HERNDON, Va., Dec. 5, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- A second organization within Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Information Technology (IT) sector has achieved the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial- and defense-industry best practices for management and engineering.

Northrop Grumman IT's Defense Mission Systems (DMS) has achieved a systems engineering/software engineering Level 5 rating based on the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)(a) model.

CMMI Level 5 further validates the company's number-one ranking as a federal systems integrator.

"CMMI Level 5 is a testament not only to the rigor of our processes, but to the dedication and quality of our people," said Barry Rhine, president, DMS. "Level 5 is not an end but another milestone for our quality. Operating at CMMI Level 5 gives our customers the confidence that we can deliver quality, timely and cost-effective solutions."

The CMMI Level 5 rating was the result of a comprehensive appraisal performed this month by an independent SEI authorized lead assessor. The appraisal team assessed the systems engineering, software engineering and management processes of DMS projects spanning multiple domains and sites including projects in California, Nebraska and Rhode Island. DMS employs more than 5,700 people and is a leading provider of complex, mission-critical interoperable systems, solutions and services to national security and international clients.

The SEI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. The SEI's core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities.

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

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, headquartered in Herndon, Va., is a trusted IT leader and premier provider of advanced IT solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. The company's expertise spans such areas as information systems integration; information technology security; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); enterprise hardware and software solutions; training and simulation; base and range support; signals intelligence; health informatics; space systems; and specialized scientific, engineering and technical services.

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

  CONTACT:  Juli Ballesteros, APR
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 713-4675