SAN DIEGO, Sept. 29, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) system demonstrates maturity as it moves into the second year of low-rate initial production (LRIP) with a $32.9 million contract award from the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Systems Command. The company received the award recently for the second of three planned LRIP buys.

A U.S. Department of Defense Acquisition Decision Memorandum for Milestone C authorized LRIP 1 for the Fire Scout VTUAV. A series of program milestones needed to be met in order for Fire Scout to qualify for the LRIP 2 award. Key requirements included a demonstration of Fire Scout electro-optical/infrared capability using a Tactical Common Data Link, which was successfully completed in August.

"The LRIP 2 award represents a significant level of maturity for the Fire Scout program," said Doug Fronius, MQ-8B Fire Scout VTUAV program director for Northrop Grumman's Integrated System sector. "The Fire Scout had to demonstrate full system capability, which ultimately prepares it to move forward toward its Technical and Operational Evaluations."

The Navy plans to conduct Technical Evaluation of the Fire Scout aboard an FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate in early 2009 and will conduct Operational Evaluation (OpEval) in the summer 2009. The Fire Scout will reach Initial Operating Capability soon after OpEval in 2009.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a 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:  Rene Freeland
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-7606