MELBOURNE, Fla., Oct. 31, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) KC-30 Tanker team will generate economic activity approaching $30 million annually and create nearly 400 direct and indirect jobs in West Virginia if the KC-30 Tanker aircraft is selected by the U.S. Air Force.

Northrop Grumman, EADS, and the KC-30 supply chain in West Virginia currently support 1,000 jobs statewide and generate a combined economic activity approaching $100 million annually. Northrop Grumman alone employs nearly 100 West Virginians, representing $6 million in annual salaries.

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin and Northrop Grumman's industry partners EADS and Sargent Fletcher announced Oct. 19 that Bridgeport, W.Va., will serve as the location for a new Aerial Refueling Center of Excellence if the KC-30 team is selected by the U.S. Air Force. EADS and Sargent Fletcher will produce air refueling systems for the KC-30 Tanker aircraft and invest an additional $8.5 million to prepare the new facility for manufacturing operations.

"These would be good-paying jobs with benefits, and it would open the door to additional aerospace and defense contractor opportunities," Manchin said. "If finalized, this new aerial refueling center of excellence will be an important addition to our growing aerospace and high-technology industries."

Northrop Grumman and teammate EADS currently spend more than $28 million annually in West Virginia, while KC-30 supplier companies in the state inject more than $10 million into the economy each year.

Northrop Grumman's KC-30 Tanker supply base in West Virginia will include:

  Alcan; Ravenswood, W.Va.
 Star Technologies; Huntington, W.Va.
 Sargent Fletcher; Bridgeport, W.Va.
 EADS; Bridgeport, W.Va.

The KC-30 Tanker aircraft will be assembled in Mobile, Ala., and the KC-30 team will employ 25,000 American workers at 230 U.S. companies. It will be built by a world-class industrial team led by Northrop Grumman, and includes EADS North America, General Electric Aviation and Sargent Fletcher.

About the KC-30: Northrop Grumman's KC-30 Tanker carries 45,000 more pounds of fuel than a KC-135 or any competitor, providing a significant boost to the U.S. Air Force's global reach. The KC-30 is also designed to refuel Navy and coalition aircraft, and to serve as a multi-role transport aircraft to move passengers, cargo and medical evacuation patients. The KC-30 incorporates defense systems, precision fly-by-wire technology, and the ability to integrate a communications suite and a global support network.

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:  Randy Belote
          Northrop Grumman Corporation
          (703) 875-8525

          Tim Paynter
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (321) 961-1101