Va., and CLEARFIELD, Utah, April 29, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Prime ICBM integration program has received the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)* Level 3 rating. CMMI is the newest standard for benchmarking the commercial and defense industry's best practices for systems engineering.

"The ICBM prime integration contract team earned the SEI CMMI Level 3 rating due to the strong practices employed by the organization," said John Clay, ICBM vice president and program manager for Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector in Clearfield. "Our CMMI efforts will measurably improve the value we add as the ICBM prime. The focus on metrics is allowing earlier insight and customer dialog, further reducing risk in product development. Given the scope, complexity and length of this contract, every process improvement will pay years of dividends and help Northrop Grumman to continue delivering quality products and services to our Air Force customer."

The rating was achieved in a comprehensive assessment conducted at Northrop Grumman's ICBM prime integration contract facility in Clearfield. Four systems engineering IPIC programs participated in the appraisal: sustainment, safety enhanced re-entry vehicle, propulsion system rocket engine and rapid execution and combat targeting service life extension program. The appraisal was conducted in accordance with the industry standard CMMI appraisal method for process improvement and led by an independent authorized lead evaluator from Comskil, Inc.

As the prime integration contractor for this 15-year program, Mission Systems is charged with maintaining readiness of the nation's ICBM weapon system. The contract is currently valued at $3.2 billion with a total value of $6 billion. The IPIC organization manages a team of more than 450 Northrop Grumman personnel, four principle teammates and more than 20 first-tier subcontractors. The team performs engineering analyses, develops software and system components and supports system integration.

CMMI is the recognized standard developed by a coalition of industry, government and the SEI to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software engineering, systems engineering, program management and organizational management capabilities and is based on the earlier capability maturity model in use since 1989.

Mission Systems is one of the first organizations worldwide to be assessed against the new CMMI standard. Mission Systems has adopted this standard to measure and demonstrate the maturity of its project practices and organizational infrastructure.

SEI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University. There are five levels of CMMI maturity, with the higher maturity levels indicating a lower program performance risk.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a $3.5 billion global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.

*Capability Maturity Model, CMM, and CMMI are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

Members of the news media may receive our releases via e-mail by registering at:

LEARN MORE ABOUT US: Northrop Grumman news releases, product information, photos and video clips are available on the Internet at: . Information specific to the Mission Systems sector is available at: .

  CONTACT:  Marynoele Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 741-7723