BALTIMORE, Aug. 6, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- The first Target Acquisition System Software (TASS) for the U.S. Army's RAH-66 Comanche helicopter has been delivered ahead of schedule to the mission equipment package integrator, The Boeing Company, by Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Land Combat Systems business unit.

Under contract to Boeing, Northrop Grumman is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the TASS functions for the Comanche weapon system. This initial set of TASS mission enabling software contains a full version of an automatic target tracker function, plus prototype versions of aided target detection and classification and target threat management functions.

"TASS will reduce Comanche aircraft exposure time and pilot workload by automating the forward looking infrared (FLIR) search, automatic tracking and threat management functions," said Barbara Mathews, Comanche programs manager at Northrop Grumman.

As part of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Comanche program, Northrop Grumman will deliver a total of eight software package updates to Boeing during the next three years. Final versions of the TASS software will include a sensor fusion capability.

The aided target detection and classification software detects and classifies militarily significant objects in the electro-optical target acquisition and designation system FLIR imagery. The automatic target tracker software acquires and maintains line-of-sight on a designated target or scene feature within the infrared or TV field of view. The target threat manager software manages bulk data memory and correlates all on- and off-board target threat information. The sensor fusion software will enable the detection, classification and recognition of militarily significant objects through feature level analysis of the Comanche radar data and the infrared sensor imagery.

All of these TASS functions are processed in the Comanche's mission computer cluster, designed and produced by Northrop Grumman. This multifunction core computer provides state-of-the-art processing power in easily maintained, low-cost, lightweight modules.

In a joint venture with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control of Orlando, Fla., Northrop Grumman's Land Combat Systems business unit is providing the fire control radar for the Comanche program, under contract to the prime contractor team of Boeing/Sikorsky.

Northrop Grumman Land Combat Systems is a business unit of the company's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3), headquartered in Baltimore. ES3 is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics and systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, air traffic control systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

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         Debbi McCallam 
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